Blind date with a Book: A Fort of Nine Towers by Qais Akbar Omar

When we imagine Afghanistan today we picture pain, poverty, and a country decimated by war. The effects of the Cold War, the Holy Wars, the rise of terrorism, and the arrival of international forces in Afghanistan have been frequent segments on news channels for as long as I can remember. We have seen the crying, … Continue reading Blind date with a Book: A Fort of Nine Towers by Qais Akbar Omar

Bastard of the Week: Claudio from Much Ado About Nothing

If you think I sound bitter, that's because I am. Since first studying 'Much Ado About Nothing', probably my favourite Shakespeare 'comedy', I have always thought that Claudio was a bastard. Now, I know that everything has a 'happy ending'. It's a comedy so everyone gets married which, given the circumstances, is uncomfortably hilarious. Just … Continue reading Bastard of the Week: Claudio from Much Ado About Nothing

Bastard of the Week: Captain Phoebus from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

I learnt the full and despicable truth of Captain Phoebus when my sister first read the novel. Phoebus is a handsome nobleman, and I’m afraid that that is where the comparison ends; he is vain in both his birth and his good looks and completely self-obsessed. Comparing canon-Phoebus with Disney-fandom-Phoebus, you can see why my sister complained to me about what a truly hideous character he was, and awarded him Bastard of the Week.

Reasons not to get married, by Anne Brontë

So if you think the name Anne Brontë sounds weirdly familiar, but you're pretty sure her name was Emily or Charlotte, trust me when I say you're by no means the first person to say "hang about... there was a third Brontë sister? O.o" Anne isn't that widely read nowadays because of the novel’s advocation of Christian values, particularly in comparison to her sister Emily's racy novel Wuthering Heights, or as I like to subtitle it 'Set Fire to the Rain'. Anne's novel is nowhere near as dramatic; pathetic fallacy doesn't do all the talking for characters, no one claims that their souls were made of the same stuff, and there aren't any fires, in other words The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is more relatable.