Six Degrees of Separation: Notes on a Scandal

First Saturday of the month, and it’s time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links to my reviews are in the titles of the books. This Read More

#TDiRS22 – The Dark is Rising Sequence Book 2: The Dark is Rising

If you joined in the readalong last month thank you and welcome back, and hello to any new readers. If you need to nip back – here’s the link to my post on the first book – Over Sea, Under Stone … The second novel is where things really begin for many people, it’s the Read More

Harm by Sólveig Pálsdóttir – blog tour

Translated by Quentin Bates Nordic Noir fan that I am, it’s a delight to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Harm – the third book in Pálsdóttir’s Ice and Crime series published by Corylus Books who are specialising in Euro crime. Corylus’s list is small but growing with three Icelandic authors on their Read More

Sometimes People Die by Simon Stephenson – blog tour

A bit of scene-setting first, for former doctor Stephenson’s second novel, Sometimes People Die, is more than just a normal medical thriller set in a failing hospital… Over the years, there have been many memoirs and diaries written by hospital doctors, ones I’ve read most recently include Catch Your Breath by Ed Patrick and, of Read More

Keeping up the blog stats – YES! Bythell is Back!

Remainders of the Day by Shaun Bythell It’s a running joke for me that my all-time most viewed post on this blog is ‘Return to Wigtown‘ that I wrote about the second volume of diaries by Shaun Bythell, owner of the Wigtown Bookshop. That book was published in 2019, and my write-up has amassed over Read More

Review catch-up and a little rant!

Rant first… I had scoured the Cheltenham Literary Festival brochure, and worked out a nice programme of events, three on the first afternoon into the evening, and two on the following day. I saved them all to my wishlist and crossed my fingers. Living and hour and a half drive away I decided to treat Read More

The Last Girl to Die by Helen Fields – blog tour

Generally, I’m not good with crime series. I prefer to start at the beginning where I can, to follow the story arcs of the main characters, but… I rarely don’t get beyond the first two or three books in a series. This series fatigue is probably sparked by having too many other books calling at Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Wildcard

First Saturday of the month, and it’s time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links to my reviews are in the titles of the books. This Read More

The Black Dog by Kevin Bridges

There is one sense in which the pandemic lock-downs have been a good thing: for many who were sure they had a novel inside them, all those months at home provided the concentrated time to try writing it. One of those new novelists is the Glaswegian comedian Kevin Bridges, who is famed for his storytelling Read More

#20BooksofSummer – the last four – Melo, Steinberg, Warner, Royle

Hurrah! I finished my 20 Books of Summer (hosted by Cathy) with ten days to spare, and will continue to alternate my own books with review copies as much as I can. In an effort to keep reading more of my own books, I am not going overboard on requesting ARCs etc at the moment, Read More

#TDiRS22 – The Dark is Rising Sequence Book 1: Over Sea, Under Stone

It’s finally time for my write-up of the first novel in Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence, and what a perfect summer read Over Sea, Under Stone (OS,US, 1965) made. In my introductory post to the readalong, I posted a few questions to consider while reading the book, and I’ll reflect on those below, Read More

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid – blogtour

Ii’m delighted to be one of the stops today on the blog tour for Mohsin Hamid’s new novel. If only The Last White Man wasn’t so thought-provoking to get some really coherent thoughts together, my head is buzzing with it still! I love novels that really make me think, like the previous ones by Hamid Read More

Utopia by Heidi Sopinka

I’ve been mostly alternating my reading this summer between books from my TBR piles and new review copies, which has been a rather nice way to read. Getting to read my own choices between copies from my review pile has been good, but also, I’ve enjoyed the review copies more too, and have been lucky Read More

Whisper of the Seals by Roxanne Bouchard Blog tour

Translated by David Warriner Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for the French-Canadian author’s latest crime thriller, set around Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, and the third to feature DS Joaquin Moralès. While I would love to now read the first two, there was not too much backstory to Moralès, so this novel stood up Read More

Two for #WITMonth – Yoshimoto & Oskamp

Two shorter reviews for #WITMonth which are both also part of my 20 Books of Summer. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto Translated by Megan Backus Yoshimoto is one of those Japanese authors by whom I’ve felt slightly intimidated; I include Mishima in this bracket and much of Haruki Murakami. Yoshimoto’s adoption of the name Banana (from Read More

