Monthly Archives: May 2016

Beryl and Summer Reading Challenges

I need to get a wiggle on, as my friend Suzanne would say – for soon the return of Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week will be upon me. I still have plenty of Beryl’s novels to read but I also plan to re-read a couple that I read many years ago, alongside fitting as many as I can in of the others. I… Read more »

An evening with Vaseem Khan

Last night I went to Mostly Books to hear Vaseem Khan talk about his two crime novels featuring Inspector Chopra which are set in Mumbai. I didn’t have time to read one of the books before the event, but any novel that begins: On the day that he was due to retire, Inspector Ashwin Chopra discovered that he had inherited an elephant…. Read more »

A Soviet Adventure with Dennis Wheatley

The Forbidden Territory by Dennis Wheatley Earlier this year I reported on an afternoon spent at the Groucho Club arranged by literary agents PFD, hearing about the novels of Dennis Wheatley (and John Creasey).  I finally managed to make time to read a Wheatley … The Forbidden Territory was Wheatley’s first published novel in 1933. It was an instant bestseller and as the first in… Read more »

Pitch: The Time Bandits in Hawaii?

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig Nix Song lives on a tall ship with her father and small band of fiercely loyal crew, refugees from time. Captain Slate is able to ‘navigate’ the ship through time to any where, but only if he has a true and dated map – and each map only works once. He is searching… Read more »

My TBR Rainbow

Having lost a lot of posts and comments when I moved webhosts, I’m reblogging them, grouping together sometimes. Thus, seven of my TBR Rainbow posts have been combined and edited into just one below. This series originally ran between mid-March and the end of May. * * * * * This morning while sitting in bed reading (with cat, naturellement),… Read more »

The story of a novel and how I got a quote inside it…

What If the Queen Should Die? by John-Paul Flintoff Today, my special subscriber’s copy of another Unbound book arrived. Unbound are a crowd-funding publisher – read my interview with them for Shiny New Books here to find out more. Once you’ve pledged to one book, it’s very tempting to pledge to another… and another. This is the fourth I’ve pledged to which have… Read more »

Mavis Cheek Blog Tour

Dog Days by Mavis Cheek Today I’m delighted to be a stop on Mavis Cheek‘s blog tour celebrating the new Ipso Books e-book editions of some of her backlist titles, of which her 1990 novel Dog Days is the latest (my review below). It has been some years since I’ve read any of Mavis’s novels, but I do remember chuckling my way through Mrs. Fytton’s Country Life (2000) and Getting Back Brahms (1997). Three… Read more »

Too cryogenically cool to love outright

Zero K by Don DeLillo I’m not entirely new to reading Don DeLillo. I like the idea of reading DeLillo and I have read the first quarter of his 1971 debut, Americana, for my Annabel’s Shelves project. I was really enjoying it; it started well – we were introduced to top TV executive David Bell – who, if he’d been an ad-man, would have been Mad… Read more »

One Man and His Dog

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume This novel, by Anglo-Irish author, Sara Baume, published last year and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, was our book group read this month. It’s fair to say that it was selected more by default than design – we’d all come to book group a little jaded with nothing in mind to suggest and… Read more »

Coming of age in Hollywood

A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O’Brien Many book bloggers are fans of the NYRB Classics, and I think I first heard about this short novel from Thomas a tHogglestock and promptly acquired a copy which has sat on my shelves for a while – until encouraged by comments on my yellow TBR pile post to read it by Jacquiwine.  Guy Savage and Max… Read more »

French, comic and dark – it’s a Pascal Garnier story…

Too Close to the Edge by Pascal Garnier Translated by Emily Boyce The dark short novels of Pascal Garnier have been a revelation for me (find out more here) so, the moment I got my hands on the latest to be translated by French to English specialists Gallic books, I just had to read it. He is often described as Simenon’s… Read more »

More from the pre-blog archives…

Back to book reviews soon, but for the bank holiday I decided to revisit some more of the capsule reviews I wrote for myself in my mega-spreadsheet which I started pre-blog and still keep going. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart Feb 2008: The story of Merlin’s youth up to the birth of Arthur. I read this many years ago as… Read more »