The Spinning Heart

 

Description: In the aftermath of Ireland’s financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds.

Dedication:

to the memory of Dan Murphy

Opening: MY FATHER STILL lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn’t yet missed a day of letting me down. He smiles at me; that terrible smile. He knows I’m coming to check is he dead. He knows I know he knows. He laughs his crooked laugh. I ask is he okay for everything and he only laughs. We look at each other for a while and when I can no longer stand the stench off of him, I go away. Good luck, I say, I’ll see you tomorrow. You will, he says back. I know I will.

Rashomon effect at play in a small town after the Celtic Tiger died, the local employer went to the wall, and rotting canker was all that was left of where hearts used to be.

‘There’s a red metal heart in the centre of the low front gate, skewered on a rotating hinge. It’s flaking now; the red is nearly gone. It needs to be scraped and sanded and painted and oiled. It still spins in the wind, though. I can hear it creak, creak, creak as I walk away. A flaking, creaking, spinning heart.’

Bobby, the main-stay of these linked stories: ‘I had that King Lear’s number from the start, well before the teacher started to break things down slowly for the thick lads: he was a stupid prick.’

The Life of William Shakespeare: A Critical Biography by Lois Potter

 

Narrated by J P Gemont

Description: “The Life of William Shakespeare” is a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of Shakespeare’s life and works focusing on oftern neglected literary and historical contexts: what Shakespeare read, who he worked with as an author and an actor, and how these various collaborations may have affected his writing. Written by an eminent Shakespearean scholar and experienced theatre reviewerPays particular attention to Shakespeare’s theatrical contemporaries and the ways in which they influenced his writingOffers an intriguing account of the life and work of the great poet-dramatist structured around the idea of memoryExplores often neglected literary and historical contexts that illuminate Shakespeare’s life and works.

With the FutureLearn course ‘Shakespeare and his World’ from The University of Warwick due to start at the end of next month, I thought this is a great opportunity to get this under the belt beforehand.

Just as astronomers can tell where a hidden celestial body is by the gravity it exerts on visible bodies in the vicinity, so Potter gives us a fantastic view of Shakespeare and his world. Daddy John was a bit of a rogue wasn’t he!

This book is only for those truly interested in the Bard as this is a scholarly, dense text, yet aficianados need not worry that this is dry, I didn’t find it so at all. A magisterial keeper for reference purposes.

01 Born into the World 1564-1571
02 Nemo sibi nascitur 1571-1578
03 Hic et obique 1578-1588
04 This man’s art and that man’s scope 1588-1592
05 Tiger’s hearts 1592-1593
06 The Dangerous Year 1593-1594
07 Our usual manager of mirth 1594-1595
08 The strong’st and surest way to get 1595-1596
09 When love speaks 1596-1597
10 You had a father, let the son say so 1596-1598
11 Unworthy scaffold 1598-1599
12 These words are not mine 1599-1801
13 Looking before and after 1601-1603
14 This most balmy time 1603-1605
15 Past the size of dreaming 1606-1609
16 Like an old tale 1609-1611
17 The second burden 1612-1616
18 In the mouths of men 1616-after

Highlights from Folger Shakespeare Library’s Release of almost 80,000 Images

The Falcons of Fire and Ice

The Falcons of Fire and Ice - Karen Maitland

bookshelves: cover-love, published-2012, summer-2012, historical-fiction, iceland, hardback, paper-read, portugal, roman-catholic, jewish, medieval5c-16c, mythology, ouch, slaves, seven-seas

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Pat
Read from August 27 to September 03, 2012


No dedication
Three front quotes
Cast of Characters

Prologue – gripping, high drama twinned with a prophecy.

Opening of Chapter One:

Anno Domini 1539

The Queen of Spain once had a dream, that a white falcon flew out of the mountains towards her and in its talons it held the flaming ball of the sun and icy sphere of the moon. The queen opened her hand and the falcon dropped the sun and moon into her outstretched palm and she grasped them.

Cheese before bedtime will do that.