Two shorter reviews for #20BooksofSummer

I’m doing well with my 20 Books of Summer 22, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books, reaching 17/20 so I have every hope of completing my 20 Books I acquired before 2022 from my TBR. Two slightly shorter reviews for you today – a small town America psychological drama and that the book set in Read More

Under the Blue by Oana Aristide #20BooksofSummer

When I read Rebecca’s review of this novel last year in her 20 Books of Summer for 2021, I immediately had to get a copy for myself, but didn’t get around to reading it until now when it fitted into my 20 Books of Summer! As Rebecca says, if you’re a Station Eleven fan (and Read More

A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G Summers

There is a school of writing deriving from post-war USA, known as ‘confessional writing’, a whole sub-set of ‘autofiction’. There are also acres of true crime confessions of serial killers. I only mention this because I was trying to find some other examples of fictional confessions of murderers in prison – but couldn’t get past Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: The Book of Form and Emptiness

First Saturday of the month, and it’s time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links to my reviews are in the titles of the books. Our Read More

Seamus Heaney – Book Group Jubilee Read & #20BooksofSummer22

Seamus Heaney – Death of a Naturalist My 7th book of 20 Books of Summer, but reviewed out of order because I wanted to wait until after Book Group. Last month, we started on our journey through some of the BigJubilee Reads, one from each decade of the Queen’s reign from all around the Commonwealth. Read More

Paris in July – Book 1 of The Marseilles Trilogy – Jean-Claude Izzo

Sneaking in right at the end of the annual celebration of all things French, here’s my contribution to Paris in July, hosted by Readerbuzz and Thyme-for-tea. It may be called Paris in July, but includes anything French, hence I finally read a book that’s been on the shelves too long, set in Marseilles! It’s also my 10th Read More

Announcing the Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising Sequence Readalong #TDiRS22

Inspired by my re-reading of the Chronicles of Narnia in an eight-month readalong with Chris (yes, that’s the seven Narnia books plus a non-fiction companion volume), I have decided to keep reading a ‘classic’ of children’s literature each month, intending not only to revisit favourites from my childhood to see how they live up to Read More

Codename: Madeleine by Barnaby Jameson – Blogtour

It’s my turn today on the blogtour for the debut novel by counter-terrorism barrister Barnaby Jameson, published today. It’s a 500-page doorstop of a wartime thriller, which I absolutely devoured! I knew that the novel was inspired by a real WWII spy story, but such is the lack of depth to my history knowledge of Read More

The Forgery by Ave Barrera

Translated by Ellen Jones and Robin Myers It’s my turn on the blog tour today for this super novel from Charco Press which hailing from Mexico, was written in Spanish, and thus also fits in with Spanish & Portuguese Lit Month hosted by Stu. There’s something that draws me to novels about art and artists Read More

Bringing #Narniathon21 to a close with Langrish & Gaiman

From Spare Oom to War Drobe by Katherine Langrish Back in December, I and a whole host of others embarked on a readalong of the Narnia books by C S Lewis, magnificently hosted by Chris at Calmgrove in his #Narniathon21. (See my closing post on the Chronicles with links to all the others here). It Read More

May-July Watchlist

Having started the year so well, I have rather lapsed with my watchlist reports, but apart from a couple of NT live screenings (see down the page), I haven’t been to the cinema. I have watched a fair amount of telly though, so here are a few high and low lights. Bingeworthy (& not so Read More

Looking forward to #WITMonth 2022

August is #WITMonth – celebrating Women in Translation, hosted by Meytal, who has been flying the flag for WIT for many years now. It has a dedicated website HERE. Traditionally, in preparation I look back at my reading of books by Women in Translation since the end of last summer, and I was surprised that even without Read More

More #20BooksofSummer22 – Braithwaite & Mason

No 5: Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason So much was written about this novel when published last year, and then it was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize this year and even more got written. I acquired my copy last summer – put it in a pile and forgot about it until this summer! As Read More

A Friday Miscellany – Tags, Shiny & a new Readalong

Now School’s out for me, I can breathe and get in some serious staying in bed with a book (and cats) in the mornings (fan on at the moment and through the heatwave), so I hope to ramp up my #20BooksofSummer22 books – I’m up to 10 already (by including recent backlist book group reads), Read More