RIP XIII: A Dystopian SF Horror Fantasy

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer I just adored Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy (see here). His ability to create a genre-defying, strange but real feeling version of our world is unparalleled, and he does it again with Borne.  The setting is in the future after some kind of devastating event, involving the Company – a mysterious organisation Read More

French YA Fantasy – Vol 1 of 4: Can’t wait for Vol 2!

A Winter’s Promise: Vol 1 of the Mirror Visitor Quartet by Christelle Dabos Translated by Hildegarde Serle Publishing YA books is a bit of a departure for Europa Editions, but they’ve taken on the English translation of this French bestseller, and I loved all 492 pages of this first volume. Couldn’t put it down, and Read More

Agatha Christie meets Harry Potter in a fantasy whodunnit…

The Last Chance Hotel by Nicki Thornton I knew that this debut novel for 8-12-year-old children would be something special, as Nicki won the  Times Children’s Fiction Competition in 2016 with this book. Part of the prize was to be published by children’s book specialists, Chicken House, run by Barry Cunningham (who used to work Read More

The Trees: An Evening with Ali Shaw

Earlier this week, Mostly Books in Abingdon was privileged to be the first audience for Ali Shaw to talk solo about his wonderful new novel The Trees (which I reviewed for Shiny New Books here). The Trees is Ali’s third novel, and this was his third visit to Abingdon, (see also my posts about his visits for The Man Who Rained, and The Girl Read More

Where is your North?

Soonchild by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Alexis Deacon This was the last book that Russell Hoban finished before his death in 2011. It was published posthumously by Walker Books as an illustrated short novel for a teen audience, and it is dedicated to Hoban’s grandchildren who are probably the perfect age to read this modern folktale Read More

Jazz Vampires – another case for Peter Grant

Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch This is the second novel in Aaronovitch’s ‘Rivers of London‘ series of humorous police procedurals involving magical crimes in contemporary London. If you’ve not read the first volume Rivers of London – head over here to find out about it – for you won’t understand much of what’s going on Read More

The grown-up conclusion to Garner’s Weirdstone trilogy

This post was republished into it’s original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. Boneland by Alan Garner Last month I was privileged to attend a lecture given by Alan Garner , and came home enthused to read everything he has written, starting with the ‘Weirdstone Trilogy’.  I’d read the first two books as Read More

Rediscovering Alderley Edge’s Old Magic

This post was republished into it’s original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen & The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner After going to see a lecture given by Alan Garner, reported here, I naturally wanted to read more by him, and especially to (re)read the Weirdstone Trilogy. In Read More

The Glass Books Trilogy – an awfully fun adventure!

The Glass Books Trilogy by G W Dahlquist Bantam in the USA, reputedly paid début novelist Dahlquist an advance of $2,000,000 for the first two installments in this series. Although the first was well received, apparently they lost shedloads of money on the deal. Penguin, the books’ publisher in the UK, also published the first volume with a Read More

Stephen King’s Dark Tower #3

The Dark Tower Book 3: The Waste Lands by Stephen King It’s the third month of the Dark Tower readalong hosted by Shelf Love.  The Waste Lands (1991) is the thickest book so far, and things are certainly starting to hot up. If you’d like to see how I got on with the previous volumes, click here for Read More

Is this a case of middle-aged disappointment?

This post was edited and republished back into my blog’s original timeline from my lost posts archive. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Now my daughter is ten, she tends to read books to herself, but  I still read to her at bedtime when there’s a book she requests.  We’ve had great fun revisiting some of her Read More

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum

The Wizard of Oz is one of our favourite family films at Gaskell Towers, and my daughter and I are really looking forward to going to see the new production at the Palladium during the Easter hols. It struck me though that I’d never actually read the original book, and the OUP very kindly sent me a Read More

Celebrating 50 years of Penguin Modern Classics

This post was republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. Penguin are very good at celebrating their anniversaries.  Previously we’ve had the Penguin Sixties and then the Penguin Classics 60s back in the mid 1990s for the company’s sixtieth birthday – each series featuring sixty little pocket-sized books which were 60p each, Read More

3 reviews from Jan 2011: Hornby, Jensen & Gaiman

Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby I don’t know how he does it, but there’s something about a Nick Hornby book that so hooks me, that I feel part of the story – I can always identify with some of the characters. Juliet Naked is the story of a lost rock star, a completist fan and his Read More

Fforde does YA and it’s Ffabulous Ffun!

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde Jasper Fforde has written a new book, and if it wasn’t for heroine being two weeks short of sixteen, no swearing, and no overt classic literary references, you’d be hard pushed to know that it was for young adults.  I expect that many grown-ups will read it anyway and some Read More

File under Noir, not Fantasy

The Dresden Files Books 1 and 2 by Jim Butcher   A few weeks ago while talking about crime series to read, my good blog-friend LizF recommended these books to me. As is often the case with me and my TBR mountains, I’d spotted them myself some time ago and had already picked up the first Read More

There’s a whole Hydden world out there …

Hyddenworld: Spring by William Horwood Back in the early 1980s, I read Horwood’s bestselling animal fantasy about moles – Duncton Wood.  I remember enjoying it immensely, but never read the sequels, and I can’t remember what it was really about apart from religion and war in mole-dom. But it was remembering the enjoyment of the former that Read More

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

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 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

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

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien Now – considering that I last read The Hobbit, aged around twelve, many, many years ago – before starting to re-read the book, ask me what I remember of it apart from Bilbo and Gandalf? I would answer, “Gollum and the ring, and Smaug the dragon, but particularly Read More

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

Tempus Fugit – Time flies when you’re having fun!

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson There is much to like in Winterson’s novel for older children (upwards). I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope it might have a sequel some time. This fast-moving Fantasy/SF novel, (it’s a bit of both), about the power to control time, owes a lot to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. It Read More