Category Archives: Authors R

Love among the penguins – Q&A with Midge Raymond

my_last_continent_500

My Last Continent by Midge Raymond Today, I’m delighted to be a stop on Midge Raymond‘s blog tour for her fabulous novel My Last Continent from Text Publishing, which is an adventure romance set in Antarctica. Deb and Keller meet as researchers for a few weeks each year to study the penguins while working for an educational cruise company. Theirs is… Read more »

There’s a girl works down the chip shop swears she knows whodunnit…

v for violet

V for Violet by Alison Rattle This is Alison Rattle’s fourth YA novel, and it’s a bit of a departure, the other three having been set in the Victorian era. I read and reviewed her second, The Madness, for Shiny New Books (see here), and I enjoyed the doomed romance between classes which turns to obsession a lot. She’s moved… Read more »

Learning to let go …

last act of love

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize (read more about that here), Cathy Rentzenbrink’s book about her and her brother is the kind of memoir that hits you with a wallop. Once started, it won’t let go – I read it in one sitting, going from shock to being very emotional, yet ended I… Read more »

Meg Rosoff at the Oxford Literary Festival

meg ala

This Wednesday evening I was back in the vaulted delights of the Bodleian Divinity School (where I’d been on Monday).  It was a sheer delight to be in the disappointingly small, but very lovely, audience to hear Meg Rosoff talk about her latest novel in conversation with Suzie Feay. I suspect that if Meg’s latest novel had been ‘YA’ the hall… Read more »

Celebrating medicine, the human condition, illness and health…

wellcome shortlist

The Wellcome Book Prize Yesterday I was privileged to attend a lovely ‘Bloggers Brunch’ at the Wellcome Collection in London to celebrate the shortlist for the Wellcome Book Prize.  Let me tell you a little about the background to this before I describe the event. The Wellcome Trust, which was founded in 1936 is “an independent global charitable foundation dedicated to… Read more »

A novel that refuses to settle down…

Tom rachman 2nd novel

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman Thirty-one year old Tooly Zylberberg is trying to read a book in the loss-making second-hand bookshop that she had bought in a village known as World’s End, just over the Welsh border. Their business plan had been to subsist on spillover custom from the annual literary festival in nearby Hay-on-Wye, and the… Read more »

Getting Hygge …

year of living danishly

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell This was our book group’s read for January, chosen when our of our group had just come back from Copenhagen enthusiastic to learn more about the Danish way of life. The whole group enjoyed reading it – it’s very easy and the author has a nice line in self-deprecation. We also found… Read more »

My Books of the Year 2014 – Part Two – The Blog edit

Yesterday I shared my best reads of 2014 as reviewed for Shiny New Books. Today, I turn my attention to titles reviewed here. The links will return you to my full reviews: – Best Retro-Subversive Laugh-Out-Loud Book Discovering Scarfolk by Richard Littler So nearly my book of the year, Discovering Scarfolk is just hilarious! Stuck firmly in the 1970s world of public… Read more »

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 banging the drum, but I’m… Read more »

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 books to the top of… Read more »

They were soldiers…

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Translated by Brian Murdoch This remarkable novel about young German soldiers in WWI was our book group’s read for August; I had pushed strongly for a WWI-related choice for the month of the 100th anniversary of the war’s start. Several of us had already read some of Pat Barker’s Regeneration… Read more »

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 for the books selected, like… Read more »

Watching the detectives …

Hawthorn and Childby Keith Ridgway This is one of those strange novels that is not quite what it seems; at times it insinuates itself into your being so that you almost feel part of the story, at others you’re left outside the action observing from afar, and sometimes you can’t get your head around it at all. Since its publication in… Read more »

One for the new year …

The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice Take one big happy family; add some horses, a big country manor in Cornwall, plus doses of first love which doesn’t go easily. Shake it up and relocate to London; mix with rock’n’roll and serve with love again. This is the essential recipe for Eva Rice’s new novel, a thick and satisfying… Read more »

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, plus a few close-run titles… Read more »

Stalin & UFOs – a philosophical SF thriller

Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts. This novel was short-listed for the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction novels last year, but it’s really more of a philosophical thriller and a commentary on the fall of Communism than out and out science fiction.  It’s dark, thoughtful, thrilling and hilarious by turns and I loved it. It’s 1946 and the… 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 »

Short Takes

AnnaBookBel   September 27, 2009   No Comments on Short Takes

Catching up on some shorter reviews … Amulet by Roberto Bolano To paraphrase the Cranberries album title, Everybody else is reading it, so why can’t I? – I’ve finally read some Roberto Bolano. He is definitely the flavour of the moment; his posthumously published epic 2666 is generating acres of discussion and review. However I wanted to read something shorter… Read more »

A true story of the Russian Revolution

Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick There has been renewed interest in the beloved children’s author Arthur Ransome lately due to the publication of a new biography: The Last Englishman by Roland Chambers. What many people don’t know is that years before he wrote the children’s classics, including Swallows and Amazons, for which he is so fondly remembered, he… Read more »

Superstition and fear – Your worst enemies in Puritan times…

Witch Child by Celia Rees Right at the beginning of this remarkable novel, Mary’s grandmother is tortured, tried and dies for being branded a ‘witch’. Rees lets you know exactly what was in store for the poor women who as healers, herbalists and midwives, were routinely denounced as witches when something went wrong in the superstitious Puritan times. Mary is… Read more »