Merry Christmas to All My Readers!

Tags

, , , ,

img_1968

Thanks to my readers for your continued support and have a very happy holiday, whether you’re at home, at work or far away. (And if all you want for Christmas is to settle down with a good book, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed is now available on Kindle.)

2016: A Year in Fiction

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27b10e02-06d9-4375-bcaf-cb63de1f541f-14251-0000047fd5e6d4af_tmp

This extraordinary second novel from Eimear McBride charts the unlikely romance of a young Irish drama student and a world-weary actor, set in gritty, hedonistic North London during the 1990s. Together the lovers confront their demons, and the narrative is both emotionally brutal and often highly erotic. Continue reading

2016: A Year In Non-Fiction

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

c11aa2aa-f0d9-4d08-bb1b-aa7e229eeec8-14251-0000047ea04b5dbb_tmp

British journalist Gary Younge has a sharp eye for how political events impact on ordinary lives. While living in Chicago, he investigated the stories behind the blunt statistics of ten children and teenagers shot dead in a single day. Never intrusive, but quietly devastating, Another Day in the Death of America illuminates with rare power. Continue reading

2016: A Year On Film

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

b66ded3f-18d4-407f-b287-d3c7f9d52b67-collage

My favourite films this year were homegrown, showcasing what British cinema does best – not plummy period pieces, half-baked gangster flicks or corny rom-coms, but cutting-edge dramas with true grit. Continue reading

2016: A Year In Music

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2a9797d8-8e7a-412a-bdae-9c01af76e59d-394-00000017fb36cdc3_tmp

2016 has been a year marked by loss: David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, to name but three giants who have left the stage. Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, spoke directly to our troubled times. Continue reading

So Long, Leonard Cohen…

Tags

, , , , ,

img_1015

I first heard his music while watching Robert Altman’s anti-Western, McCabe and Mrs Miller, in Camden during the late eighties. That cinema is now long-gone, but the film – made not long before I was born – left a lasting impression. Continue reading

Marilyn Monroe: A Day in the Life

Tags

, , , ,

VeVea Day in Life

April VeVea is a 26 year-old ‘Marilynista.’ “My knowledge of her started in 1993, when I was three, and saw a life size cut-out in an antique store,” she recalls. “Marilyn had her dress blowing over her head in the iconic Seven Year Itch dress. As her smile radiated through me all I could think about were two things: her beauty and that she would look better with longer hair.” Continue reading

Born On This Day: John Gilbert 1897-1936

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

tumblr_inline_mzcpe0ex5Q1qe6nze

John Cecil Pringle was born on July 10, 1897, in Logan, Utah. His parents were both stock company actors, and after their divorce his mother married Walter Gilbert. After many years on the road, the family settled in California. Jack, as he was nicknamed, began working at Thomas Ince’s studio in 1915, graduating from bit parts to more substantial roles over the next five years. He married Olivia Burwell in 1918, but they separated a year later. Continue reading

‘True Blue’ at 30

Tags

,

10626229_1562269244008042_338837219790120824_o

Madonna’s third album, True Blue, was released on June 30, 1986. Recorded during the honeymoon period of her stormy marriage to Sean Penn, and revealing a sleeker, more sophisticated style, True Blue yielded a slew of classic pop singles, affirming Madonna’s status as one of the decade’s musical icons. Thirty years on, you can read my expanded review here.