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Tag Archives: time

Review: How To Stop Time

A: Read Matt Haig’s latest novel! Its beauty, depth and humanity will make you forget the end of your lunch break, miss your Tube stop, take you beyond sleep. It’s as though the reading of this time-bending novel can stop time itself with the power of Tom Hazard’s story. 

It kept me cool during the recent heatwave.

Tom may look like an ordinary forty-odd year old but he has actually loved centuries. Through the terror of witch-hunts, to the stench of London with Shakespeare; the ephemeral jazz age with Fitzgerald to the excitement on the South Seas with Captain Cook, Tom lives through it all, until we meet him attempting to teach history to reluctant pupils in Hackney. 

Forever, Emily Dickinson said, is composed of nows. But how do you inhabit the now you are in ? How do you stop the ghosts of all the other ones from getting in? How, in short, do you live?

Tom has a rare condition which delays his aging; he is ‘an albatross’. Although not immortal, his aging process is so slow, he has to watch everyone he loves age around him. The skill of this novel is how Haig gets us to feel the emotional connection with Tom; his hope as he searches for his lost loves, how he tries to lose himself in the pleasures of the age, how he always feels disconnected from his surroundings.

…love food and music and champagne and rare sunny afternoons in October. You can love the sight of waterfalls and the smell of old books, but the love of people is off limits…’

Ultimately, this is a novel of hope, of joy in the present, of the power of love to sustain and give meaning to life. It is an easier read than these weighty themes might suggest; a unique love story with historical colour and humour .

That’s the thing with time, isn’t it? It’s not all the same. Some days -some years – some decades – are empty. There is nothing to them. It’s just flat water. And then you come across a year, or even a day, or an afternoon. And it is everything. It’s the whole thing.

As in his other novels, Matt Haig has successfully explored a complex idea with a light touch, injected both humour and pathos, to produce a joyful, moving and entertaining novel.     A delight to read! I shall be recommending it enthusiastically.
Thanks to Canongate for the prepublication proof.

 
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Posted by on 24/06/2017 in Life, review

 

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Reading Week: Day One

I have inadvertently found myself with a week off work; not through illness, just badly timed annual leave. I am still needed for the delights of the school run and the nightly unplugging of the children followed by pyjama-wrestling, so have to make do with a ‘limited hours only staycation’.

I shall read.

Stuff the housework. Stuff cultural destinations (unless they have comfy chairs and nice tea). Stuff the weather. I shall being to tackle the pile of proofs and my TBR bookcase.

Here goes…

I returned from a HarperCollins event with a box of books, to add to the already amassed pile from work.

(Apologies for the poor quality photos; impressionistic only!)

 
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Posted by on 08/06/2017 in Life, Reading space

 

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Dusting the Blog-webs


With a slightly laboured title, I am returning to blogging. 
And about time too!

Some things have changed since I last blogged: we’ve moved from the North-East down to the Big Smoke of London, I work part time, my children are almost as tall as me.

One thing has remained constant: books! Anyone who knows me – or who has even noticed the title of this blog! – knows that I love books. 

I love books as objects, inspiration, escapes, portals, entertainment, guilty-pleasure, wallpaper, decoration. And working a few days a week as a Bookseller is a perfect way to keep my love-affair alive.

And so, as a way of keeping my critical faculties going, rewiewing what I’ve been reading, and sharing book-ish musings with whoever might be reading this, I shall be dusting down this blog, blowing away the cobwebs, and setting my book-ish thoughts free!

Want to join me?!

 

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On not reading enough

It’s December, Advent, time for preparing…

Very little time for reading.

I had hoped December would see me reading Dickens; ending his centenary year with one of his major novels.

Alas!

Instead I’ve been writing lists, shopping, wrapping, hiding, baking, making cards, posting….

Now the dust is starting to settle, I realise most of the month’s gone by with precious little reading and only a few days left to squeeze another book in.

I miss it.

I long for the time to luxuriate in the thrill, adventure and anticipation of a new book; the chance to travel through time, space, others’ heads from my living room. With a cup of tea as my trusty companion.

The less I read, the more I want to.

And so, time to log off, get into my warm pyjamas, and delve into some Dickens.

But where to start….?

 
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Posted by on 21/12/2012 in End of month review

 

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