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

#20BooksofSummer22 No 4 – A super debut from 2002

The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh Having loved Louise Welsh’s Plague Times Trilogy, (see here, here and here with interview here), and read her second outing Tamburlaine Must Die for 20 books two years ago, it was about time that I read more of her back catalogue and her debut novel in particular, as she Read More

Review Catch-up – Mandel

The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel Knowing that characters from this novel turn up in her latest Sea of Tranquility, I thought it best to read this one from 2020 first. As you’ll see from the collage above, I had treated myself to the indie bookshop numbered, signed edition with gorgeous spredges (sprayed Read More

Truly, Deeply, Darkly by Victoria Selman

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to win a signed proof of this psychological thriller during Quercus’s Summer Preview on zoom. Now I’ve read it, and it really lived up to its title and I’m delighted to take part in the blog tour for it. Narrated by Sophie, now in her early thirties, Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Wintering

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

Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight by Riku Onda – Blog Tour

Translated by Alison Watts Wow! In just over 200 pages, Riku Onda creates real suspense in this psychological drama and she maintains this tension right until the end. I loved it! The story alternates between two narrators, Aki and Hiro. They had shared a Tokyo apartment, but their relationship is now finished. They have agreed Read More

Finishing #Narniathon21 – The Last Battle

And so we reach the final book of CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia – the last to be published and the last chronologically. The Last Battle was also the first of my 20 Books of Summer, read at the beginning of June, and I’ve been mulling over how to approach writing about it ever since. Read More

Review Catch-up – again! Cocker, Saint, Jamieson & Stibbe

Firstly some Shiny Linkiness… Good Pop, Bad Pop by Jarvis Cocker This book of memoir, styled as an inventory of the stuff in Cocker’s loft from his teens and the early Pulp years until he went down to art college in London, is just a delight. Cocker has such a quirky personality, a conforming Yorkshire Read More

It’s the taking part that counts…

I’ve been giving cryptic hints of me doing something quizzy in London for a while – well it finally happened this week! I went down to London on a warm Wednesday evening to take part in BBC Radio 4’s long-running quiz show Brain of Britain. What an experience! I had auditioned last year and didn’t Read More

The Joy of Quiz by Alan Connor #20booksofsummer22

I’m doing something quizzy down in London midweek, but will keep schtum about the specifics (just in case I do poorly). I ought to be cramming, but I’m so busy at school at the moment my brain is overloaded and memorising lists isn’t really working for me (well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to Read More

Review Catch-up

This most hectic week at School after a long weekend’s relative lethargy in front of the jubilee dampened my reviewing mojo for a bit, so now I need to catch up! I realise I haven’t posted my watchlist either, but will catch up with that at the end of the month. Meanwhile here are notes Read More

Airside by James Swallow – Blog tour

Back in 2017, I read the first book in a series by James Swallow – introducing us to MI6 agent Marc Dane in Nomad. There are now six books in that series, but I hadn’t realised that Swallow was so prolific – since publishing his first YA steampunk western novel in 2001, he’s written over Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Sorrow and Bliss

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

More from the Sensational Books Exhibition at the Bodleian

Earlier this week, I was privileged to be invited to a press event for the much-delayed-by-Covid new exhibition at the Bodleian Library. ‘Sensational Books’ is all about the sensory experience that books give us and how to engage all the sense while reading. I reviewed the exhibition yesterday at Shiny New Books – so do Read More

#Narniathon21: The Magician’s Nephew

It’s the sixth month of the #Narniathon21 hosted by Chris at Calmgrove and we’ve reached the penultimate installment in the Narnia series in publication order, although this book is the first chronologically. Once again I re-read my childhood Puffin copy – noting that this edition has nice wraparound artwork on the cover. I’ll have to Read More

Two reviews in short & 20 Books of Summer Plans

Firstly, a few words on my plans for 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. Cathy is such a forgiving host, allowing us to choose our books, be it 10, 15 or 20 however we want; cheating and swaps are allowed – even encouraged! Consequently, I’m not going to nominate 20 specific Read More