Review catch-up:

Playing review catch-up, I have three rather different books for you today… Don’t Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin It’s ages since I read this book which I got from the Faber spring party where Vlautin, who is in a band too, sang and played his guitar for the audience. Since then, the film Read More

Wellcome Book Prize Shadow Panel Results…

It’s been a busy month or two of reading the six wonderfully varied books shortlisted for this year’s Wellcome Book Prize. The judges will announce their result on Monday, but today our informal shadow panel is posting its winner, and our winner is:  TO BE A MACHINE by MARK O’CONNELL  Here’s what the shadow panel Read More

Wellcome Book Prize #2 – The Butchering Art

The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris This is the second of my reviews of books shortlisted for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize, read as part of the shadow panel. Lindsey Fitzharris is an American with a doctorate from Oxford in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, and a post-doc Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust Read More

Wellcome shortlist #1

To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell The second book in my shadow reading from the Wellcome Book Prize shortlist, (the first was The Vaccine Race which I’ll be reviewing for the official blog tour in a couple of week’s time). I loved this book from the front cover to the back, starting with its Read More

The Wellcome Book Prize 2018

One of my favourite prizes of the year, the Wellcome Book Prize longlist for 2018 has just been announced. The Wellcome Book Prize celebrates ” the many ways in which literature can illuminate the breadth and depth of our relationship with health, medicine and illness.” The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, March 20th, and the Read More

Year End Review #3: Non-Fiction

I decided to give Non-fiction it’s own review this year because I’ve read 20 titles – the highest number I’ve read in a year, making up fractionally under 15% of books read. This is a trend I hope to continue, for I’m enjoying non-fiction more these days, but as you’ll see below – the areas Read More

An Exploration of What We Eat and How we Cook

The Science of Food by Marty Jopson You may be familiar with Marty Jopson from the occasional science films he does for programmes like The One Show.  He may have become an entertaining science boffin on telly and stage with his live show, but he has a PhD in cell biology and his mother was Read More

Opening the doors of perception…

Deviate by Beau Lotto You’d be forgiven for thinking that the improbably named Beau Lotto was a surfer dude from his photo (left). But, perceptions, and assumptions made from them are rarely what you think. Dr Lotto is a renowned neuroscientist attached to UCL in London and Berkeley in the US. He specialises in perception. Read More

‘The honey and cider-vinegar way to health’

Folk Medicine by D.C. Jarvis M.D. Sorting through a pile of old small size paperbacks that came from my mum’s, I came across this gem. My mum was fascinated by health matters in the press, and prone to believing in all sorts of fringe medicine. She had her hair tinted several shades lighter because she Read More

Meanwhile, over at Shiny…

I have two reviews from the past couple of weeks, I haven’t shared here yet… The Fatal Tree by Jake Arnott Jake Arnott’s novels are moving back in time. He started in the 1960s and 1970s with his Long Firm trilogy, (the first of which I reviewed here), then he moved back to WWII followed 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 Read More

We’re doomed! Or are we?

A Farewell To Ice by Peter Wadhams One theme that has emerged in much of my reading of late is that of icy and mostly northern climes. From Beryl Bainbridge’s Titanic novel Every Man for Himself to Midge Raymond’s Antarctic penguins in My Last Continent to Eowyn Ivey’s Alaska in To The Bright Edge of the World, then Stef Read More

Discovering my second brain

Gut by Giulia Enders I still have a small pile of other books to review I read last year, I’ve promoted this one, the last book I finished in 2015, to be the first reviewed in 2016, and will get back to the others soon. I’m notoriously bad at persevering with projects – it’ll be Read More

“Marvellous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World”

Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik What would we do without man-made materials?  We can’t live without them these days. Mark Miodownik, whom some of you may recognise from his regular TV appearances on Dara O’Briain’s Science Club on BBC2, wants to tells us all about the things our man-made world is shaped from. Mark, like me Read More

What a Wonderful World – the Blog Tour stops here today…

Today science writer Marcus Chown’s blog tour to promote his book What a Wonderful World: One Man’s Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff, stops here! Marcus is the cosmology consultant of New Scientist magazine, and has published several successful popular science volumes which have delighted science enthusiasts on cosmology, quantum physics, and other physics concepts, Read More

Through the keyhole …

Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About Youby Sam Gosling I defy any browsing bibliomane not to pick this book up on seeing the arrangements of books and comfy armchair through the keyhole on its cover! I’m sure that you, like me, sniff out the bookcases as soon as you go in someone’s house. If they Read More

Making Quantum Physics Accessible

On Wednesday, I am delighted that Marcus Chown, author of We Need to Talk About Kelvin: What Everyday Things Tell Us About the Universe” will be visiting my blog to do a Q&A as part of his blogtour to promote the book. Marcus is a best-selling science author and cosmology consultant for New Scientist magazine. Read More

Medical Myths debunked

Don’t Swallow Your Gum: and Other Medical Myths Debunked by Dr Aaron Carroll and Dr Rachel Vreeman This short book looks into about seventy-five medical myths and old wives tales, examines the evidence, and debunks them. Many will have read Ben Goldacre’s bestselling book Bad Science – (If you haven’t read it, do! My review Read More