I have a new springer spaniel puppy called Maddy! She is nine and a half weeks old and has been with me for almost a week now.

Having a new puppy is very full on. My friend/housemate/puppy co-parent is moving in with me in a week or so, so that should give me more time, but I probably won’t be doing much blogging or commenting on other people’s blogs for a while (I haven’t got much time for serious reading either!)

Maddy is a very good girl already, despite her dislike of The Perfect Puppy, and I’m sure she will soon settle in ♥️

Friday Musings: The Baileys Prize Shortlist

screen-shot-2016-04-11-at-17-13-27Given the way the cards have fallen, it’s difficult for me to muse very much about a shortlist where I’ve read only one of the shortlisted titles (A Little Life), although I’m absolutely thrilled that it made the shortlist. My few musings are as follows:

  • Having read only Girl At War and Pleasantville from the longlist, I didn’t feel very qualified to comment on what ought to be shortlisted, either, although I wasn’t convinced enough by either of those novels to back them. For me, Pleasantville got bogged down in its complicated plot, while Girl At War, ironically, felt structurally too neat and simple, despite the emotional impact of its early twist.
  • This article on the shortlist, by Elle Thinks, is a great read – I looked at the first page of The Improbability of Love in Waterstones the other day and wanted to put it down immediately, and it certainly sounds like it ticks a lot of my personal dislikes. On the other hand, I haven’t read an Atkinson novel I liked since Behind the Scenes at the Museum, so was perhaps a little unfairly relieved to see that A God in Ruins wasn’t shortlisted, although I’ve not read it and it may be brilliant.
  • I wish that Rush Oh! and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet had been shortlisted – they were the two titles I most wanted to read from the longlist.
  • As I’m committed to getting through my TBR pile, I may not do my usual shortlist read along this year, especially as few of the chosen grab my attention, but of the shortlisted novels, I’m most intrigued by The Glorious Heresies. 

April schedule

DSC01982Friday 1st April: The Ballroom by Anna Hope.

Monday 4th April: Monday Musings: Final teenage diaries post.

Friday 8th April: The Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa.

Monday 11th April: Reading round-up, including Ancillary Justice (Ann Leckie), The Dig (Cynan Jones) and Pleasantville (Attica Locke).

Friday 15th April: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta.

Monday 18th April: Monday Musings: Baileys Prize shortlist.

Friday 22nd April: Monograph Review: Contagious Communities: Medicine, Migration and the NHS in Post-War Britain by Roberta Bivins.

Monday 25th April: Monday Musings: I might finally write about whether GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire is feminist…

Friday 29th April: The Bees by Laline Paul.


September schedule

1931157_586203696300_9753_nMonday September 7th: No post.

Friday September 11th: The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

Monday September 14th:  Did You Ever Have a Family? by Bill Clegg

Friday September 18th: Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling

Monday September 21st: Trigger warnings: fiction vs. non-fiction

Friday September 25th: Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda

Monday September 28th: Is George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire feminist?

UPDATED 10/9/15: We’ll have to wait until next month to re-read our teenage diaries.

What’s up next on the blog? May-June

DSC01825I usually try and create some kind of schedule for my blogging adventures, but I haven’t got a plan for the whole month ahead yet. I can tell you that I will be putting up new posts on Mondays and Fridays, and that Monday posts will be my ‘Monday Musings’ (brief first thoughts, arguments, rants and raves) while Friday posts will be more substantial book reviews or posts on historical research. Coming up for the next fortnight is as follows (some of these posts will be given better titles nearer the time!):

Friday 29th May: Monograph Review: Angela Davis, Pre-School Childcare in England, 1939-2010: theory, practice and experience

Monday 1st June: Monday Musings: The difficulty of writing teenagers

Friday 5th June: Laura Rereading: LM Montgomery, Emily’s Quest

Monday 8th June: Monday Musings: The PhD and academic self-confidence

Friday 12th June: Fiction Review:  Sara Novic, Girl at War