Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

bookshelves: radio-4, summer-2012, cover-hate, chick-lit, epistolatory-diary-blog, amusing, published-2012, women, abandoned

Read from June 30 to July 07, 2012

blurb – Maria Semple’s brilliantly comic debut novel about misplaced genius and mother-daughter love, starring Miranda Richardson, Lydia Wilson, Richard Laing and Madeleine Potter.

When 15 year old Bee wins perfect grades, she calls in her parents’ promise of a graduation present of ‘anything she wants’. This turns out to be a family trip to Antarctica – a prospect that will challenge her mother Bernadette’s agoraphobia and social reclusiveness.

Bernadette ….. Miranda Richardson
Bee …. Lydia Wilson
Elgin …. Richard Laing
Audrey …. Madeleine Potter
Adapted by Miranda Davies Produced/ directed by Emma Harding

About the author: Maria Semple has written for television shows including Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. She lives with her family on an island off Seattle. This is her first novel.

Opening music: ‘My Wandering Days Are Over’, from the album ‘Tigermilk’ by Belle & Sebastian, Jeepster Recordings Ltd, 1999

Closing music: ‘Expectations’, from the album ‘Tigermilk’ by Belle & Sebastian, Jeepster Recordings Ltd, 1999

What chaos – not for me.

Sir Thursday

bookshelves: adventure, fantasy, fraudio, published-2006, young-adult

Read in September, 2009

It’s been a good couple of years since I read Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday and Drowned Wednesday that I was a little worried that I would have to skim re-reads but it’s panning out quite well. Of course, I have since read Bartimaeus and Skulduggery so now this Key to the Kingdom series seems mediocre in comparison but fine enough to accompany on my walking and working regime.

Donovan’s Reef by John Wayne

bookshelves: film-only, autumn-2014, published-1989

Read on September 29, 2014

Description: ‘Guns’ Donovan prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and ‘Boats’ Gilhooley, until Dedham’s high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise.

John Wayne as Michael Patrick “Guns” Donovan
Elizabeth Allen as Amelia Dedham
Jacqueline Malouf as Lelani Dedham, Dr. Dedham’s second daughter, hereditary ruler of the island
Lee Marvin as Thomas Aloysius “Boats” Gilhooley
Jack Warden as Dr. William Dedham
Cesar Romero as Marquis Andre de Lage, the French governor of the island
Dorothy Lamour as Miss Lafleur, Gilhooley’s sometime girlfriend
Cherylene Lee as Sally Dedham, Dr. Dedham’s younger daughter
Jeffrey Byron as Luke Dedham, the doctor’s son and youngest child
Marcel Dalio as Father Cluzeot
Mike Mazurki as the Police Constable

Denmark Hill by Alan Bennett

bookshelves: autumn-2014, play-dramatisation, willsphernalia

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read from September 27 to 28, 2014


Description: Alan Bennett’s idiosyncratic take on the Hamlet story adapted for radio. Seen largely through the beady eyes of a 15 year old schoolgirl, this is Bennett in black comedy mode.

The play is set in a leafy south London suburb, in the year of an election. Gwen’s husband, Frank, lies ill in bed upstairs while downstairs Harriet, her daughter, is struggling with an essay on “Shakespeare’s view of the family”. In the aftermath of Frank’s death we slowly realise we are being drawn into a strangely familiar story – a suburban Hamlet. In different guises here come Claudius, Gertrude, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Polonius and Ophelia. Even the players play their part.

Denmark Hill was originally written as an uncommissioned TV/film screenplay in 1981/2. For whatever reasons, Bennett can’t remember, he kept it in a drawer until it went with all his papers to the Bodleian library for archival storage. Honor Borwick urged Tristram Powell, with Bennett’s permission, to search the archives. At last Powell unearthed the hand typed script.

Denmark Hill is Bennett’s own kind of observational comedy, the Hamlet connections are never heavy, just lightly touched on. It is narrated by Alan Bennett, directed by Tristram Powell, adapted for radio by Honor Borwick and produced by Marilyn Imrie.
Produced by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey Production for BBC Radio 4