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Cook Quick tips from the 1950s

There’s something fascinating about period cookery books – I posted about my late mum’s Fanny Craddock books before, but whilst playing with my books the other day, I found another old cookbook – The Daily Telegraph Prize-winning Readers’ Recipes (with cook quick illustrations). There’s no date of publication, but it contains ‘Cook Quick’ methods from Read More

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“The extraordinary happens every day”

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness Having wept like a baby during reading Ness’s last crossover novel, A Monster Calls (my review here) – a story about a young boy coming to terms with love, death and grief, and incorporating magical elements and fables, The Crane Wife – his first full adult novel seems a natural progression. The Crane Read More

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An experiment in greed

This is my second post for Simon’s tribute to his late Gran – Greene for Gran. Last week I reviewed England Made Me, an early novel from 1935, which I hadn’t read before. This week, my second is Doctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb Party, one of his later books published in 1980, a Read More

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Gone Girl meets The Secret History – not quite, but a good try

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight When a novel sets itself up on the front cover to be compared to Gone Girl (my review here), and in other places I’ve seen it compared to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, it raises the bar rather high… Kate is a hard-working lawyer and single mum to teenage daughter Amelia, Read More

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Books in Bath and a French Farce

Yesterday my daughter and I went to Bath, it’s only an hour and a half from us, and the delights of the city are many. Yesterday was all about shopping, dining and theatre – we’ve done the heritage bit on previous visits.  We arrived in time for lunch (Nandos), then got stuck into shopping… One Read More

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Greene for Gran – “Something will turn up.”

I’m joining in Simon Savidge’s tribute to his late gran – Greene for Gran, reading one (or more) books by her favourite author during August. The first novel I’ve read is… England Made Me by Graham Greene I thought I’d read all of Greene’s novels, but I found one on my shelf that I hadn’t Read More

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“Let all the children boogie”

One of my daughter’s favourite programmes from the noughties was My Parents are Aliens which ran on Children’s ITV from 1999-2006. In it a pair of marooned Valuxians morph into humans and adopt three orphaned children in an attempt to fit in, and experience many funny things as they learn what it is to be human. Read More

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Extra/Ordinary Stuff!

1000 Extra/ordinary Objects by Taschen I have long admired German publisher Taschen’s affordable art and design books – I have quite a few in my library on favourite artists (Hopper, various Pop Artists, etc). To celebrate their 25th anniversary, they produced a series of books, and 1000 Extra/Ordinary objects (note the slash) is one of them. Read More

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Actor, Lover, Soldier, Spy!

Waiting for Sunrise  by William Boyd I was surprised to find that Waiting for Sunrise was the first novel by William Boyd that I’ve reviewed on the blog – I feel as if I know him better than I do, thanks to excellent TV adaptations of his books Restless and Any Human Heart in recent years, but Read More

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Living a lie …

A Virtual Loveby Andrew Blackman We all present different faces to different people: dutiful family member; one of the lads or girls with friends; several faces at work (often depending whether we’re talking to someone higher or lower on the pecking order); potential mate; and our online alter ego, to list but a few. They Read More

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A dreamlike novel of longing

Glaciers by Alexis M Smith I couldn’t resist the cover of this short novel the moment I spotted it, and felt it – you can’t see the embossing of figure, her bicycle and the title. There’s a sunny hopeful quality to the cover, and it matches the story perfectly. This debut novel is short with just Read More

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Bought it on Wednesday, read it by Friday, blogged on Saturday

Alex by Pierre Lemaitre Translated by Frank Wynne Alex is one of those thrillers that has been quietly gathering a word of mouth momentum since its publication earlier this year. Now the paperback is out, it is going to go stratospheric as Gone Girl did, (my review of that here). A French teacher friend has been recommending Alex to our book Read More

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Nice little surprises

It’s lovely when you get a nice little surprise (or ‘pleasing’ as Lynne at DGR would call them). I’ve had a couple of good bookish ones this morning. Firstly, I unpacked my acquisitions from the charity shop yesterday. I know I don’t need books, but my daughter was having her hair cut, and what was Read More