‘Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’.’ …


The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe in a spectacular pop-up presentation by David Pelham and Christopher Wormell If ever there was a poem that was made for reading aloud, it’s The Raven, Poe’s 1845 masterpiece of rhyme, metre and repetition. (I just adore the rhymes – ‘that is’ and ‘lattice’  in the 6th verse must have inspired Tom Lehrer…). But… Read more »

Putting my 2016 Bookbingo card to bed…


After my recent post about my unused book jar (here), it’s time to call in another reading challenge. I’m never sure when the Books on the Night Stand Book Bingo is supposed to run until – but given that it starts in early summer each year, I figured that now we’re in mid-autumn, it’s probably time to call time on… Read more »

The first of two top notch psychothrillers…


After my disappointment last week reading The Girl on the Train (see here), I persevered to seek out a psychological thriller that I did like – and cor blimey – two came along at once, here’s my review of the first … The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware Ruth Ware’s second novel takes the classic trope of the locked room… Read more »

Doesn’t go up to 11…


Marshall: The Book of Loud by Nick Harper I love books of trivia and infographics – this book which is subtitled ‘An essential miscellany of musical knowledge’, is aimed squarely at the Christmas market. While fun, it doesn’t really have enough of either trivia or infographics, being saddled with too much filler – more on that later. It is nice… Read more »

Predictable and disappointing…


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins This won’t be a long review. So much has been said about this thriller already, but I was profoundly disappointed by it, and won’t bother with the film either. Gone Girl was way better, (book and film; my book review here). The story is told mostly through the eyes of Rachel – who goes… Read more »

Shopgirl – Film & Book


Shopgirl by Steve Martin I adore Steve Martin’s writing – see my review of his tremendous memoir Born Standing Up here, and his 2010 novel An Object of Beauty at my old blog here. I finally got around to reading his first fictional publication Shopgirl, a few weeks ago, and yesterday I watched the film, so this post will touch… Read more »

Shiny Linkiness

AnnaBookBel   October 18, 2016   2 Comments on Shiny Linkiness

Today I’ll highlight my fiction reviews from the latest edition of Shiny… Bodies of Water by V.H.Leslie This novella is all about the power of water, and specifically the river Thames. A dual-timelined story in which Kirsten buys a riverside apartment in a development that had been a Victorian hydrotherapy sanatorium where Evelyn had been sent for a cure. The… Read more »

The #1947Club

AnnaBookBel   October 15, 2016   1 Comment on The #1947Club

The third week of reading from a particular year with hosts Simon and Karen. After 1924 and 1938, we’ve reached 1947. Checking my master spreadsheet, I have only previously read one book published in this year.That was Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada – which I blogged about at my old blog here. Back to what to read now – there were… Read more »

Yet another grand projet bites the dust!


The dusty death of the Book Jar Back in June 2013, I put 200 or so slips of paper each with a book from my TBR pile into a jar – and made a Book Jar – you can read my original post at my old blog here. I read precisely one book from it and that was We by Yevgeny… Read more »

What a Life in Design…


My Life in Design – Sir Terence Conran Terence Conran is 84 years young and still working. He’s one of the UK’s most iconic designers – a quote on the back cover of this book declares him: “Britain’s Taste-Maker in Chief”   Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph. With the upcoming reopening of London’s Design Museum (which he co-founded), in its new home… Read more »

We’re doomed! Or are we?


A Farewell To Ice by Peter Wadhams One theme that has emerged in much of my reading of late is that of icy and mostly northern climes. From Beryl Bainbridge’s Titanic novel Every Man for Himself to Midge Raymond’s Antarctic penguins in My Last Continent to Eowyn Ivey’s Alaska in To The Bright Edge of the World, then Stef Penney’s forthcoming Greenland-based epic Under… Read more »

The Bookish Time Travel Tag!


I was tagged in this meme which is on it’s travels around the bookblogs by Kaggsy, but it was started by The Library Lizard. I couldn’t not give it a go… 1. What is your favourite historical setting for a book? If you did the stats on books I’ve read, it would probably come up with the 23rd century! That’s… Read more »

Books Are My Bag & a local book sale – My super Saturday book haul


It’s Books Are My Bag BAMB day at independent bookshops in the UK. Each year the BAMB team commission a limited edition bookbag. Last year was Grayson Perry’s typically challenging but great fun design – see right. This year, however, they have commissioned a bag you can take out without having to check which side is facing the public. This… Read more »

Shiny issue 12 published today

SNB logo medium

One of the reasons I’ve been quieter here, despite reading like mad is the number of books I’ve been reading and reviewing for the next issue(s) of Shiny New Books, and Issue 12 is published today! I’ve reviewed an eclectic mix of books for this issue, and would like to highlight the two non-fiction titles to you today: The Age… Read more »

A Life in a Day… and Some

Semple 3

Today Will be Different by Maria Semple That’s what Eleanor Flood thinks – and it will be different, just not in the way she planned. This is the premise of Semple’s third novel, the follow-up to the hugely successful Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, which I’ve yet to read, but heard a lot of good things about… Eleanor is fiftyish, neurotic and… Read more »

Two shorter reviews with missing bodies…


Today I have a couple of shorter reviews for you. Both novels I enjoyed reading very much, but ones I don’t want to say too much about to avoid spoiling the drama should you read them! Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent I read Irish author Liz Nugent’s first novel, Unraveling Oliver, a couple of years ago, (see the review at my… Read more »

Bookish ramblings & giveaway results


The start of term has been so busy at school for me, and my daughter, my blogging has suffered slightly! I have been reading, just not had time to write the reviews – I have rather a pile building up. The 12th issue of Shiny New Books will be published in a fortnight too, so I’m still busy but will… Read more »

Clara Vine 4 – War Threatens…

Clara Vine 4

Faith and Beauty by Jane Thynne I was so glad that Jane Thynne extended her Clara Vine series of books beyond the original planned trilogy. This series, centred in 1930s Berlin, with heroine Anglo-German actress-spy Clara, are so thrilling – each addition becomes a must-read for me. You can catch up on my thoughts about the previous three, plus two Q&A posts… Read more »

AnnaBookBel is 8!

AnnaBookBel   September 15, 2016   18 Comments on AnnaBookBel is 8!

My blog is eight years old today! It started off at Blogspot as Gaskella on September 15th 2008, eventually moving to WordPress. It was still called Gaskella at that stage, but later I changed the title to Annabel’s House of Books. Then, last summer I took the plunge and bought my own domain – annabookbel.net. I paid WordPress to redirect my old… Read more »

Book Group report: Food


John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk Our Book Group is reading by category this year. When choosing our ‘Food’ book two months ago, we narrowed it down to three books initially and then picked one out of the hat. The three were: The Vegetarian by Han Kang – prize-winning Korean novel John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk – Kitchen boy… Read more »