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Q&A with Jane Thynne, author of ‘Black Roses’

Back in March, I reviewed a fabulous romantic thriller set in pre-WWII Germany. Black Roses by Jane Thynne is the story of Clara Vine, a young actress who goes to Berlin to pursue a film career and ends up as a British spy and confidante of Magda Goebbels, the infamous First Lady of the Third Reich. Read More

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A Tale of Two Women in 1930s Berlin

Black Roses by Jane Thynne Remembering Jane Thynne’s columns and reviews in the Daily Telegraph, and having read that she is married to thriller writer Philip Kerr, I had high hopes of her new novel, set in Berlin during the years preceding WWII. I wasn’t disappointed, for Black Roses is a brilliant historical thriller based Read More

Desert Island Books

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

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Book v Movie: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (republished into its original place in the time-line from my lost post archive) I went to see the film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen this afternoon based on the brilliant 2006 book by Paul Torday. I read the book last year and loved it, (review here), so I was crossing my fingers that Read More

Killer Inside Me

For blacker than black, read super-noir

This post was republished into my blog’s original timeline from my lost posts archive. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson Scene: A diner in Central City, Texas; it’s the early 1950s.  A man walks up to the counter to pay his bill… The proprietor shoved back my money and laid a couple of cigars on Read More

Rules of Civility

Playing by the rules …

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles Scene: New York City, 1966 – an elderly couple, Katey and Val, are at a gallery viewing of photographs, all taken of passengers on the subway over many years. The same man occurs in two photos, but in obviously different circumstances years apart. Katey recognises him – it’s Tinker Grey… Read More

Salmon fishing

The spirit of Sir Humphrey lives on …

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (republished into its original place in the time-line from my lost post archive) This was our Book Group choice to read in May, and all those who made it, enjoyed this book. There were different degrees of love ranging from a good read to fantastic, but no-one Read More

Teller Nesbo Sabato

3 shorter reviews – Nesbo – Sabato – Teller

This post was edited and republished into my blog’s original timeline from my lost post archive.   The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, foreword by Colm Tóibín Ernesto Sabato died recently, just two months short of his one hundredth birthday.  He was regarded as one of the greats of Argentinian literature,  having Read More

midweekmisc

A Miscellany of Gaskella’s 2010 Midweek Miscellany posts

In 2010,  I used to do a regular(ish) Midweek Miscellany post – full of bits and pieces. As I’ve been adding back all the reviews lost in the transfer process from old blog to new, what to do with posts like these has become a bit of a quandary, as some of these snippets are Read More

The Swimmer Tearne

Home is where the heart is

The Swimmer by Roma Tearne The village of Orford, near Aldeburgh in Suffolk is not used to foreigners.  Someone’s killing animals by slitting their throats, and everyone is concerned about terrorists in their midst. Ria, a poet, lives in relative isolation in  her late uncle’s cottage by the coast in Suffolk – it’s home.  Eric, a Read More

LOTR

LOTR Readalong – The Final Post

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Vol 3 by JRR Tolkien. This month was the last part of the LOTR Readalong and everyone’s final thoughts can be found at Just Add Books. Having finished all 1076 pages of the three volumes of LOTR plus the Hobbit I think I’m going to miss Read More

LOTR

The Two Towers – the LOTR Readalong month 3

LOTR: The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien It’s the end of month 3 of the LOTR readlong, and I’ve finished LOTR vol 2: The Two Towers . You can see what others thought via the Mr Linky on Teresa’s post at Shelflove, and you can see my comments on the first half of this book here, Read More

LOTR

LOTR Readalong Month 3 – Midway through the Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers Vol 2 by JRR Tolkien It’s month 3 of the LOTR Readalong in which we’re reading vol 2 – The Two Towers. (here are links to  my posts for month 2, month 1 and introduction) This month the readalong is hosted by Teresa at Shelf Love and she has Read More

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An evening with Roma Tearne

Brixton Beach Book Group I went to an author event with a difference last night. Roma Tearne, author of  Brixton Beach which I reviewed here agreed to join in a book group discussion at Mostly Books and I was able to join in with the regular book group.  We all met and discussed the book for Read More

The Bookman Lavie Tidhar

Lizard Kings, Pirates & the Mechanical Turk

The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar Steampunk is a difficult category to get to grips with sometimes with its spec fiction take on Victorian England with added fantasy elements. Tidhar’s The Bookman has a great premise – a terrorist is setting off bombs in London hidden in books and unfortunately one of them blows up Lucy, the Read More

LOTR

LOTR Readalong Month Two: The Fellowship of the Ring

It’s the end of the second month of the Tolkien LOTR Readlong (see more here) and after starting with The Hobbit (my post here)  we’re onto the main event and I’ve now finished LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring.  This month Clare at The Literary Omnivore is hosting, if you want to check others’ progress, Read More

brixton-beach

A Gripping Novel of Sri Lanka and London

Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne Roma Tearne’s new novel is one of the books chosen for the C4 TV Book Club, it’ll be featured at the end of February. Although I thought it looked interesting, I hadn’t been in a hurry to read it, but then the publisher offered me a copy as the Oxford-based author Read More

Chime of City Clock pbk

Down and ‘borassic’ in 1930s London

At the Chime of a City Clock by D J Taylor Taylor’s novel is a cleverly portrayed slice of 30s noir. It’s set in the seedy backstreets of London in 1931. James Ross is an aspiring writer, but there’s no chance of making a living at it. He lives in London’s seedy Bayswater and his Read More

Desert Island Books

The LOTR Readalong

I’ve joined a readalong! I don’t usually do challenges or readalongs, as I have enough personal literary challenges in my reading resolutions without joining in any others. Also, like Simon at Savidgereads, I’m a big fan of what he calls “whimsical reading” and not over-tying myself into pre-planned reading. However, one of my reading resolutions Read More

Desert Island Books

Richard III – Dastardly murderer or totally misunderstood?

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey  Most people if asked, including me, would think of Richard III as the hunchback who murdered the princes in the tower. Our information generally comes from Sir Thomas More’s hatchet-job of him by way of Shakespeare and Laurence Olivier or Anthony Sher with a crutch capering around the stage. Read More

Desert Island Books

A vivid dissection of middle-class life

In a Summmer Season by Elizabeth Taylor Many have told me that I should read the books of Elizabeth Taylor – an author I’d not heard of until the publication of Nicola Beauman’s recent biography The Other Elizabeth Taylor by the wonderful Persephone Books. Published in 1961, it follows one summer in the lives of a Read More

Desert Island Books

“Always winter and never Christmas” in this dystopia

I must admit to a liking for books featuring dystopian futures. It’s really interesting to see what different authors do with the world left after the breakdown of society. Surprisingly then, I’ve yet to read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but it has gone up the list. In Far North by Marcel Theroux – Siberia has been Read More

Desert Island Books

The Island at the End of the World by Sam Taylor

This book is definitely one of those love it or loathe it novels. You’ll either love it – for the clever plotting and gradual reveal of what has happened to its family, or loathe it primarily because many chapters are written in eight year old Finn’s phonetic speaking voice, where things like changing an ‘a’ Read More