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Philip Spires Commonplace Book Blog


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I have kept a commonplace book for many years. In recent times, it has become just a workbook to support my research on Philippine education. But now, via a blog, I want to recreate what it used to be, a place where scraps of impressions are filed for future reflection. It's not a diary, it's just a mental scrapbook, concentrating on book reviews, concert reviews, visual arts and some occasional pieces on travel.
2020-07-10 09:00
In Two Lives William Trevor offers two stories – Reading Turgenev and My House In Umbria. They are not mere stories, however, and read like substantial novellas. Both have women as cen… Read More
2020-07-08 09:16
Reviewing a book often clarifies what you have read and how you may or may not have reacted to the content. There are many books that are not worthy of such attention, because they have litt… Read More
2020-07-07 13:57
Opera reviews usually carry no spoiler warnings. On the contrary, they usually begin with an exhaustive, sometimes exhausting blow-by-blow account of every contrived detail of plot. So let t… Read More
2020-07-05 08:02
At the heart of the book is an obvious but tenuous parallel. Andrea Malgas is an attractive – even stunning – coloured woman from South Africa. She has lived in Europe for severa… Read More
2020-07-03 09:22
I can remember the days we used to sit around in South Kensington when I was a student talking about the latest Hermann Hesse we had just read. It’s over 45 years ago…and I&acut&hell…Read More
2020-07-02 07:48
This proves to be a surprisingly good read. He contrasts hunter-gatherer societies, especially those in New Guinea, with WEIRD societies – white, educated, industrialised, rich and dem… Read More

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