The new look Shiny is here!

The new style Shiny New Books is back with new reviews for you We have a new site design and a new way of sharing our content with our readers. We’re changing from our former ‘magazine’ format, in which we published lots of new pages in big batches every couple of months (and giving you too much to read in… Read more »

Why being ‘Messy’ is good for you…

Messy by Tim Harford Tim Harford is a senior columnist at the Financial Times but radio listeners may know him from his programme on BBC Radio 4 – More Or Less – in which he explores, explains and debunks the statistics in everyday life.  His programme is one of my favourites. (Try this episode in which he (re)analyses the apparent… Read more »

A debut with a great concept…

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan Laura, reeling from the break-up of her marriage to Vince, goes to work as an assistant to ageing short story author or renown, Anthony Peardew. “When he had interviewed her all those years ago, he had been a tall, muscular man with a full head of dark hair, tanzanite eyes and a… Read more »

I’m still reviewing books read in 2016…

With concentrating on best of posts after Christmas, I got seriously behind reviewing books the I’d read, so here is a ‘twofer’ finishing up my fiction list and leaving just one non-fiction book read in 2016 left to review… The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent Translated by Ros Schwartz Guylain Vignolles is a man of habit. He catches… Read more »

“City of stars Are you shining just for me?”

Some thoughts on La La Land I wasn’t going to write a post about La La Land. but after talking about it to an increasing number of friends who’ve now seen it, and nearly all been slightly disappointed/didn’t really like it, I feel compelled to get some thoughts on the page… because I loved it! I didn’t love it unreservedly, but… Read more »

‘Carrison’ and ‘A New Hope’

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher Like the whole world, I was totally shocked to hear of Carrie Fisher’s heart-attack, then death over Christmas, followed by her mother Debbie Reynolds just one day later. I’d bought this volume the week it came out, and had just started to read it when I heard of her heart-attack. Carrie Fisher was one… Read more »

A Talking Head talks about music

How Music Works by David Byrne This book was the highlight of my splurge of non-fiction reading in December. David Byrne, founder and idiosyncratic front man of Talking Heads – one of the best punky/art-rock bands there has ever been, friend and collaborator with Brian Eno and Robert Fripp amongst others, could never be expected to write a conventional memoir… Read more »

The Six Degrees of Separation Meme: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hosted each month by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, this meme picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six steps. (Here’s my one for last month starting at Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.) This month the starting book is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. 1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson…. Read more »

Two shorter reviews…

Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey This account of a woman becoming afflicted by, and then having to live with extreme photosensitivity is completely harrowing, but suffused with dark humour. The author was enjoying life and had met the love of her life when she started to get burning sensations on her skin after screen-use and sun exposure, Soon… 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 »

Happy New Year!

AnnaBookBel   January 1, 2017   9 Comments on Happy New Year!

Famous last words, but as I said yesterday, 2017 is the year i plan to: Read where the mood takes me! However, I do have loads of reviews left to post of books too interesting to forget about read at the end of last year, so I’ll be playing catch-up whilst getting into my new year of reading. Also Harriet and… Read more »

Looking forward to 2017

I’m not good at challenges and planning ahead of my reading – see all my project tabs up top and the last time I updated them!  Hence my main reading resolution for 2017 has a new mantra: Read where the mood takes me. However, I can qualify that a bit: Having taken over as one of the hosts of the TBR… Read more »

Year end review #4: The Stats

I’ve been number-crunching on my master spreadsheet and yes, It’s time to share my year’s stats with you!  These are accurate to book 139 or 140 on my 2016 reading list on the tab above. The amount I’m reading has been gradually going up year on year, as I watch less telly, do less sewing and go to bed to read… Read more »

Year end review #3: Books of the Year

At the time of writing, I’ve read 140 titles this year – a record and there’ll be some analysis of them in my year end stats post (I know you look forward to those 😉 ). 2016 may be an annus horribilus on the outside, but inside I’ve had my head stuck in a book for a fantastic year of… Read more »

Year end review #2: Reading Disappointments

The DNFs (Did Not Finish) A big fat zero!  I have always had problems giving up on books, but occasionally I can bring myself to do it. However, this year – this hasn’t happened, despite a few disappointing reads detailed below. Reasons why?  Some were review copies (mainly for Amazon Vine) that I was obliged to review. In order to… Read more »

Year end review #1: Best Discoveries

Today in the first part of my review of the year, I’m going to highlight the new to me authors that have made themselves must-reads for the future. My first is a Frenchman. In fact, I discovered several new Frenchmen in 2016, including Frédéric Dard and Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, and wonderful as they both are from the single books I’ve read… Read more »

The Best Bookpost…

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster   Just had to share this one with you, because a new book by Paul Auster is a cause for much excitement for me, it’s the first for seven years.  4 3 2 1, which weighs in a 1.25kg and has 880 pages, will be published at the end of January – I’m… Read more »

Two shorter non-fic reviews

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately – including some absolute crackers that deserve a whole post to themselves – and I don’t mind saving them to write about for the new year. Meanwhile, today I have two shorter non-fic reviews for you… Set Phasers to Stun by Marcus Berkmann If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll… Read more »

My Life According to Books I Have Read

Rather than do the first lines meme that’s currently going around, I thought I’d resurrect another old one which is also good fun… Using only books you have read this year, answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title. It’s a lot harder than you think! * Describe Yourself: Shopgirl (Steve Martin) * How do you feel: Messy (Tim Harford,… Read more »