From Here to Eternity – first thoughts …

One of the books I’m currently reading is James Jones’s doorstop of a novel From Here to Eternity.  First published in 1951, it’s set in Hawaii, and follows the peacetime exploits of G company in the months immediately preceding Pearl Harbor and the USA’s entry into WWII in 1941. It has just been republished with Read More

“Echoed voices in the night she’s a restless spirit on an endless flight”

Babayagaby Toby Barlow Toby Barlow’s debut, Sharp Teeth, which I capsule-reviewed back in the early days of this blog should have really appeared in my Top novels I’ve read by men post from a couple of days ago. His Sopranos-style story of gang warfare amongst the werewolves in LA, written in the form of a prose Read More

A tale of two Richards …

Lion Heart by Justin Cartwright Richard I was a king I know very little about. The sum total of my knowledge comprises little more than knowing that he went on the crusades to the Holy Land, his mother was Eleanor of Acquitaine, and the minstrel Blondel was supposedly involved in his release from imprisonment in an Read More

There was I, ready to cull some books …

… when I got totally distracted after only consigning one book to the charity shop pile by this little gem… Pistache by Sebastian Faulks. Originating from the BBC Radio 4 literary quiz, The Right Stuff, each week contestants would do a little party piece at the end of the show as one writer attempting the style Read More

Rule Britannia …

Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe I’ve long been a fan of Jonathan Coe, enjoying all of the books of his that I’ve read so far, from the broad comedy of What a carve up, to the heartbreak of The Rain Before it Falls, via the 1970s revisited in The Rotter’s Club. I was lucky enough Read More

“If a loving yuh looking for yuh buck upon the right one”

Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo. This novel has gone straight into my shortlist of books of the year – I loved every single page.  It is both hilariously funny yet compassionate and bittersweet, and eminently quotable. Meet sharp-suited seventy-four year old Barrington Jedidiah Walker, who emigrated from Antigua in the 1960s and has lived in Hackney Read More

What a nasty yet unputdownable novel! Book group report …

I didn’t mean to leave such a gap between posting – but that first week back at school is always a killer.  The kittens don’t help either, those attention-seeking little bundles of fluff! Still, I have been reading and have more books read to write up, which is a good thing as I’ve just started Read More

Crimes & Casinos, Miami & Puerto Rico – R.I.P. Elmore Leonard

I was sad to hear of the death of Elmore Leonard a week and a half ago. He was 87, and had suffered a stroke earlier in the month. He was one of my favourite crime writers. I liked him particularly for his ability to make me laugh and of course for his distinct style Read More