Italian Girl

My Books of the Year 2014 – Part One – the Shiny Edit…

This year for the first time, I’ve split my best of list in two. Having read around 130 books this year, there are too many to feature in just one post and there is an obvious split – today’s first part will feature those books that I’ve reviewed over at Shiny New Books.  Forgive me for continually Read More

Italian Girl

Three Slightly Shorter Reviews

I’ve got a series of posts lined up for the week in between Christmas and New Year with my hits, misses, finds and stats, so it’s time to catch up with my review pile backlog and some shorter reviews… The Undertaker’s Daughter by Kate Mayfield For anyone who loved the TV series Six Feet Under, Read More

Italian Girl

Christmas Shiny Linkiness …

Today, I’d like to direct you over to my reviews in the Shiny New Books Christmas Inbetweeny.  By the way, have you tried our Shiny Advent Quiz yet? Ideal as a post-prandial competition… But back to my reviews as these books are all too good to leave off mentioning here too: The Islanders by Pascal Read More

Italian Girl

A new historical saga – not for me…

The Brethren by Robert Merle I love the idea of getting stuck into reading an historical saga, I really do. I know I can do sagas spread over many novels – just not historical ones it seems. In particular, I started reading Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles with good intentions here but never progressed onto the Read More

Italian Girl

The Intruders were in my TBR!…

The Intruders by Michael Marshall British author Marshall began writing stylish SF novels as Michael Marshall Smith – winning the Philip K Dick Award for his debut Only Forward, which I’ve been meaning to re-read for years! After a few more, he dropped the ‘Smith’ and moved into the world of creepy thrillers winning plaudits Read More

Italian Girl

My new reviews at Shiny New Books

The third issue of Shiny New Books came out on Monday. Now it’s time for me to highlight some of my reviews that appear therein and point you in their direction. As it ended up, I didn’t write as many reviews for this edition, but I shall still split them into a few posts in Read More

how-to-build-a-girl

“We gotta get out of this place…”

This post was republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran I’ll start up front by saying that this book is one of the sweariest, wankiest, shaggiest stories I’ve ever read, and it’s narrated by a teenager who is just fourteen at the outset. The Read More

Magnus MIlls Explorers

A novel about men and their ‘work’ – it must be Magnus Mills!

This post was republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive Explorers of the New Century by Magnus Mills Mills fifth novel is another very dark and subversive comedy about his speciality – men and their work.  This time though, it’s not about manual labourers, white van-men, bus drivers or any of their Read More

Morrissey

‘November spawned a monster’?

This post was combined from two and republished into it’s original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. Autobiography by Morrissey First thoughts: Is anyone planning to read Autobiography by Morrissey? I’ve got a copy, and am admitting to feeling daunted by it. The opening lines go like this: My childhood is streets upon Read More

Italian Girl

A master class in the art of stand-up

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin In the 1970s, Steve Martin was one of the US’s top comedians, playing sell-out tours to huge audiences, and regularly appearing on Saturday Night Live and the Johnny Carson Show. After eighteen years, worn out by it, and noticing the first empty seats in an audiences Read More

Italian Girl

Back-Blogging – Five old posts about …

As I’m currently: only 88 pages into my current 470 page read, going out twice this week, and busy at work too, so it could be a few days before I have a book to review… so I thought I’d have a quick delve into my archives. To make it more fun, I’ve chosen a linking subject Read More

Italian Girl

Gaskella's Books of 2012

Today is one of those dates that can only happen once every hundred years – 12-12-12, so it’s an ideal time to review my reading year. Yes, in common with many other bloggers, critics and reviewers I’ve picked out the best bits, so here are my personal top ten books that I’ve read in 2012, Read More

I am Legend

One man against a world of vampires …

This post was republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson I am Legend was first published in 1954; it was Matheson’s third novel. His fourth would go on to make cinematic history – The Shrinking Man would become a huge film hit as The Incredible Shrinking Man in 1957.  I remember adoring Read More

Miller and miller

Two novels, two different Millers…

This post was combined and republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. Snowdrops by A D Miller I bought this debut novel at the beginning of the year.  It’s had a lot of interest even before it was Booker longlisted. Trying to ignore the hype, I dove in. It’s a tale of Read More

Peirene 5

The spirit of Hemingway lives on…

Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan van Mersbergen translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson There’s no mistaking it – Tomorrow Pamplona is a very masculine novel. It combines boxing and bull-running with two men on a road-trip; but thankfully, there is much more to it than just those testosterone-fuelled scenarios. With these subjects, you can’t not compare it to Read More

3 April 2011

3 from April 2011 Set in the USA – Waite – Millar – Kwok

The Terror of Living by Urban Waite – A fine backwoods thriller… It was the quote from Daniel Woodrell, an author of whom I’m a huge fan, on the cover that made me instantly want to read this book, a debut novel set in the backwoods border country near Seattle.  To all outward appearances it’s a crime thriller, Read More

In the country of men

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar

Republished into my blogs original timeline from my lost posts archive Growing up with Gaddafi Since the escalation of political unrest in Libya recently, the author of this 2006 Booker shortlisted novel has been in demand to comment about living under Gaddafi – something he is particularly well placed to do.  His own family fled Libya Read More

Moby Dick

A Whale of a book – I finally read Moby Dick

From Jan 2011: Moby Dick by Herman Melville This was our Book Group’s choice for our Christmas  2010 read – we always tackle a classic over the festive season. This time we couldn’t decide between ourselves, so everyone threw a suggestion in the hat and this came out. Moby Dick is one of those books I always planned Read More

object-beauty (1)

Art is a commodity not for looking at!

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin Steve Martin’s latest novel is not funny. He plays it straight in An Object of Beauty as the world chronicled within is so full of self-parody that there’s little need to add extra layers of satire to achieve a certain sort of vicious comedy. Set in New York Read More

peyton-place

Everybody here has a secret…

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious This was our book group choice for October, and what a good one it was, for everyone who finished reading the book loved it. This is the book that set the benchmark for every soap opera and drama of small town America that followed, and it’s almost shocking to find Read More

living-dead-2

Black magic in Madchester

To the Devil: A Diva! by Paul Magrs. Magrs is the author of the totally wonderful Brenda & Effie series of novels, gentle comic paranormal mysteries set around Whitby – Never the Bride is the first, and I gave it ten out of ten – but don’t take just my word for it – Juxtabook and Savidge Readsboth adored it too. After so Read More

Mozart Question

How music can save your life …

The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo Previously included in a collection of autobiographical writings and short stories (Singing for Mrs Pettigrew: A Storymaker’s Journey), the The Mozart Question was later published separately as an edition lavishly illustrated by Michael Foreman’s hazy watercolours. The former Children’s Laureate, Morpurgo, tells a simple tale about an important subject… A young reporter gets Read More