The Six Degrees of Separation Meme: Revolutionary Road

revolutionary-road

Hosted each month by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, this meme picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six steps. (Here’s my one for last month – Never Let Me Go to Electricity by Ray Robinson). This month the starting book is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Now this is a book I really should read… Read more »

A Portrait of Bowie by Brian Hiatt

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A tribute to Bowie by his artistic collaborators and contemporaries Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt has come up with a clever combination of content in this book that will appeal to all kinds of Bowie fans: Those who love art will appreciate the forty fabulous portraits within its pages – by top photographers, wonderful illustrators and artists, reflecting each… Read more »

YA adventure in Revolutionary France

blade-bone

Blade and Bone by Catherine Johnson This book was published to coincide with October’s Black History Month, so I fear my review is a little late, however, better late than never and this was a YA book well worth reading. Blade and Bone is the sequel to Sawbones which is where we would have first met Ezra McAdam, a mulatto boy… Read more »

The immigrants’ shattered American Dream…

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Family Life by Akhil Sharma Imagine the excitement of going to America from Delhi to live. Even though life in India was comfortable and full of cricket, America is the dream destination for nine-year-old Ajay’s accountant father. First, his father went, found a job, set up home; then a year later, he sent one-way tickets for his wife and two… Read more »

This one gave me the creeps…

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I See You by Clare Mackintosh I see you. But you do’t see me. You’re engrossed in your book; a paperback cover with a girl in a red dress. I can’t see the title but it doesn’t matter; they’re all the same. If it isn’t boy meets girl, it’s boy stalks girl. Boy kills girl. The irony isn’t lost on… Read more »

One house, one extended family, many stories

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Moving by Jenny Eclair Moving is Jenny Eclair’s fourth novel and is her most accomplished yet, seeing her move from the bittersweet comedy of her brilliant debut, Camberwell Beauty (which I read pre-blog), to a touching drama. Ever the comedian, Moving is still full of wit, but it is definitely not a comedy. Moving is told in three main parts, each narrated… Read more »

More short takes

AnnaBookBel   November 22, 2016   2 Comments on More short takes
commitments

In an effort to clear my TBReviewed pile, here are two more shorter reviews: The Commitments by Roddy Doyle (re-read) This was our book group choice for last month – when we picked from a shortlist with a ‘Music’ theme. It was a re-read for me, and gosh this story of Jimmy Rabbitte and his short-lived Dublin soul band The Commitments… Read more »

Bookish Delights

AnnaBookBel   November 20, 2016   2 Comments on Bookish Delights
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Yesterday I was delighted to be invited to attend a bloggers afternoon at the Groucho Club hosted by literary agents PFD to meet and hear some of the authors shortlisted for this year’s Sunday Times/Peters Fraser Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award – and you couldn’t hope for a more diverse collection of literary styles – with one novel, volumes… Read more »

A grown-up Parisian fin de siecle nightmare?

Mister-Memory

Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick I’ve been a fan of Sedgwick for years – He has primarily written for children and YA audiences until fairly recently. However, reading his YA novels as an adult has never disappointed, (see here, here, here, here and here – Yes, I am a big fan!). Now he is also writing for a different audience – his… Read more »

More thrillers from Anne Holt and Chris Pavone

travelers

Two more slightly shorter reviews of recent thriller reads… The Travelers by Chris Pavone They don’t come much more multi-layered than this complex thriller, published in March and now available in paperback. Will Rhodes is an award-winning, globe-trotting journalist – writing features for Travelers, a top travel magazine and travel agency. He and wife Chloe live in a doer-upper house she… Read more »

Michelle Paver x 2

AnnaBookBel   November 12, 2016   6 Comments on Michelle Paver x 2
thin-air

Our Book Group choice to discuss this week as our themed ‘Horror/Ghost story’ selection was Michelle Paver’s first adult novel – Dark Matter – subtitled ‘A Ghost Story’. Her second novel, Thin Air – also ‘A Ghost Story’, was published recently too, so I’ll combine thoughts about the two into one post. Firstly, Dark Matter. Published in 2010 to great acclaim, this novel… Read more »

An afternoon with Matt Haig and 400 schoolchildren!

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This afternoon, I was able to put my occasional bookhelper’s hat on and be part of the Mostly Books team managing a mammoth event and signing at OLA school in Abingdon. OLA Librarian Mrs Hickford had invited many of the local state primary schools to join her pupils – and so the main hall was packed to the gunwales with 9-11… Read more »

4 Stories, 13 views…

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Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann My first encounter with McCann, this volume contains some of his shorter fiction: a full novella and three short stories of varying lengths. The titular novella has thirteen short chapters, each prefaced by lines from a poem about a blackbird that inspired the title (Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace… Read more »

Catch-up – two shorter reviews

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My pile of books read but not reviewed yet is taller than I like, so here are two shorter reviews to catch up a little. Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson Only Hutchinson’s second novel, but you can tell the author has been writing other stuff for ages. Europe in Autumn, published in 2014, is the first in a sequence (followed… Read more »

Six Degrees of Separation Meme

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Hosted by Kate at the Books Are My Favourite and Best blog, the Six Degrees of Separation meme is a monthly bookish version of the original concept devised by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 (more here). Each month Kate chooses a different starting book for us to take in whichever direction inspires us. Thanks for Elle for highlighting this fun meme last month. I… Read more »

The second of two top notch thrillers

beside-myself

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan I read this immediately on the heels of The Woman in Cabin 10 (see here), a second top-notch thriller which more than made up for the disappointment of The Girl on the Train (see here). This psychodrama has double the attraction too… I wonder if you can guess from the cover? Yes, it’s about twins!… Read more »

Slightly tepid in style but full of the Gorgon’s rage…

hot-milk

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy This novel was my first encounter with Levy and I’ll confess, I read the book and wasn’t necessarily wowed by it at first. Upon reflection though, the more I thought about it, the more I started to get to grips with some of the themes within, it’s grown on me. The initial premise is simple. Sofia takes… Read more »

Aickman for Halloween

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The Strange Stories of Robert Aickman If you enjoy a strange story, then you should really check out those of Robert Aickman who was a master of the genre from the 1960s onwards. A couple of years ago, on the centenary of his birth, Faber reprinted most of his stories in four volumes of the weird, supernatural and downright strange…. Read more »

An assured third novel

donal-ryan

All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan This is Irish author Donal Ryan’s third novel, and despite not having read his previous two, it’s clear that he’s an author really getting into his stride for All We Shall Know is both accomplished and a compulsive read. His first novel, The Spinning Heart won major prizes and was short/long-listed for the… Read more »

Serious Gimmickry…

zambra

Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra Translated by Megan McDowell I’m always really drawn to experimental fiction, even if I don’t always get on with it, so once spotted, I was always going to have a go at this book. I know nothing about the author, but Zambra, I gather, is one of the stars of Chilean writing. This book is structurally… Read more »