I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith

“When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it – or rather, it is like living it” – Cassandra Mortmain in I Capture The Castle

The quote of the title is from I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. For years I thought the book might be about a game of chess, or perhaps a battle. But now that I have actually read it, I understand what it is. For the last couple of weeks I have lived in that castle, walked its crumbling towers, been chilled in it draughts, and have even swum in its inky moat. Like Cassandra, whose journals I have been reading, I have recreated in my own head the castle that she has sought to capture through her writing. Continue reading “I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith”

Shotgun Lovesongs – Nickolas Butler

“Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.” ― Anatole France

A friend of mine set herself the challenge of reading two books a week this year. Having a small child, this was a brave thing to attempt and, to give her her dues, she made an excellent start. She sought recommendations from friends and, when she visited me late last year, she plundered my bookshelves to make up her reading list for the first few weeks and months. That’s an exaggeration: we discovered our reading tastes were so similar that she had a limited number from which to choose. But she found a few and packed them into her overstuffed cabin baggage. A couple of months ago she was back in the UK and diligently returned my books having enjoyed them very much. Along with them, she lent to me two of her favourite books from her challenge so far. Continue reading “Shotgun Lovesongs – Nickolas Butler”