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Not one, but two reworked fairy tales illustrated by Chris Riddell

I love Chris Riddell’s illustrations and children’s books. Amazingly he has only had one post to himself since I started this blog (see here), although he has featured in several others. Even here, he will be sharing this post with the two authors of some newly published reworked fairy tales… I had put these two Read More

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More Shiny linkiness …

It’s been a couple of weeks since Issue 3 of Shiny New Books went live, so I thought I’d highlight the other fiction reviews I wrote for it to you – I hope you’ll click through to read the whole pieces… At the moment, we’re busy putting together our Christmas special which will be out Read More

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"This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway … This is the road to hell"

The A26 by Pascal Garnier Quite a few bloggers (notably Stu and recently Guy) have already discovered and loved the novels of Pascal Garnier, the French author of some decidedly bleak, black comedies of the purest noir! Having acquired a couple of them, I picked his short novel The A26 to begin my own exploration. Set in Read More

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Top Ten Authors Whose Books I Own…

I don’t usually take part in the Top Ten weekly meme, but occasionally they and/or other regular memes will pick a topic that piques my interest. A couple of weeks ago the Top Ten topic was ‘The Top Ten Authors Whose Books I Own’. I’m glad they made the distinction between own and read! Thanks to Read More

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Half bad? Not at all … it’s all good!

Half Bad by Sally Green This is the latest teen crossover fantasy hit that everyone’s reading, The Hunger Games is so last year dahling! At first I was resistant, but when it was picked for our book group choice, I grasped the mettle and am really glad I did read it. If you read the blurb which Read More

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Thoughts on my header photo

I’ve been mostly writing reviews for Shiny New Books this week after finishing Frog Music, but wanted to write something on the blog for the weekend… My eye caught my header photo which when taken a few years ago, I compiled a shelf of favourite reads over the years, mostly those getting a full five stars from Read More

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Always read the small print!

Terms & Conditionsby Robert Glancy Frank has been in a car accident – it turns out it was a bad one, and he’s lost his memory*.  He can’t remember people, but can remember his job**.  He works for the family firm, chaired by his older brother Oscar♦. As he begins to remember things, he realises Read More

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A Trio of Short Reviews

I thought I’d sneak a couple of short book reviews into that week between Christmas and New Year.  Too bloated with turkey, booze and chocolate to concentrate on reading, I often find I’m scouring the web at this time for stuff to read and do! The Last Kings of Sark by Rosa Rankin-Gee This is Read More

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The grown-up conclusion to Garner’s Weirdstone trilogy

This post was republished into it’s original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. Boneland by Alan Garner Last month I was privileged to attend a lecture given by Alan Garner , and came home enthused to read everything he has written, starting with the ‘Weirdstone Trilogy’.  I’d read the first two books as Read More

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Rediscovering Alderley Edge’s Old Magic

This post was republished into it’s original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen & The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner After going to see a lecture given by Alan Garner, reported here, I naturally wanted to read more by him, and especially to (re)read the Weirdstone Trilogy. In Read More

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A lecture by Alan Garner

This post was republished into it’s original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. This week I went to see the ‘Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle-earth’,  exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford during its final days (it finishes tomorrow) – I’ve been meaning to go all summer ever since 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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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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Rewarding YA reading for Grown-ups! Let me persuade you…

I’m in my early fifties prime (!) and I’m not afraid to say that I love reading modern YA books now and then … but only good ones, naturally.  By using the term ‘YA’ here, I’m distinguishing them from those books we usually call ‘children’s classics’ (which still appeal to readers young and old alike).  I’m Read More

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A tale of motherhood across generations…

The Confidantby Hélène Grémillon, translated by Alison Anderson I got a letter one day, a long letter that wasn’t signed. This was quite an event, because I’ve never received much mail in my life. My letter box had never done anything more than inform me that the-sea-was-warm or that the-snow-was-good, so I didn’t open it Read More

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Finding one’s inner animal?

A Man in the Zoo & Lady into Fox by David Garnett Until I encountered the blogosphere, I had only ever encountered David Garnett (1892-1981) as the author of a novel that Andrew Lloyd-Webber based his musical Aspects of Love on. Garnett was part of the Bloomsbury Group. He was lover of Duncan Grant, and his second wife Read More

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Carnegie Longlist 2013

The longlist for the 2013 Carnegie Medal has been announced and I was please to see quite a few books I’ve already read on it, plus several in my TBR pile – and of course in an ideal world I’d like to read all of them! The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to an outstanding Read More

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A new heart of darkness?

The Devil’s Garden by Edward Docx Set primarily in the last inhabited river station up a tributary of the mighty Amazon, The Devil’s Garden conjures up strong visions and parallels. You immediately think of other ‘jungle’ novels – Heart of Darkness being the obvious one of course, and indeed they do share some heavy themes. Read More

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Through the keyhole …

Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About Youby Sam Gosling I defy any browsing bibliomane not to pick this book up on seeing the arrangements of books and comfy armchair through the keyhole on its cover! I’m sure that you, like me, sniff out the bookcases as soon as you go in someone’s house. If they Read More

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Short Takes on Two Short Stories…

I don’t read many short stories, but this week, I’ve happened to read two … The Small Miracleby Paul Gallico Published in  1951, Gallico’s story is a charming fable of faith and love about an orphan boy Pepino, and his donkey Violette. Pepino and Violette live in Assisi. They make ends meet by doing donkey Read More

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Henry Green Week – Party Going

Party Going by Henry Green It’s Henry Green Week hosted by Winston’s Dad.  Before Stu decided to champion this underappreciated British author, who mostly wrote in the second quarter of the 20th C, I’d never heard of him – but he’s quite a discovery… I bought an edition which collected three of his novels together – Read More

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Gaskella’s Books of the Year

It’s that time of year again, and I thought I’d highlight my top reads chosen from the 90 I’ve managed to read, so they’re not necessarily published this year. All the books I’ve chosen are ones I gave 9 or more out of ten to; I tend to be generous in my scoring, having given Read More

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Memories are made of this?

The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner Sally Gardner is moving up through the ages with her books. She started off with illustrating and writing picture books, then she wrote a series of Magical Children novels for younger readers, before writing several brilliant historical novels for older children (see my review of The Red Necklace here). Read More

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Dystopias R Us – Book Group Report

We had a  new first for our book group last night.  Because we just couldn’t choose a book to read in August two months back, we decided to try reading to a theme. You could choose whatever book you wanted to read as long as it featured a dystopian society. Firstly, what is a dystopia? Read More

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From Paradise to Hell …

This post was edited and republished into its original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive.   Lord of the Flies by William Golding Conceived, so I’ve read, as a response to the Utopian and rose-tinted worlds of Swallows and Amazons, and in particular, Ballantyne’s Coral Island, Golding’s Lord of the Flies, published in Read More