I wonder if anyone else felt the auto-da-fé section went on too long?

Some very exciting moments in this story however it is within the similarities of the Iberian Catholics and the Danish Lutherans of the period that gripped me most.

 

On the topmost branch sits an eagle, and perched between the eyes of the eagle is Vedfolnir the falcon, whose piercing gaze sees up into the heavens and down to the earth, and below the earth into the dark caverns of the underworld.” 11 comments

 

Little King Sebastian of Portugal 1564″

 

She was the most beautiful creature who ever lived”

 

Sintra, Portugal”

 


Torre de Belem portugal”

 

He is a Draugr, a Nightstalker.” 3 comments

 

Lucet is a method of cordmaking or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking era. Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles knitted I-cord or the cord produced on a knitting spool. Lucet cord is formed by a series of loops, and will therefore unravel if cut.”

 

The doorway to possession = Dyra-dómr of Draugr (approx.)”

 

1 comment

 

Gilitrutt the troll wife”

 

Zaphod Beeblebrox is remembered, lampooned, a dress-up favourite; I have a feeling the characters here won’t pass the test of time in the same way”

 

Ptarmigan”

Solid 3*

5* Company of Liars
5* The Owl Killers
4* The Gallows Curse
3* The Falcons of Fire and Ice
TR Hill of Bones (in bedroom stack)

=====================================================
BOOK BLOG – the lead up:
9/3/2012 email to Karen Maitland:

Hello there Karen,
We* are wondering where we can get our handsies on The White Room, are you planning to re-publish now you are garnering such prestige?

* Goodread readers Bettie and Pat

Thanks in anticipation.

……………………………………..

10/3/2012 email back:

Dear Bettie & Pat,
Thank you for your email. I only wish I was garnering any prestige. But its lovely of you to say so.

No, I’m afraid there are no plans to republish The White Room. It was a a modern story about a British girl being drawn into the fringes of terrorism. At the time it was written no Middle Eastern Terrorist acts had been carried out in England, but events have now sadly overtaken fiction. It was based on events I experienced in Belfast and Nigeria, so was in a sense a piece of cathartic fiction I had to get out of my system before I could write anything else.

I’m in the process of getting a new website (going live next Thursday I hope) and I will drop the mention of the book on the new website, as it isn’t available, apart from the occasional 2nd hand copy popping up from time to time on Amazon etc.

Sorry, I can’t be more help, but thank you so such for getting in touch and happy reading!
warmest wishes,
Karen

……………………………….

Karen Maitland with a side order of Iceland is my only weakness (hah) – jeeeepers this is going to be good. Now I know of this it will seem like a l-o-n-g drag until the autumn.

More recent history: The Order of the Falcon or Hin íslenska fálkaorða is a national Order of Iceland, established on July 3, 1921 by King Christian X of Denmark and Iceland.

The Order has five classes:
Keðja með stórkrossstjörnu or Collar with Grand Cross, only for heads of state
Stórkrossriddari or Knight Grand Cross
Stórriddari með stjörnu or Grand Knight with Star
Stórriddari or Grand Knight
Riddari or Knight

DAY OF PUBLICATION 16/8/2012: You know how I swore that there would be no new books bought because of our boracic straits after crawling over northern europe like a cheap suit – I lied.

I lied to myself and to you.

Just pressed the ‘place order’ button. I can’t be trusted.

23/8/2012: Still not here!

 

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

bookshelves: summer-2014, history, nonfiction, published-2012, sciences, psychology

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Brain Pickings
Read from July 13 to 23, 2014


Read more of this article from Brain Pickings

“While our delusions may keep us sane, hallucinations — defined as perceptions that arise independently of external reality, as when we see, hear, or sense things that aren’t really there — are an entirely different beast, a cognitive phenomenon that mimics mysticism and has no doubt inspired mystical tales over the millennia. In the 18th century, Swiss lawyer-turned-naturalist Charles Bonnet, the first scientist to use the term evolution in a biological context, turned to philosophy after deteriorating vision rendered him unable to perform the necessary observations of science. Blindness eventually gave him a special form of complex visual hallucinations, known today as Charles Bonnet syndrome, but he was otherwise fully lucid and marveled, as a cognitive scientist might, at “how the theater of the mind could be generated by the machinery of the brain.”

