Bloody Chamber

Tales of beasts, wolves and crafty maidens

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter I tried reading one of AC’s novels many years ago, but it was the wrong book for me at that time. When Claire at Paperback Reader who is a huge fan decided to host an Angela Carter month, it was time to try again. I’m glad Read More

The Swimmer Tearne

Home is where the heart is

The Swimmer by Roma Tearne The village of Orford, near Aldeburgh in Suffolk is not used to foreigners.  Someone’s killing animals by slitting their throats, and everyone is concerned about terrorists in their midst. Ria, a poet, lives in relative isolation in  her late uncle’s cottage by the coast in Suffolk – it’s home.  Eric, a Read More

Burley Cross Postbox Theft

Whatever Happened to Snail Mail?

Burley Cross Postbox Theft by Nicola Barker I was really keen to read Nicola Barker’s new book. I’ve read three others of hers, (although not her Booker shortlisted chunkster Darkmans yet). In those books I found she has a rare feel for ordinary people’s lives in and around London, capturing lifestyles and dialogue perfectly with great wit. Clear: A Read More

LOTR

LOTR Readalong – The Final Post

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Vol 3 by JRR Tolkien. This month was the last part of the LOTR Readalong and everyone’s final thoughts can be found at Just Add Books. Having finished all 1076 pages of the three volumes of LOTR plus the Hobbit I think I’m going to miss Read More

An Education film tie-in

An Education – See the film, read the book

Usually I always read the book before the film, but in the case of An Education by Lynn Barber, I saw the film on DVD first. In this case it didn’t matter, for the events that were adapted for the film, composed just a chapter in her memoir.  It was originally written as an article for Granta magazine and Read More

emily-the-strange-book

This black covered teen novel rocks!

Emily the Strange: Lost Days by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner, illustrated by Rob Reger and Buzz Parker  I bought this book last year for my nine year old – it’s written for young adults, but we fell in love with the cats. After a quick flick through, there was no subject matter to worry Read More

louisewener

A novel to make your skin creep…

Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett Mr F has worked for 33 of his 47 years in the fur trade in 60s London and is a master cutter who takes pride in his work. A bachelor, he leads a strictly ordered life, running by a to the minute timetable that rarely deviates. It’s not a normal Read More

Direct Red

You need toughness to be a cutter …

Direct Red: A Surgeon’s Story by Gabriel Weston This slim book about becoming a surgeon is one of the best medical books I’ve ever read.  Some days as an interested bystander, I secretly wish I’d become a doctor – even a surgeon, but then seeing programmes on telly or reading books like this, I know Read More

Evermore (422x640)

Another OK-ish teen paranormal romance

The Immortals: Evermore by Alison Noel Let me tell you what I liked in this book: + There is a ghost that steals every scene she’s in; + The heroine has psychic powers that she struggles to control; + There are no vampires; + The heroine is not quite as squeaky clean as a certain Read More

fool

King Lear – the comedy version!

Fool by Christopher Moore It’s a brave man that takes on Shakespeare.  It’s an even braver one that takes a tragedy and makes a bawdy comedy of it!  Moore has taken a deep breath and re-told King Lear from the Fool’s perspective.  Now I’ve seen three different productions of Lear – it’s unrelentingly tragic, nary a chuckle Read More

Good man jesus scoundrel christ

The greatest ‘story’ ever told?

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman Storytelling is something that Philip Pullman cares about very much –  he told the audience so at the Oxford Literary Festival a week or so ago (link here). It is also immediately apparent when you start to read this book.  The language is very straight-forward, Read More

hollow

All Angst and No Action

The Hollow by Jessica Verday I liked the fact that The Hollow doesn’t have vampires or angels. Instead, it is linked to the ghostly apparitions of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the book itself being set in the same town. Then I started reading, and was immediately irritated by Abigail aka Abbey, who emphasises Read More

LOTR

The Two Towers – the LOTR Readalong month 3

LOTR: The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien It’s the end of month 3 of the LOTR readlong, and I’ve finished LOTR vol 2: The Two Towers . You can see what others thought via the Mr Linky on Teresa’s post at Shelflove, and you can see my comments on the first half of this book here, Read More