Charmed Life

It had to happen.  I’ve had a lucky run of excellent reads recently and, when I’ve dipped my toe in unfamiliar literary waters, I’ve invariably been rewarded with the discovery of a new favourite author or the prospect of a rich back catalogue to work my way through.

This is what led me towards Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones; the reviews were consistently impressive, often spectacularly so (it is said that JK Rowling may have leant on this and the subsequent books in the Chrestomanci series when writing the Harry Potter books).  But here, my lucky run came to an end – I found Charmed Life hard-going and deeply disappointing.

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Into the Alligator’s Mouth

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An end of year pilgrimage of sorts, with a refreshingly chilly stroll along the river from Kingston to Richmond ending up at the wonderful Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop, nestled at the end of a narrow cobbled alley (come to think if it, I may have imagined the cobbles but if there weren’t any, there should have been – it was that kind of place).

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