Winner! And Update

What you should be reading here is an enthusiastic review of Susannah Clapp’s glorious biographical tribute to her friend, A Card from Angela Carter, and you should have been reading it in time for Women’s Day. Alas! This week has got completely out of hand here at casa Litlove. Lots going on, which I will tell you about very soon.

For the moment, a couple of things.

First, the winner of the William Boyd giveaway is: Bookboxed! If you could be so good as to drop me an email with your address, I will pop Waiting for Sunrise in the post to you.

Secondly, one of the reasons why this week has been busy is that Mister Litlove and I have been working on a complete overhaul of this blog. It has looked exactly the same for the past almost-six years, and I finally decided that a renovation was in order. I’m very excited about this as it is going to look so very different. I’m also planning some indexes, of reviews I’ve written and theorists I’ve written about, but with almost-six years of blogging and over a thousand posts, it takes a bit of time. I’m also collecting together here a great deal of my writing, from academia as well as other places on the web. So, all in all massive changes planned.

For that reason, I’m taking a short break and won’t be posting next week. I’ll be back, however, to take part in Mel u’s Irish Short Story week (for which he has kindly agreed I may read an essay –  one from Colm Toibin’s new collection on writers and their families). I will also have several reviews to catch up on.

Have a great week and do hope you’ll like the new-look blog!




61 thoughts on “Winner! And Update

      • Not that I have learned how to manage comment replies yet! That one seems to have gone out to both Stef and Dinah! And Dinah – hoping to be in your neck of the woods at some point the week after next. I’ll email you in case you are free to meet up.

    • Lilian, Angela Carter was an amazing person, very like her novels in some ways – vivid and larger than life and quite extraordinary. It was fascinating to read about her.

    • The indexing is driving me slightly nuts here – I’ve reached 2008 after what seems like weeks. I don’t mind the doing of it – it’s enjoyably mindless – but it’s so SLOW. Still, I tell myself it will be worth it in the end. Doesn’t help that term has suddenly gone crazy for me, right at the end and my son has about the worst strep throat I’ve ever seen…. was SO glad to get your email because it made me laugh a lot and I really needed that. Thank you!

  1. Congrats to six years of blogging and over a thousand posts! Can’t wait to see your all-new Reading Room and savour more Tales! BTW, thanks so much for the insightful synopsis of Shriver’s book on my post. I needed that to gain a perspective for the film, albeit I’m not trying to compare the two.

    • Arti – I could so understand why you might want to hear a bit more about the book after seeing the film. The film did sound a bit disappointing when it’s the complexity of childcare and development that Shriver’s really got in her sights. But your review means I am saved from watching it, so thank you!

  2. Have a great week off and good luck with the blog renovation! Looking forward to seeing the changes. That’s a lot of posts to convert into a new blog space.

    • Thank you Jeff. As ever, the break has not turned out quite as I envisaged, but that is life! Still, at least I don’t have to worry about posting on top of all the rest of the madness of this week!

  3. What wonderful news about the blog, although I have been used to the current style for so long (I’m abit of a rountines type of person), and I’m amazed to think how long it has been gracing my screen and draining my book fund with its temptations and pleasures. And what a delight to have won Waiting for Sunrise, too! Thankyou very much and I’ll send the address asap!

    • Dear Bookboxed – your prize is a tad held up as my son has contracted a really ghastly throat infection and suddenly all the students at the university are in need of my services. I should get it to you by the end of the week – so sorry! But I am just like you and stick to my routine wherever possible, so it was a real surprise to realise I was ready for an update. Now I wonder why I waited so long!

      • Sorry to hear about your son – I HATE any throat illness – and no rush on the book, as you know I’m always up-to-eyes in reading and more besides!

  4. Congratulations Bookboxed! And have a lovely week off litlove, I’m excited to see what the reading room will look like at the end of it. Indexes will be fab, there are so many years of your blogging I’ve missed.

    • Helen, a friend of mine, a web designer who happened to be staying this past weekend, commented that the worst part about the site before was the difficulty of navigation it posed. And I realised I had six years of posts that no one could find! So it’s been good to get the changes started.

  5. Oh I love the new look! Isn’t it fun to spruce up the blog? Gives one a whole new incentive to write, I think 🙂

    I don’t change mine up very often either, but now you’ve inspired me!

    • I am so glad – and relieved! – that you like it, thank you! And you’re so right, I feel that I can write differently in this different space, which is a very liberating notion!

  6. WOW Terrific! I wasn’t expecting this new look so soon and I’m sure I’ll be used to it in no time, but at first I thought I had managed another cyber blunder and ended up in a parallel universe. Sometimes I can’t even manage to get a comment to work – such talent you and your team have.

    • Bookboxed, I could not have done this without the help of my husband and my friend – they were stars! It is different though, isn’t it? And the indexes are taking forever, but I shall persevere….. 🙂

  7. Love the new look, Litlove! Have a great week. I have to catch up on my favorite blogs, including yours. Looking forward to everything you share with us!

    • So glad you like it! Taking a week off is making me feel very behind with everyone’s blogs too – but I’m sure I’ll catch up in time! Would love to hear your news.

    • Danielle, just to say hi here and thank you! I have just managed to lose 7 months of reviews I’ve been plugging into my index page because I went offline without noticing it…. arghhhhhh! Remodelling is fun – until it all goes wrong. Giving up now and going to bed! Will respond to comments properly tomorrow, just thought I’d at least send a wave out to you now.

