61MOE5dGrsL

Lighten up Anita

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton I am profoundly aware that I often read books in the wrong order. I’m not referring to books in a series here though – I always prefer to start from the beginning with them; instead I’m talking about influence. This means for instance that it was forty years before I Read More

61MOE5dGrsL

Is the day of the encyclopedia on the shelf over?

Dear Readers, I’m in a quandary. Twenty years ago, with the aid of a legacy from my late great-aunt, I invested in a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  Leather bound with gilt page edges, and 32 volumes – it cost me over £1200 back then. Britannica itself has now stopped publishing the print edition, concentrating Read More

Rosie project

Perfect holiday rom-com reading …

This post was republished into my blog’s original timeline from my lost posts archive. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion It’s not often that you know you’re going to love a book within the first few pages, but with The Rosie Project, that was never in question for me. It is the story of Don Tillman, a Read More

61MOE5dGrsL

A novel of love, war, betrayal and stiff upper lip

Some Day I’ll Find You by Richard Madeley Richard Madeley slightly surprised everyone in 2008 when he published his successful memoir Fathers and Sons which explored male familial relationships through the mirror of his own. Despite journalistic roots, it was somewhat unexpected that one of the most successful daytime TV hosts and champion of the Richard Read More

61MOE5dGrsL

A quiet novel with emotional depth

The Cleaner of Chartresby Salley Vickers The seventh novel by Salley Vickers, The Cleaner of Chartres is the story of orphan foundling Agnès Morel, and the people who come into her life. Before introducing us to Agnès, the novel begins by telling us about the great cathedral, how it burned and was rebuilt by an Read More

61MOE5dGrsL

An evening with Salley Vickers

Salley Vickers, the best-selling author of Miss Garnet’s Angel, and her latest novel The Cleaner of Chartres is an absolutely fascinating person. We were lucky enough to have her visit Abingdon yesterday evening where she talked about her books in interview with Mark Thornton from Mostly Books Salley, (named we found out from the WB Yeats Read More

61MOE5dGrsL

Meet Mr Sulky

Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard, translated by David McClintock When Stu announced he would host Thomas Bernhard Reading Week this week, I first thought ‘Who?’. Just a little research revealed that he was considered one of Austria’s leading writers of the post-war era, and he was also rather controversial for constantly criticising Austria – a Nestbeschmutzer (one Read More

61MOE5dGrsL

A French crime novel of character…

The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas, translated by Sian Reynolds This was our bookgroup read for June into July, the first roman policier, and an award-winning one too, by frenchwoman Fred Vargas – Fred being short for Frédérique.  Vargas is an archaeologist and historian and, with Reynolds as her translator, won three successive CWA International Dagger awards for Read More