Book Reviews

Sunday Salon – a good week all round

It’s been a good week on the literature and arts front. I finally got the time to watch part of the BBC’s Hollow Crown series of Shakespeare’s history plays. Richard II was excellent – it doesn’t have the same level of dramatic action as Henry V for example, but BBC did a superb job of showing the dramatic tension between Richard’s belief in the divine right of kings and his realisation he doesn’t have the support to continue on the throne. Henry IV part 1 and part 2 were also good. I’m not a fan of the Falstaffian tavern scenes but this was one of the best I’ve seen. Just Henry V to go now and I love that play!

Also had a live Shakespeare experience courtesy of the National Theatre of Wales who too occupancy of an aircraft hangar to give a performance of Corialanus. We were all kitted with headsets at the start of the performance which was done in promenade style, using hand held video cameras. It meant we got very close up to the action so the angry scenes between Corialanus and the plebeians felt very real. Excellent experience.

On the book scene, I finished reading two novels from the Man Booker Prize 2012 long list – Bring Up the Bodies (Hilary Mantel) and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I just posted my review of the latter today (it’s a superb book and I highly recommend it). I’ll post a review of Mantel’s work next week but that was also superb although in a very different style.  Saraswati Park was a leap in the dark – I had never heard of this author but found it recommended in an article about novelists of Indian origin and thought it sounded good. It proved to be another engaging experience – you can see my blog review here.

After three good books in a row, I’m a bit nervous about my next read – can my luck hold out??


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

3 thoughts on “Sunday Salon – a good week all round

  • Sounds like you’ve had a wonderfully artsy week. I caught only part of the BBC’s Hollow Crown series but what I saw looked excellent. Not read any of Shakespeare’s histories though maybe worth reading them and then trying to find a copy of this series to watch afterwards.

    • hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading Mantel.


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