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By: Kate | June 16, 2016

The Bloomsbury Cookbook, masterfully compiled by Jans Ondaatje Rolls, delves into the everyday lives of the diverse group of artists, writers and intellectuals that became known as the Bloomsbury group. Centred around Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, they forged new ground artistically and intellectually, experimenting with radical techniques in writing, art and design. They were also responsible for introducing innovative works to the English public, through the Woolfs’ publishing house, Hogarth Press, and Roger Fry’s Omega Workshop and Post-Impressionist exhibitions. The Bloomsbury circle also included intellectuals such as John Maynard Keynes, whose economic theories continue to inform government policy to this day. 


Category: Books 

Tags: Bloomsbury cookbook 

By: Kate | March 03, 2016

If you really want to get the most out this book, just jump in and read it. Don't ask your friends if they have read it, don't google it or read reviews. Perhaps even avoid the blurb on the back cover. In short, take every possible precaution against discovering the big plot twist which gives the book both its intellectual interest and its emotional punch. 

Avoiding spoilers makes it difficult to say much about the book, beyond the fact that it is a family story with a difference. The narrator is wry and self-deprecating, while all the time delivering bang-on observations of human behaviour, relationships and life in general. It raises a whole host of philosophical and ethical dilemmas, without ever becoming dogmatic or preachy. Oh, and you ...

Category: Books 

Tags: Fiction Family 

By: Kate | September 24, 2015

In my day job I work with people struggling with addiction, childhood trauma and mental health issues. So when it comes to my leisure time, the last thing I feel like is difficult or depressing reading. Nothing will see me put a book down quicker than a blurb promising to 'explore searing emotional pain' or 'plumb the depths of human grief'. 

However, I also hate crappy writing. I hate clunky sentences, ill-formed or stereotyped characters, and illogical or clichéd storylines. This creates a dilemma, as most 'serious writers' lean towards serious subjects. Far too often the choice is between painful story / good writing or entertaining story / rubbish writing. 

Consequently I am always on the look-out for books that provide a rollicking story...

Category: Books 

Tags: Art Books 

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