Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A Tender Morsel...

...of very pleasing news, that the brilliant Margo Lanagan's novel Tender Morsels has won the World Fantasty Award for Best Novel. It's a controversial win - the book is harrowing and horrible, and the bittersweet ending is far more bitter than sweet, but it is also utterly compelling. Wonderful news!

I first came across Margo Lanagan on the way to the 2006 BFS Fantasycon in Nottingham, when I read her second collection Black Juice in one sitting. I'm looking forward to finding out more about the novels she wrote before which still don't seem to be readily available in the UK but do appear on her Wikipedia page

Monday, 5 October 2009

Sisters, Superheroines and Polish Theatre (!)

After a frustrating week of losing my carefully written blog posts before putting them up (stupid) I start this week knackered but with new resolve after spending the weekend in Cardiff with my two (not so) little sisters. We took lots of silly photos, generally shopped, drank, danced and talked far too much, which was fantastic, and bought the most adorable she-ra pants from Topshop. Aren't they gorgeous?     I still have copies of my old She-Ra book and tapes from when I was a kid: not even this 80's characters website has THOSE.

This weekend was certainly a change from last, which was theatre-filled: I was on a performance course in the bowels of the Barbican, going back to my youth acting roots with a weekend of homage to Grotowski and his TOWARDS A POOR THEATRE. Which I loved: the devotion of it, and the almost architectural theatrical effects you can get with just bodies, and light, and voices. Blown away by the photo exhibition at the National of Grotowski's last performance, APOKALYPSIS CUM FIGURIS. This was my favourite image, I stood in front of it, trying to draw the shapes, for FAR too long:

Might go and see it again. Shiver with temptation and glee! Also saw the brilliantly-sung but pretty hardgoing GOSPELS OF CHILDHOOD by Theatr Zar.  It was one of those performances which are better once you've had a bit of time to think about them. And, I have to admit, once you have the opportunity to quiz the director about it for an hour.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Bookshelf Heaven

I am a bit of a nerd about a lot of things, but Bookshelves might actually come top. A friend of mine sent me this link to a Guardian piece all about them today: he says he sent it to all his friends, but I have a sneaking suspicion it may just have been me. It all started when, procrastinating from revision for my University finals, I came across a beautiful little turquiose bookcase in a second hand shop. I fell in love with it. I bought it. I filled it with my books.

But by then I wanted more. So, after leaving Uni in 2004 I blew my savings and commissioned a bookcase for my flat. It turned out ok, and all my books fitted onto it, for a while. Due to lack of space (but not lack of books) I managed to curb my enthusiasm enough to stop building.

Then I moved in with my lovely boyfriend in 2007. He's a writer, I work in publishing - we own a lot of books. And the flat isn't very big. I spent weeks fitting bookshelves into every nook and cranny without making it all look cluttered. And I did it! Most of the bookcases were fine - pretty boring but they do the job. But, the piece de resistance was an architectural bookshelf made by ____. They took my design, made the thing, commissioned a library ladder (the cheap version!). The day it was delivered, we spent a whole afternoon and evening deciding which of our books deserved pride of place there. It's an ongoing project. Here are the shelves - who said it was all about the books??


You probably noticed I chose my shelves as the background for this blog, too. SO much better than the default one. If you want to adopt my shelves as wallpaper, just let me know!