Charles Bonnet Syndrome also discussed in Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

The Mumbai Chuzzlewits

bookshelves: summer-2014, play-dramatisation, published-2012, fanfic-writeback, roman-catholic, india, radio-4x, fradio, filthy-lucre

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from July 12 to 22, 2014

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018w867

Description: Sony award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon reworks Charles Dickens ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ and sets it amongst the Catholic community in modern-day Mumbai, India.

Convinced his relatives are after his money, miserly old recluse Martin Chuzzlewit (Roshan Seth), adopts orphan girl, Mary (Nimrat Kaur), to be his carer. As she will inherit nothing upon his death, he believes she will do her utmost to keep him in good health. But when his grandson Mickey (Zafar Karachiwala) falls in love with her, Martin’s plans are thrown into disarray. Disinheriting him, Martin triggers a complex web of deceit, betrayal and manipulation as the extended family and hangers-on close in, in pursuit of his fortune.

Told from the point of view of orphan Thomas (Karan Pandit), an observer into the world of the Chuzzlewits, this is a fast-paced drama full of intrigue, romance, suspense and murder…

Thomas, an orphan, is apprentice to the scheming architect Pinto, a cousin to miserly old Martin Chuzzlewit, the richest landlord in Bandra. Drawn into the world of the Chuzzlewits, he forms a close friendship with the spirited Mickey, grandson of Martin and heir to the family fortune. When old Martin gets ill, Thomas witnesses attempts by family members to worm their way into his life and secure his fortune, while Mickey gives up everything in pursuit of love…

Ayeesha Menon is an award-winning writer who works extensively in film and radio. For BBC Radio 4 she has written several outstanding adaptations including: Q & A (Slumdog Millionaire) which won Gold for Best Drama at the Sony Radio Academy Awards; THE Cairo Trilogy, starring Omar Sharif, which won a Bronze at the Sony Awards; My Name is Red from the novel by Orhan Pamuk; and Six Suspects from the novel by Vikas Swarup.

Cast:
Martin ….. Roshan Seth
Thomas ….. Karan Pandit
Mickey ….. Zafar Karachiwala
Pinto ….. Rajit Kapur
Mercy ….. Preetika Chawla
Charity ….. Ayeesha Menon
Anthony ….. Sohrab Ardeshir
Joseph ….. Nadir Khan
Mary ….. Nimrat Kaur
Mrs. Gomes ….. Radhika Mital
Louis ….. Rohit Malkani
Doctor ….. Shernaz Patel
Monty ….. Arghya Lahiri
Manek ….. Vivek Madan
Young Mickey ….. Zaal Madon
Young Thomas ….. Nominath Ginsburg
Sound Recordist: Ayush Ahuja
Sound Design: David Chilton
Music: Sacha Puttnam
Producer and Casting: Nadir Khan
Producer: John Dryden
A Goldhawk Essential Production for BBC Radio 4

1/3 Orphan Thomas befriends Mickey, grandson and heir of rich old miser Martin Chuzzlewit.

2/3 Disinherited by his grandfather, Mickey escapes India to try and make his fortune in Dubai

3/3 Mickey returns to India, determined to marry Mary and prove himself to Martin.

Three tree-climbing boys.

4* Undercover Mumbai
2.5* Q & A (think Slumdog Millionaire)
3* The Mumbai Chuzzlewits

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

bookshelves: amusing, sweden, published-2012, radio-4, summer-2014, translation, fradio, those-autumn-years

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Tjörn kommun
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from July 19, 2013 to July 19, 2014

 

BABT

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b048zlgv

Description: Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. Every morning he makes his rounds of the local streets, moving bicycles and checking the contents of recycling bins, even though it’s been years since he was fired as Chairman of the Residents’ Association in a vicious coup d’etat.

