My year in books November 2021-2022

Unquestionably my most memorable read this year has been the memoir, An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie (1981), which I came across when visiting my bookshop family at Shakespeare and Company in April. I bought a copy, then devoured the book while sitting on my green sofa back in Lisbon. The memoir follows an … Continue reading My year in books November 2021-2022


Every book I’ve read in the last two years

Once upon a time in a Paris loft... It's finally time to publish it. I started keeping this list - of every book I have read cover to cover - in October 2018, as I was nearing the end of my transformational time at the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris. Being there with the … Continue reading Every book I’ve read in the last two years

Atomic bombs and 500-year-old sharks…

Some research I worked on for months came to fruition at last this summer! This mysterious deep-sea shark is built to live for centuries. Will it survive to tell the tale of the Anthropocene? I consider the Greenland shark, nuclear waste, and ocean plastics, showing how their scales of time and space converge. Please read … Continue reading Atomic bombs and 500-year-old sharks…

‘Your Name’ is a cosmic masterpiece

As Storm Ciara raged across the UK and the Netherlands this weekend, I found myself battling across Amsterdam to get to the cinema as everyone else seemed to be hiding inside. For the first time since moving here, I had decided to shun my beloved bicycle for weather reasons when I realised I would struggle … Continue reading ‘Your Name’ is a cosmic masterpiece

My best books of 2019

Unusually for me, most of my favourite books this year have been non-fiction, and it's true that I've read a lot more of this kind of book in 2019. It's probably due to a reorientation towards studying again, meaning that I have to spend most of my free time reading books that are mostly informative … Continue reading My best books of 2019

“Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting”; freedom of movement post-Brexit "Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting," sings Youssou N'Dour, in my all-time favourite version of Chimes of Freedom. This is Bob Dylan's poetry at his best; this version gives me chills. And what a line-up! Tracy Chapman, Sting, Bruce Springsteen... More of the verse reads: Electric light still struck like arrows, … Continue reading “Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting”; freedom of movement post-Brexit

Thoughts on Brexit

Well, it's happened. And as one of the 73 per cent of 18-24 year olds who voted to Remain, it's impossible to overstate the sense of betrayal I feel. My generation, already suffering under the weight of ever-rising university tuition fees and crippling house prices, is being stripped of our future by an ageing sector … Continue reading Thoughts on Brexit

Brooklyn, and big decisions

When I went to see Brooklyn yesterday, I wasn't expecting to be so reminded of myself. Yet Soairse Ronan's character, the young Eilis who moves across the ocean from County Wrexham, Ireland to Brooklyn, NYC in the 1950s to make a better life for herself, embodied all the emotional turmoil so familiar to me when … Continue reading Brooklyn, and big decisions