Despite living just ten miles outside the centre of Oxford, I’ve never been to any event in the Oxford Literary Festival. This year I shall cure that. I’ve booked a ticket to see Philip Pullman talk about his new book in the Canongate Myths series – The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ on the 28th March – the day before publication. This is his first talk about the book, which is bound to be a controversial title. While I can’t claim to be a believer, I’ve always enjoyed bible stories, so I’ll be fascinated to see his take on Jesus. If he signs copies at the event, I’ll buy two – one for me, one for the blog …
Now to tell you about a few new arrivals at Gaskell Towers …
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan is one of those crossover books that is being released in different covers for different markets – I’ve shown you the young adult edition. It is the story of Lou, a girl with a very high IQ who loves to do nothing more than visit the Gare d’Austerlitz to see the emotions on the faces of people coming and going. There she meets a homeless girl called No, and this is their story. Apparently it has been a radio 4 book at bedtime. Nicki at Mostly Books thinks this one will be talked about lots.
The Old Joke by Reina James. This is a novel about a fading film star who agrees to take on a unglamorous role to sustain her career. This reminded me of the late Diana Dors – the British Blonde Bombshell who was happy to play unglamorous parts especially later on – I remember her in a Hammer House of Horror episode as a creepy old lady. That and a quote from Maureen Lipman on the cover makes it sound a good laugh.
Dancing Backwards by Sally Vickers. The story of a lady of a certain age who takes a transatlantic cruise where she meets many different people who help her understand her past, including the dancing instructor Dino. Looking forward to this one.