Posted by: Corri van de Stege | January 14, 2012

London Review of Books

I gave myself a subscription to the London Review of Books, as an additional Christmas present, partly because I could not resist the offer of the very nice calendar that came with it.   That was, however,  just an added incentive.  As a literary  review magazine it tops everything else here in England I think, and to do it justice you have to give some dedicated time to the various excellent (and extensive) reviews.  The first issue I received (5th January) has an in-depth review by Stephen Holmes of the Luke Harding book on The Mafia State, convincing me that I must somehow or other find the time to read it in order to understand more about Putin‘s present day Russia; there is also  an enjoyable and persuasive analysis of P.D. James‘s take on Jane Austin’s Pemberley characters in ‘Death comes to Pemberley’; these two essays are for starters only.  All in all  the magazine has plenty to offer for a couple of hours on this Saturday afternoon,  and has given me the perfect excuse not to write the reviews I had promised myself I would do this afternoon.

I shall get on with that soon, I promise.  It’s just that I feel rather jaded after a long Friday ‘out’ with over 250 work colleagues, which  included a very early start and a long drive, a morning of company presentations, followed by an afternoon of group activities such as charades, ice-skating, sleighing, quizzes and other such wonderful pastimes, and then came a run for showers and changes of clothing in order to get ready for a dinner, concluded by a restless night’s sleep  in a hotel room and a two and a half hour’s drive back home early this morning.   Perhaps it’s not surprising that I looked for an excuse for not doing any demanding mental exercise and chose the path of least resistance;  and I will admit that whilst reading the London Review I fell asleep for an hour  or so.

No, that’s not me!



  1. What a twisted-up position the cat is in…and he/she looks very comfortable.

  2. Then who is this oh so lovable cat? I am in love with her/him! :))
    Oh, I stopped reading reviews when I realized that I don’t really care about a group of people telling me what’s a good read and what isn’t. I love to discover books on my own; it can be risky, but I am not scared about a little adventure 🙂

  3. Ally I found her on the web and loved her immediately as she completely resembled my persona 🙂 I enjoy the Saturday Review because these are more like essays – there are so many books being published all the time that it’s nice sometimes to find out in a general way what the book is about in order to decide whether you want to go ahead and have a go as well. In the same way I find books on other people’s blogs sometimes when I think they indicate that the subject is something I would be interested in. I agree there’s nothing like discovering books on your own – the problem is there are so many!

  4. Laurel – hi, somehow your comment got filed within my spam! Nice to see you here again!

  5. I also love the LRB (which I borrow from my dad when I’m at his house). Excellent journalism (which doesn’t feel like journalism, just well-read and interesting people speaking well about books and issues).

  6. Hi Pete: nice of you to pop by. I’m glad you agree with my take on the LBR and your view that it is excellent journalism and ‘just well-read and interesting people speakng well about books and issues’. Could not have put it better! I’m still enjoying this issue and I will keep it and the following ones for years to come to dive into whenever the mood takes me!

  7. What a nice gift to have given yourself. I’m sure you will read about many books that you will want to put on your list to read in the future.

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