Monthly Archives: November 2009

My Literary Hero

AnnaBookBel   November 26, 2009   No Comments on My Literary Hero

Paul Auster I finished reading his latest book Invisible a week or so ago. It is a great novel and displays many of his favourite tricks and his characteristic verve in the writing. I also re-read his first novel The New York Trilogy – a linked set of metafiction detective novellas, which I found as dazzling now as when I… Read more »

Three middle-class brothers – three family mid-life crises

The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk A year in the life of the Bradshaws – three brothers, their ageing parents and their families. Firstly, there’s middle brother Thomas who has taken a year’s sabbatical to learn the piano, his wife Tonie who has been promoted and back at work full-time, and daughter Alexa. Older brother Howard is successful and impulsive,… Read more »

Medical Myths debunked

Don’t Swallow Your Gum: and Other Medical Myths Debunked by Dr Aaron Carroll and Dr Rachel Vreeman This short book looks into about seventy-five medical myths and old wives tales, examines the evidence, and debunks them. Many will have read Ben Goldacre’s bestselling book Bad Science – (If you haven’t read it, do! My review is here) in which the… Read more »


My Dad, Ray, was born eighty years ago today in 1929, the year of the Wall Street Crash, and on the day of the Grand Banks Earthquake off Newfoundland. He shares his birthday with Alex Issigonis (1906) – designer of the Mini, astronaut Alan Shepard (1923), Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood (1939), Brit actor David Hemmings (1941) and pop-singer turned gardener… Read more »

A magical read for older children

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan When Scott offered giveaway copies of Shadowmagic by John Lenahan I was quick to comment as I thought this older children’s fantasy could be really fun; and that my daughter might enjoy it. I was particularly thrilled when a signed copy arrived – Thank you Scott & John. Lenahan is an American magician living in England…. Read more »

Two short novels – Two complex stories

This week I passed the 100 books read this year landmark, and numbers 99 and 101 were both cracking short novels… The Beacon by Susan Hill is a claustrophobic and suspenseful family drama which leaves you wondering what you believed in the tale. It tells of four siblings, Colin, May, Frank and Berenice who were born and bred at ‘The… Read more »

How can you cheat death when you’re only 14 …

The Death Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean One of my friend Julia’s recommendations, this is yet another wonderful crossover book by children’s author Geraldine McCaughrean. Surely it must be her turn as Children’s Laureate soon … Imagine your aunt had prophesied that you would die at the age of fourteen, and worse still that everyone believed her. That’s what… Read more »


AnnaBookBel   November 5, 2009   No Comments on BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

Who is your literary hero (or heroine) giveaway? It’s not often I’m in the position to host a giveaway, but thanks to the nice people at Faber, I have somehow ended up with two copies of Invisible by Paul Auster. Auster is probably my biggest literary hero, and I am really looking forward to reading his new book. I love… Read more »

Mostly Bookbrains – My first literary quiznight!

It was the Mostly Bookbrains litquiznight last night. As questionmaster, if I say so myself, it went really well. We had a packed house and everyone seemed to have fun. Mark from Mostly Books was a brilliant help as scorer, Ali from the shop made a wonderful trophy – see it here. As any proceeds from the quiz were being… Read more »

A technological Cinderella story for the next generation of Microserfs

Makers by Cory Doctorow If you loved Microserfs by Douglas Coupland which chronicled life in Silicon Valley in the 90s, you’ll probably enjoy this which takes the nerds into the near future. Rather than spoofing Microsoft though, it takes Disney as the corporate behemoth that needs taking down a peg. Perry and Lester are two talented engineers who specialise in… Read more »