  8. I like it very much. It’s a huge improvement. I’m planning on redoing my blogs too, always good to find new templates, this is a very nice one. And the choice of color is nice too. I’m always hesitant to share what I’m currently reading (I might never finish the book) but I like it when others include it.

    • Caroline – I know – I may well finish the books too but not review them! Still, I figured it was something else to look at. I’ll have a section for ‘recently acquired books’ too, once I’ve shifted the blogroll to a separate page. I’m so glad you like it and looking forward to seeing your new template too!

    • Thank you and welcome! I will most certainly come and visit once this mad week is over – I’m sure your blog is lovely, though. The start of blogging is so much fun and an exciting time – enjoy it!

  9. Looks great! My remodeling fantasies are reined in now by having to conform overall to the OLM template–probably a good thing, really, as I love to tinker. And your new look would definitely have been an inspiration.

    • I’m so happy you like it! I have never changed it before, although of course now that I’ve taken the plunge I wonder why it’s taken me so long! Yes of course, you have OLM to think about – lovely to be part of that big project, and I guess there’s also a useful constraint there. Just about anything looks good to me to do when I have student reports to write! 🙂

  10. Love the new look! The header image is great, and the overall design is very clean and easy to use. Well done! I like the dates in black circles to the side, and using the same circles for commenters. Did you and Mr Litlove do it all yourself, or did you get a designer? My only suggestion (not that you asked for one, but here it is anyway!) is that the date appears twice, in the black circle and also under the headline. I think just having it in the circle would be enough, and would make it even cleaner looking. Good luck with the rest of the changes anyway, and look forward to reading more of your stuff from academia and elsewhere.

    • Andrew – thank you so much for your lovely comment! This is just one of the templates that wordpress offers, the update in fact of the one I used to have. I did find the image myself – it’s Pierre Puvis de Chavannes ‘Between Art and Nature’ which struck me as a good title for this blog. I did have a friend staying this past weekend and she is a web designer, so we were able to ask her how to do things when we got stuck, which was a huge help. I see what you mean about the date – I’ll see if we can change that. And thank you for the kind wishes – the indexing is taking a long, long time!

  11. Beautiful update Litlove! Lovely colors and I really appreciate the “currently reading”. I find that always interesting.

    • Oh thank you so much, Ruthiella! I’m so very glad you like it. I’m going to add ‘recently acquired’ to the sidebar too, when I move the blogroll to a separate page (because I realised how much I like looking at other people’s side bar book images!).

    • Jenny, thank you so much! I’m so pleased you like it. I admit that I had never really felt like changing the format before, but suddenly it seemed a really good idea. Mine was terribly old-fashioned looking, whereas Shelf Love has a lovely clean and colourful look.

  12. Oh litlove it’s gorgeous, and unlike anyone else’s. And it’s so nice and clear. Congratulations to all of you.

    Am I right to assume the picture in the header is a typical summer afternoon in the litlove garden?

    • Helen – how you crack me up! I do wish I could look out of my kitchen window onto such a scene – let’s pretend that I can. And thank you for your lovely comment – you know exactly what to say to please me. 🙂

  13. What a lovely combination of classical, feminine elegance in the banner art and clarity and ease on the screen. I have always loved Angela Carter. She was in the audience at a small poetry reading I went to in London in the mid-80s and I was starstruck by her presence – wild hair and unpretentiousness amongst the London literary set. I plan to read Susannah Clapp’s book but have gone off on a tangent and am in the middle of “Bad Blood” by Lorna Sage which I picked up because of her friendship with Ms Carter. Not loving it though.

    • Jane – thank you so much for your lovely comment! I am so jealous of the fact that you actually saw Angela Carter – she sounds like an extraordinary person from Susannah Clapp’s book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s the kind of thing everyone must wish their best friend would write about them posthumously! I do hope you enjoy it more than Bad Blood.

  14. Oh my gosh, do I love the new look of this, Litlove! I love the picture you have included below the title, and I also love how you call this site A Literary Salon Where All Are Welcome. And I love your sidebar of what you a currently reading–it gives me ideas! And I also saw in the comments that you are going to add a recently acquired area too, which is totally cool. Such a great job!

    • Ali – I’m so delighted that you like it! It certainly represents a huge change for me, but it’s really nice to see a picture on the banner. The picture is called ‘Between Art and Nature’ which I liked because this blog is squarely between life and literature. Thank you too for your wonderful email – I loved it. Last week was sheer chaos, since my son was ill and work at the university produced a lot of students in crisis. I’m hoping next week will be much better! Look out for my reply then (lots to say!)

  15. Love the new look! and looking forward to being able to read your work(s) and look at you, getting all organized. Seriously, I sense a book in process here when you have it all pulled together.
    Please sign me up for the first copy! (no, really, I’m serious….you are on your way…)

    Kudos to and the Mister.
    Inspired, I am!

    • Oh – I have written SO many words here, it’s scary. I could have produced a sci-fi trilogy if I’d put them to that use instead! 🙂 So very pleased that you like the new look, which is a huge departure for me. I keep clicking on my blog link to check it hasn’t reverted to my old aggressive biro theme! Alas, this past week was not spent methodically indexing old posts but looking after a poorly son and several university students in dire straits. Best laid plans and all! Hopefully next week I might catch up a bit. Lovely to hear from you – do hope all is well in oh-world. 🙂

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