But behind the surly pedant there is a story, and a sadness.

When one morning his new neighbours in the house opposite accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it sets off a comical and heart-warming tale of unexpected friendship which will change the lives of one man – and one community – forever.

The word-of-mouth bestseller in Sweden is Fredrik Backman’s debut novel. The main protagonist was born on his blog, where over 1000 readers voted for Backman to write a book about a man called Ove.

Written by Fredrik Backman
Abridged by Libby Spurrier
Read by Kenneth Cranham
Producer: Joanna Green
A Pier production for Radio 4

1/10 Ove appears to have some incompetent new neighbours

2/10 Ove misses his late wife so much. He decides to end it all and join her in the afterlife.

3/10 Ove remembers that Rune’s takeover of the Residents’ Association soured things for good.

4/10 Ove’s incompetent new neighbours have a habit of appearing at precisely the wrong time.

5/10 Ove finds a cat-shaped hole in the snow drift outside his house.

6/10 Ove appears to have some incompetent new neighbours.

7/10 After some gentle bullying by Parvaneh, Ove agrees to teach her to drive.

8/10 After a shaky start, Ove manages to teach Parvaneh to drive.

9/10 Against Anita’s wishes, the local authority plans to take Rune into care.

10/10 When the authorities come to take Rune into care, Ove and his neighbours are ready.

Rating is three ‘oovers:

Bond On Bond: Reflections on 50 years of James Bond Movies by Roger Moore

bookshelves: summer-2014, autobiography-memoir, biography, books-about-books-and-book-shops, nonfiction, published-2012, spies, giftee, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, tbr-busting-2014

Read on June 29, 2014


Read by Roger Moore, his smug, smirkable self!

Description: The Bond movies remain the longest continually running film series in movie history, and 2012 marks its fiftieth anniversary. While there have been other actors that have taken on the coveted role of James Bond, one of the most renowned and beloved 007s, is the charming and charismatic Sir Roger Moore, KBE. To celebrate these films and their cultural heritage, Roger Moore has written a book that features all the Bond movies, along with a wonderfully witty account of his own involvement in them. From the girls to the villains, the cars to the cocktails, the gadgets, locations and everything else, this beautiful book is illustrated with hundreds of iconic images from all the films plus many previously unseen photos from the Bond archive. This is the ultimate James Bond book, written by the ultimate insider, with all the affection and good humor he brought to the role. It is the perfect gift for all fans of these much loved films.

So bad; not even funny bad. The only thing this had going for it was that it was short at 04:48:29. Just the one 007 rating.

Good Bait by John Harvey

bookshelves: newtome-author, mystery-thriller, series, published-2012, london, britain-england, summer-2014, contemporary, bettie-s-law-of-excitement-lost, next

Read from April 14 to June 29, 2014

 

Hampstead Pond in winter.

Description: When a 17-year-old Moldovan boy is found dead on Hampstead Heath, the case falls to DCI Karen Shields and her overstretched Homicide & Serious Crime Unit. Karen knows she needs a result. …

G

A body in the pond starts this series off. Karen Shields, a down to earth black officer from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command unit, speaks with a thick London patter. At times it reads like a corpse list, meh. A two icicle read. Next!

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

bookshelves: poetry, summer-2014, glbt, published-2012

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: B&B (do it for the crumpets)
Read from June 26 to 27, 2014


http://www.audiobooksync.com/free-syn…

By Lesléa Newman
Read by Emily Beresford, Luke
Daniels, Tom Parks, Nick Podehl,
Kate Rudd, & Christina Traister
Published by Brilliance Audio

Description: On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay 21-year-old University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a bar by two young men, then savagely beaten, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, and left to die. October Mourning is Leslea Newman’s deeply personal response to the events of that tragic day and its brutal aftermath.

“The narrators expertly carry the weight of the poems, excelling on verses that combine more than one voice.”
– AudioFile Magazine