Loop of Jade

Loop of Jade by Sarah Howe

I was browsing a bookshop, looking to spend some birthday vouchers, when I stumbled across Sarah Howe’s collection of poetry: Loop of Jade. I had a vague memory of hearing good things about this collection, and the collection itself immediately appealed to me with its focus on cross-cultural concerns and cultural identity. I was intrigued to see how Howe’s personal exploration of her Hong Kong roots would play out in her poetry; I was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which Howe invites the reader to join her on the journey. It was definitely a journey I enjoyed and learnt much from. Read more


Favourite ‘Loyal Best Friend’ Characters

Favourite ‘Loyal Best Friend’ Characters

Last week I made a post about one of the categories some of my favourite characters fall into: the ‘troubled’ characters with hearts of gold. This week, I’m taking a look at another group of favourite characters: the ‘loyal best friend’ characters. In my head, this group is called the ‘Samwise Gamgee’ characters. Looking down these two lists now, I can easily see a difference: here, you can find many of the books I loved as a child or teenager; in the former list, you can find a selection of the books I have enjoyed from my time at university onwards. Make of that what you will. So here are five of my favourite ‘Samwise Gamgee’ characters. Read more

Shakespeare Republic (Shakespeare Republic, 2015-2017)

Shakespeare Republic Series (Shakespeare Republic, 2015-2017)

The Shakespeare Republic Series is a different sort of Literary-Inspired Web Series to the ones I have previously reviewed here on this blog, but it is one that I have very much enjoyed watching throughout Seasons One and Two. I will admit that the draw of the series for me initially was seeing the involvement of Alan Fletcher, who played Karl Kennedy in Neighbours, but I quickly grew to love this passion project from the group of Australia-based actors who simply want to celebrate Shakespeare. Whilst one of the most obvious advantages of web series is the opportunities it affords to amateur and upcoming creatives, Shakespeare Republic shows another perspective: it also gives professionals the opportunity to explore things they are passionate about in a different media. Read more

Favourite ‘Troubled’ Characters

Favourite ‘Troubled’ Characters

One of the categories in my Literary Listography is ‘Favourite Troubled Characters’. Writing down a few names for this reminded me of the fact that my favourite characters often fall into two distinct categories: the ‘troubled’ characters with hearts of gold (or, as I refer to them, disaster children) and the loyal, best friend characters (or, the Samwise Gamgee characters). I thought it would be fun to make a couple of posts detailing five of my favourites from each category. Read more

Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life

Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life by Samantha Ellis

It sometimes feels as though Anne Brontë is one of the great mysteries of English Literature: not as well-known as her sisters, she is often on the periphery (or entirely absent) from discussions about the Brontës. Whilst I have to say that I prefer the writing of Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre and Villette are by far my favourite Brontë novels), I’ve always been more drawn to Anne as a person. Her passion and faith shine through both Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, marking her as someone with deep principles willing to write works that fly in the face of social convention to raise awareness of issues close to her heart. I was eager, therefore, to read Samantha Ellis’ book all about Anne and her view of the world. Read more

Horizons (Betwixt Productions, 2016)

Horizons (Betwixt Productions, 2016)

Just over a year ago I reviewed The Writing Majors, a web series I loved from 2015 which took famous writers and re-interpreted them as college students; in that review I mentioned that I was looking forward to Betwixt Productions next project, which hadn’t yet been released. I was excited to see how a team that had brought such strong and relatable characters to a series were able to grow in their next project. Well, Horizons recently came to the end of its run of episodes and it proved to be one of the most imaginative Literary-Inspired Web Series I have seen so far; a wonderful example of a dystopian world that sheds a chilling light on our own reality. From its engaging opening line to its emotional ending, this was an enjoyable series that makes for particularly good binge-watching. Read more