Monthly Archives: August 2010

Stalin & UFOs – a philosophical SF thriller

Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts. This novel was short-listed for the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction novels last year, but it’s really more of a philosophical thriller and a commentary on the fall of Communism than out and out science fiction.  It’s dark, thoughtful, thrilling and hilarious by turns and I loved it. It’s 1946 and the… Read more »

Boring Postcards redux

One of my favourite artbooks is Boring Postcards by Martin Parr. It elevates the worst examples of the humble picture postcard to art. You can see my 2009 post about the book here where I gave it five stars it was that good.  Another of the things I brought back from my Mum’s was her postcard collection.  Two big shoeboxes stuffed with every… Read more »

Boring Postcards redux 

One of my favourite artbooks is Boring Postcards by Martin Parr. It elevates the worst examples of the humble picture postcard to art. You can see my 2009 post about the book here where I gave it five stars it was that good. Another of the things I brought back from my Mum’s was her postcard collection. Two big shoeboxes stuffed with every postcard she’d ever… Read more »

In Praise of Good Old-Fashioned Autograph books

These days your average school leaver gets everyone to sign their shirt with marker pen on their last day as a souvenir of their time at school.  Turn the clock back a few decades and you reach the time when people kept autograph books, and their friends wrote silly little poems, or drew pictures, or even a sentimental verse.  I… Read more »

In Praise of Good Old-Fashioned Autograph books

These days your average school leaver gets everyone to sign their shirt with marker pen on their last day as a souvenir of their time at school. Turn the clock back a few decades and you reach the time when people kept autograph books, and their friends wrote silly little poems, or drew pictures, or even a sentimental verse. I… Read more »

I’m going against the trend here …

Hector & the Search for Happiness by François Lelord About a week ago I’d just started reading this book when Simon at Savidge Reads (him again!) posted about it.  Simon wasn’t keen, and it seems the majority of commenters weren’t either – finding it too cute and patronising, but I was rather enjoying it as did Rosy B at Vulpes Libris who has written… Read more »

Weekly Geeks – Reading from the decades.

Weekly Geeks is a bookish community site that posts weekly tasks for readers to participate in if they wish, and this week’s one is about examining a book (or books) which were published in your birth decade. Tell us about a book that came out in the decade you were born which you either loved or hated. Is is relevant… Read more »

A Cosy Mystery That Hits The Spot

M C Beaton, the pen-name of Marion Chesney, is a prolific author of cosy mysteries with two hit series to her name… You may be familiar with Agatha Raisin – a bossy urban sleuth who now lives in the Cotswolds and is delighted to stick her nose into things to keep busy. While I’ve read the first few ARs and enjoyed… Read more »

Air-freighted asparagus? Never again!

 How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee. I love popular science books and programmes.  As a trained scientist, who still does useful but not challenging science at work, (I’m a school lab technician), at best, these books are great at keeping the science bit of your brain ticking over while managing to also entertain, but… Read more »

Click-through clarity

While I clearly state on my ‘Info & Stuff’ page above, and mention from time to time in posts, I haven’t been shouting from the rooftops that when you click through on a book title link (or films etc), you’ll get taken to Amazon where you can order said item (or anything else for that matter) and I’ll get a… Read more »

When motherhood all gets too much?

The Point of Rescue by Sophie Hannah. Sally and Nick have two young children and they both work hard.  The year before, Sally was feeling the strain of juggling motherhood and her career, all the multi-tasking; she was desperate for a break from it all.  When a business trip fell through, she didn’t tell her husband. Instead she went off anyway… Read more »

For want of an old school tie?

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. This is the tale of an obsession that goes very wrong, and brews plans for thirteen years before the revenger wreaks absolute havoc by opening a closet full of skeletons that brings a community to its knees.  I’ll say at the outset that I loved this book. It’s… Read more »

An Evening with Sophie Hannah

Last night it was my great pleasure to go to a literary dinner in Abingdon hosted by that second home of mine(!) Mostly Books at a local hostelry – an Abingdon first I believe. The Mostly Booklovers club at the shop had been offered a list of authors who might be approached to give an after dinner talk, and Sophie… Read more »