David Hockney is one of my favourite artists (I’m FAIRLY sure I didn’t subconsciously name one of our cats after his famous painting, “Mr and Mrs Clarke and Percy”) and I absolutely loved Martin Gayford’s set of art history essays, The Pursuit of Art”, which I read for Shiny last year (read about it here), so when I spotted this book “A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen” in Thames & Hudson’s catalogue, I couldn’t resist requesting it. A gorgeous, heavily illustrated (there is at least one picture on every page, and every picture they refer to, you find somewhere near) and very absorbing book, it takes as a central idea that artists through the ages have always used some kind of “camera” – a lens or a means of reflecting or projecting the world, before camera FILM was invented) to support their art, which I hadn’t realised Hockney had written about before, and gives loads of examples. I loved the way it compared a renaissance painting to a frame from a cartoon, and found it utterly fascinating. Read more here.


Incoming, and I will try not to do this so much because I have been reading about how overburdened our postal workers and delivery drivers are, and our DPD delivery man confided that he is working seven days a week at the moment, and new books aren’t an ESSENTIAL when I have a TBR like I have, but …

So I have Tan’s book and I have Karamo’s book and I spotted Jonathan’s book on special offer (I don’t need Antoni’s only recipes book and as soon as Bobby does a book I will be right on it) AND we’ve watched the last Queer Eye in Japan we had recorded, so there it came. And my lovely friend Laura has just read Candice Carty-Williams’ “Queenie”, which has been on my wish list for a while, and I am enjoying reading books at the same time as various friends, so I picked that up, too (and I idly read the first page and had to tear myself away a good few later, so that’s very promising!). I do have the two sequels to Diana Wynne Jones’ “Howl’s Moving Castle” because you can’t leave one of her worlds with more to come, can you, and then I’ll try to be more restrained (honest).

I did also try to buy a copy of Anne Tyler’s “Clock Dance” but weirdly Amazon is not offering any of her paperbacks new (is this one of their periodic rows with a publisher, does anyone know?) and I went on Hive but I couldn’t work out if you can benefit a bookshop any more with them, AND they no longer take book tokens, so gave that up for the time being. I will buy it with a token at Foyles when all this is over.

Have you bought any books recently?