The etymology of ‘Svengali’

The term ‘Svengali’ is being thrown around a lot of the newspapers in the UK at the moment in relation to Dominic Cummings. We understand it to mean puppet master or mastermind behind a large scheme or plot, especially if it’s a sinister purpose. In terms of Cummings, he is thought of as Boris Johnson’sContinue reading “The etymology of ‘Svengali’”

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Book Review The Glass Hotel is the latest novel by Emily St. John Mandel, author of my all-time favourite and award-winning novel, Station Eleven. In essence, it’s a story about white-collar crime: a Ponzi scheme that blows up and obliterates the structure of many lives in the process. More than this, though, The Glass HotelContinue reading The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel”

Sex in Sally Rooney’s Normal People

I read (and watched) Sally Rooney’s Normal People in under 48 hours. Now, I’m not one for savouring things, even normally. Books and TV shows, though split into parts, are wholes – and I always have a niggling fear that, if I consume them too slowly, I’ll have forgotten the beginning by the time I’veContinue reading “Sex in Sally Rooney’s Normal People

Ishiguro, Chandler, Adichie

What I’ve been reading Recently, as I’m sure you’re aware, time has been a little more free. I’m taking the opportunity to reignite my love for reading, something that – with an English degree equating reading with work – often fades. I’m reuniting with favourite authors, picking up books I bought and never got aroundContinue reading “Ishiguro, Chandler, Adichie”

The novel hasn’t started yet

In my denial at the prevalence of the coronavirus, I kept telling my friends that the novel hasn’t started yet. The dramatic thing that would hook the reader – the Prime Minister dying, the virus mutating after a successful vaccine and killing even those in perfect health, countries turning against one another – is stillContinue reading “The novel hasn’t started yet”

Grappling with uncertainty

Sometimes, in our narcissistic human brains, it’s difficult to consider catastrophes to be anything but a personal attack on our happiness. Thousands, perhaps even millions, of people around the globe are affected, are suffering worse than I am, but it always comes back to ‘I’, and how the affects on this ‘I’ are unparalleled. NoContinue reading “Grappling with uncertainty”