Early this year I launched my Year of Great Reading course, and many of you have been receiving a Literary Readers Guide each month as part of your annual subscription. Many thanks for all the wonderful comments showing how much you have been enjoying it.
Did you know that this year Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women turns 150? She was a remarkable woman, who didn’t really want to become famous for a book about girls (she preferred boys, or writing Gothic thrillers), and yet her novel about four sisters growing up in the American Civil War has been much loved by generations of readers.
I have been reciting nursery rhymes to my gorgeous granddaughter, Arabella (this is her above, enjoying a book), and it’s made me think about the intriguing origins of some of them. So instead of one poem this month, I am going to tell you about some of these often rather disturbing rhymes so familiar from childhood.
First published in 1961, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie brought Muriel Spark international fame. Time magazine chose it in 2005 as one of the 100 best novels in English from 1923 to the present, and the Modern Library ranked it 76th in its ‘100 Best Novels of the 20thC’.
Come with me on a literary journey through 2019. Together we will explore a fabulous selection of 19th and 20th C classics.
Each month you’ll receive a reading guide covering the life of an author and one of their most popular or important works. I’ll reveal intriguing stories about the author behind the book, analyse the themes and characters in the book, tempt you with film versions to watch, and challenge you with thoughtful discussion questions.
Some months ago I recommended the novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Next year we will be able to watch a movie version of the quirky and popular novel.