Archive for December 26th, 2008

The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

Glass Bead Game


“…For although in a certain sense and for light-minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born…”

Published by Vintage Classics, ISBN: 0-09-928362-X


Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mailbox: Who are you? and Where does the world come from?

Sophie's World

This is the start of Sophie’s adventure in philosophy — from the Greeks to Descartes, from Spinoza to Hegel, Marx to Freud — with a mysterious mentor who will not reveal his identity. But this is not the only mystery in Sophie’s World. Why does she keep receiving postcards addressed to someone called Hilde? Why do Hilde’s possessions turn up among her own? Who is Hilde  — and who, for that matter, is Sophie herself? To solve the riddle, Sophie uses her new knowledge of philosophy, but the truth is far stranger than she have imagined.

Published by Phoenix House, ISBN: 1-897580-42-8

The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

The End of Mr Y

When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of ‘The End of Mr Y’ in a second-hand bookshop, she can’t believe her eyes. She knows enough about its author, the outlandish Victorian scientist, Thomas Lumas, to know that copies are exceedingly rare. And, some say, cursed. With Mr Y under her arm, Ariel finds herself thrust into a thrilling adventure of love, sex, death and time-travel.

Published by Canongate Books, ISBN: 978-1-84195-957-3

Rococo by Adriana Trigiani

Rococo designs

Makeover specialist, Bartolomeo Di Crespi, is all his name suggests – stylish, sophisticated, a legend in his own time. From the Mediterranean to Manhattan his taste reigns supreme. When the renovation of his hometown church comes up for tender, Bartolomeo assumes only he can do justice to the task ahead. But the local pastor, Father Porporino, has other ideas.

Rococo, by Adriana Trigiani, Published by Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 0-7434-9588-8

Artemisia by Anna Banti



Today, the only member of the great succession of European Old Masters, was a woman, Artemisia Gentileschi.  This book is an account of exemplary tribulations that followed from being independent, an artist and a woman in the 17th century.  At the centre of the book is Artemisia Gentileschi, a painter influenced by Michelangelo and Caravaggio. A rising star in 17th-century Naples, Artemisia realises that success has been bought at too high a price – she has failed as a woman, a wife and a mother. Anna Banti’s ‘Artemisia’ is an important reflection on art, femininity and the creative experience.

Published by Serpent’s Tail, ISBN: 1-85242-766-3

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant


The Birth of  Venus

Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from Northern Europe to decorate the family chapel in their Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by his talent. As Medici Florence is threatened by the hellfire of the monk Savonarola, the painter and his dazzling art exert an ever more powerful and erotic pull.

Published by Virago Press, ISBN: 1-84408-035-8

The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble

Women Reading Book Club

New Beginnings:
A glass of wine, a gossip and a good book – the Reading Group is born.
Happy Ending:
A warm, funny, touching novel about a group of women learning to read between the lines…”

Published by Coronet Books, ISBN: 0-340-73470-1

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