Author Archives: lifelonglearner

About lifelonglearner

Teacher in Southern England enthusiastic about exploring ways to learn and teach, and evangelistic about sharing them. Specialism is Physics, but that's just a useful starting point.

Is the clockwork octopus the most endearing character in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley?

Natasha Pulley’s imagination fizzes with ‘what ifs’ – and the ‘what ifs’ are followed up, not just then this would happen, but then this could, and this is likely too. Continue reading

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A book that is more than the sum of its parts? On the Marsh Simon Barnes

What is this book about? Ostensibly about maintaining a wildlife area, actually about so much more. Reading anything written by Simon Barnes is a delight, I can even enjoy reading about sport when he’s written the analysis. Continue reading

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Why should we buy some books from local bookshops? The Bookshop Penelope Fitzgerald

If I’m talking about books with messages in this post, then the message I read in The Bookshop is that for a book shop to fail it is only necessary for local readers to do nothing. So I’m going out to Steyning Bookshop where I’m usually tempted to spend more than I planned, but always come out with more than I bargained for. Continue reading

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A book about a dog? Or something else? Flush Virginia Woolf

It’s a foolish reader who goes to Virginia Woolf for advice on canine exercise and diet. Continue reading

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Does the onlooker see more of the game? Klara and the Sun Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro has created an android. Klara is sympathetic, engaging and considerate, she has to be – that’s how she’s programmed. Her story has poignancy and pathos – that’s how Ishiguro writes. Continue reading

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Why is so special about Margery Allingham? More work for the Undertaker … and all her other writing

Why do I enjoy reading (and re-reading) Margery Allingham’s novels more than any detective stories I’ve read in the last fifty years? Continue reading

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Too eccentric to be believable? Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout

Can characters be too eccentric? Nero Wolfe is a sedentary man mountain, almost as difficult to move to any kind of action as the dark mountains of his birthplace – Montenegro. Continue reading

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Close-up or long view? The Commissario Brunetti Novels Donna Leon

What to re-read after The Darkest Evening? I chose Donna Leon’s books about Commissario Brunetti, a Venetian police inspector, doing his best to circumvent his politically ambitious boss so that he can do his job properly. Continue reading

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The persistence of images The Darkest Evening Ann Cleeves

It seems images make stronger impressions on our brains than sounds or print. So when I read The Darkest Evening, Brenda Blethyn stalked across the Northumbrian moors, and waded through the snow. Continue reading

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Is there a good reason to (re-)read this book? Peter Abelard by Helen Waddell

At the time I first read Peter Abelard I had not heard of the story of Abelard and Heloise, and knew almost nothing of their world. I think Helen Waddell would have expected her readers to know more than I did then. So, although it may be a plot spoiler, I am going to tell some of what is known of the history of Peter Abelard and Heloise of Argenteuil. Continue reading

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