Muriel Spark Reading Week … is here




I have Muriel Spark’s “The Only Problem” (first published 1984) on my TBR mountain so this seems a good time to ascend this slim volume.

On the second page, a character with my name appears so I will take that as a good omen.

Character No.1, Harvey Gotham has a theory that I find somewhat disconcerting:


          … people have an effect on the natural greenery around them regardless of whether they lay their hands

          on it or not; some people, he would remark, induce fertility in their environment and some the desert,

          simply by psychic force.



Others joining in with Muriel Spark Week are:


Simon (the instigator)





Annuzza A Girl of Rumania


My grandmother gave me a book called “Annuzza, a girl of Romania” by Hertha Seuberlich

(later published as “Candle in the Wind”)

She lives on a farm and is supposed to take care of the precious chickens but instead she prefers to read. She wins a scholarship to a (boarding) school in the city and has a tough time because everyone is so rich so she invents a rich family for herself.The book had line drawings to accompany the text that helped to set the scene. I think the fascination with the book was my inability to imagine what it would be like if I wasn’t encouraged to read.

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