New York

This year I promised myself that I was going to read more books. I set myself the target of seventy-five books. Having read sixty-one last year this wasn’t too onerous a target and until the end of February I was roughly on target. Then I started New York…

Ghosts of Empire

I don’t venture out of the world of fiction very often – when I do it’s mostly to biographies or textbooks for my Open University course, but a new history book by a local Member of Parliament has caught my eye. Spelthorne’s Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng has explored Britain’s Imperial past in Ghosts of Empire: Britain’s Legacies in the Modern World. Kwarteng comes from a right-of-centre political background so it’s likely that he’ll offer a different point of view to that in the majority of historical texts out there.

The World’s Wife

A female perspective on some of history’s most enduring stories

Ever since I was an eager young English student trying to emulate older friends I’ve tried to convince myself that I love poetry. I bought vast collections which still sit unread on my bookshelves and nodded sagely whenever people spoke about poetry.

Books, Borders & Bikes Literary Festival

Traquair House in Peebleshire is hosting an interesting sounding literary festival this coming weekend. Mixing books and bicycle riding in the Scottish Borders (the mind very much boggles) this event is likely to attract extra interest due to the appearance of historian David Starkey. Starkey’s recent comments on race and the UK riots have caused a storm of controversy and it seems unlikely the conversation will stay on the topic of his latest book.