Two bee books in two weeks: The World Without Us and The Bees

Queen Bee.  Bee in your bonnet. Busy as a bee. The bees’ knees. The birds and the bees. Like bees to a honey pot. I only recently realised how many idioms, metaphors and symbols about bees we’ve adopted into the English language.  This realisation came when quite by accident in the space of a fortnight, I read two bee-themed books back-to-back:  The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau and The Bees by Laline Paull.

‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go’: Meeting the tea merchant

This is the first in a series of conversations with modern day tea merchants.  Really, I just want to know why and how people end up in the tea trade – I don’t imagine it’s a choice often offered by careers advisors….

My first chat with a tea entrepreneur is with Andrew Cutcliffe.  As I learn, Andrew’s history as an actor, a hospitality guru and an aficionado of Japan all coalesced to result in the creation of his tea company, Tippity.

The Dry: A scorching Aussie thriller

I’ve just finished reading what I reckon will be one of my top books of the year, The Dry by Jane Harper.  Within minutes of starting this book I knew I was in safe hands, and right to the very end I couldn’t put this book down.  It’s the kind of book that makes you miss your train stop; it’s an engrossing and very satisfying read.

This is why we need women only book prizes…

Hands up those who get sick of explaining why we still need feminism? 664392

It doesn’t seem to matter what statistics say about the gender pay gap, occupational segregation, family violence, women in leadership, poverty, misogyny in mainstream and social media etcetera – some remain unconvinced.

Hands up those who get sick of explaining why we still need women only book prizes?  

The Man Booker and the Not the Booker Prize 2016

Today the Man Booker Prize announced its longlist of 13 books, which you can find here.

website

I’ve not read any of the books on this year’s longlist, so can’t offer any comment on their relative merit.  But I did immediately notice the absence of Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things, which made me sad.

However, I have a means to remedy this! The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize 2016 gives us all a chance to champion our own favourite book of the year.

A murderous Jane Eyre? Not quite, thank goodness

Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye, is being touted as a re-imagining of Jane Eyre.  (See for instance, here). This intrigued me, but it also made me anxious.  For the first couple of chapters I worried whether Faye could deliver – the stakes are high when it comes to meddling with one of the Bronte’s classics.

And then I realised: Lyndsay Faye hasn’t reworked Charlotte Bronte’s pivotal book – no matter how many reviews tell you she has! She is paying tribute to it.  This distinction is important, to me anyway, and once I pinpointed that I relaxed into this book and really enjoyed it.