November 7, 2016
Hardback, Guardian/Faber and Faber, £14.99, out now
In this beautiful photography book, all of portrait photographer Jane Bown’s trademark skills are on display. The cats she has photographed over five decades, mainly in black and white but sometimes in colour, stand out as a series of complex individuals.
Bown, who died in 2014, worked for the Guardian/Observer for decades, and many of her works now hang in the National Portrait Gallery (see http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp07814/jane-bown?role=art). Her photographs of Samuel Beckett and Mick Jagger, as well as others, are regarded as classics. Why should a great artist not turn her attention to cats? Her own cats feature prominently, but there are also market cats and kittens, show cats and stragglers. You can get a taste of what’s inside here: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2016/oct/01/cat-snaps-jane-bowns-feline-photographs-cats
In a handy medium sized format, this would be the perfect gift for someone who loves excellent photography, or cats – but ideally both!
Review by Bethan
August 29, 2016
Paperback, Penguin, £10.99, out now
What do you need for your ideal hideaway? A mountain view and an icy lake? Dense woodland and a log burning hot tub? A warm nook for reading, or a breezy beach veranda for birdspotting? If this is the kind of thing you dream of, this book will make you smile from the beginning to the end. Stuffed with great photos of boltholes all over the world, the combination of escape and nature plus contentment is irresistible.
The book is a selection of highlights from the blog http://cabinporn.com/, where it is possible to spend an inordinate amount of time looking at beautiful places and sighing wistfully. This lovely paperback also has short essays with enticing titles such as ‘how to live 30 feet in the air’ and ‘how to make a homestead in the wilderness’. However, I must confess to not actually having read a single one of these most-likely-excellent pieces, as I have fallen into the pictures and can’t get out. I don’t think I have ever reviewed and recommended a book in which I’ve not read any of the words!
I prescribe one volume of this topped up with occasional dips into Danish cosiness manual Hygge (which we also have… see https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1112343/the-book-of-hygge/) for maximum comfort and consolation. Curl up and enjoy.
Review by Bethan
December 8, 2015
Susan Hill signed edition
Sort your Christmas book presents with a signed copy of one of the following – all of these are now in store:
- Robert Harris, Dictator
- Jonathan Coe, Number 11
- Susan Hill, The Woman in Black and other Ghost Stories
- Geraint Thomas, The World of Cycling According to G
- Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, Nopi
- Barnaby Phillips, Another Man’s War
- Sebastian Faulks, Where my Heart Used to Beat
- Edna O’Brien, The Little Red Chairs
- Grace McCleen, The Professor of Poetry
- Grace McCleen, The Offering
- Grace McCleen, The Land of Decoration
- Dawn French, According to Yes
- Sue Perkins, Spectacles
- Mary Beard, SPQR
- Edmund de Waal, The White Road
- Carol Ann Duffy, The Wren Boys
- Jonathan Franzen, Purity
- Iain Pears, Arcadia
- Jojo Moyes, After You
- Hans Christian Andersen illustrated by Sanna Annuka, The Snow Queen
Buy while stocks last – when they’re gone they’re gone!