Category Archives: Authors J

‘The honey and cider-vinegar way to health’

Folk Medicine by D.C. Jarvis M.D. Sorting through a pile of old small size paperbacks that came from my mum’s, I came across this gem. My mum was fascinated by health matters in the press, and prone to believing in all sorts of fringe medicine. She had her hair tinted several shades lighter because she read that the browner the… Read more »

Meanwhile, over at Shiny…

I have two reviews from the past couple of weeks, I haven’t shared here yet… The Fatal Tree by Jake Arnott Jake Arnott’s novels are moving back in time. He started in the 1960s and 1970s with his Long Firm trilogy, (the first of which I reviewed here), then he moved back to WWII followed by the early years of… Read more »

A great comfort at year-end

Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook by Clive James Whatever is happening outside, a new book by Clive James is always a comfort to read – something you can’t say about many other (predominantly) non-fiction writers, except Bill Bryson. I grew up reading James’ TV reviews in the Observer every weekend – looking forward to the ways he was able to… Read more »

YA adventure in Revolutionary France

Blade and Bone by Catherine Johnson This book was published to coincide with October’s Black History Month, so I fear my review is a little late, however, better late than never and this was a YA book well worth reading. Blade and Bone is the sequel to Sawbones which is where we would have first met Ezra McAdam, a mulatto boy… Read more »

The Bookish Time Travel Tag!

I was tagged in this meme which is on it’s travels around the bookblogs by Kaggsy, but it was started by The Library Lizard. I couldn’t not give it a go… 1. What is your favourite historical setting for a book? If you did the stats on books I’ve read, it would probably come up with the 23rd century! That’s… Read more »

Books Are My Bag & a local book sale – My super Saturday book haul

It’s Books Are My Bag BAMB day at independent bookshops in the UK. Each year the BAMB team commission a limited edition bookbag. Last year was Grayson Perry’s typically challenging but great fun design – see right. This year, however, they have commissioned a bag you can take out without having to check which side is facing the public. This… Read more »

Reading as if his life depends on it…

This post has be republished in its original place in my blog’s time-line, having been ‘lost’ when I transferred my domain in 2016. Latest Readings by Clive James I was supposed to review this book for the latest issue of Shiny, but just couldn’t write it up in time, so Simon obliged with a review for Shiny (here), in which I was surprised… Read more »

Poor but mostly happy …

This Boy by Alan Johnson Politicians’ memoirs are not the norm for me to read when I choose non-fiction. Alan Johnson may be a fine politician, (and many think that Labour would be in a much better place if he had stood to become leader) but this volume doesn’t cover his later career, just his childhood, and what a childhood… Read more »

'Finishing' in 1930s Munich

Winter Games by Rachel Johnson Upon receiving Rachel Johnson’s latest novel, a  tale of toffs being ‘finished’ in pre-war Germany, I dove in straight away and devoured it. The cover refreshingly has a headed young woman with her face showing on, which makes a nice change to the usual headless or back views we’re subjected to these days. While far… Read more »

My Books of the Noughties

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends, and got everything you wished for. I’m still mid-way through the round of family visits, so here’s a post I prepared earlier. Yes it is a list – I’m going to inflict my Books of the Decade on you – all five star books, published in the… Read more »

In life, everything counts …

Addition by Toni Jordan This is another very unconventional love story, (see also Something Beginning With a few posts down). Grace has a form of OCD that makes her count everything and ritualise her life in numbers. This makes doing anything out of the ordinary worrying, and Grace is no longer able to work as a teacher. She lives on… Read more »

What did you do in the war Mum?

War Crimes For The Home by Liz Jensen The things normal people got up to in the war. Good girl Gloria falls for a GI and learns to be bad with disastrous consequences. Told in flashback, Gloria is now an old lady and installed in an old folks nursing home, as her son Hank thinks she has dementia or even… Read more »

A Trio of Five Star Books

As this is a new blog and we’re still getting to know each other, I thought I’d introduce you to a trio of the 5 star books I’ve read this year, so you can see some of the books I’ve really enjoyed reading. Fuller reviews can be found on my Librarything site – there’s a link to your right. The… Read more »