Dashboard Elvis is Dead by David F Ross – blogtour

Anyone who knows me, knows I love a book with rock’n’roll at its heart. Dashboard Elvis is Dead is such a novel, but it is also a lot more too. This novel may have started out as the story of a Texan runaway who met a Scottish band on tour in the USA, but the Read More

A final #NovNov22 review for Contemporary Novellas week

The Night Interns by Austin Duffy The final week’s theme for Novellas in November hosted by Cathy and Rebecca is contemporary novellas. I actually read this back in late September, but was planning to pair it with Adam Kay’s Undoctored for Non-Fiction November. That didn’t happen, so I’ve had a quick refresh to remind myself what happened in this Read More

#TDiRS22 – The Dark is Rising Sequence Book 4: The Grey King

A bit later than originally planned, but I hope you’re still with me as we come to the fourth of the five books in Susan Cooper’s wonderful children’s adventure fantasy series, The Grey King, published in 1975. Catch up with the previous posts here: Introduction Over Sea, Under Stone The Dark is Rising Greenwitch This Read More

Two more classics for #NovNov Dürrenmatt & McCoy

I know the final week’s theme for Novellas in November hosted by Cathy and Rebecca is contemporary novellas, but today I have two more classic novellas for you instead. Contemporary ones to come soon! The Judge & His Hangman by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1950) Translated by Joel Agee (2006) I was keen to tie in #NovNov with German Read More

The Vicious Circle by Katherine St. John

It’s my turn on the blog tour today for this super psychological thriller, set mostly at a retreat in the steamy tropics of Mexico’s rainforest. Sveta loves Chase, Chase loves Sveta, Chase still loves his mum, and his mother is the one thing standing between them regarding their wedding. It must be on her old Read More

Nonfiction November Week 3: Stranger Than Fiction

This week is hosted by Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks. My immediate thought on reading the prompts for this week was to take me to one of my favourite TV series ever – Mad Men! If ever there was a profession where life imitates art it is the world of advertising in 1960s New York, Read More

Two short NF titles for #NovNov22

The third week of Novellas in November hosted by Cathy and Rebecca focuses on short non-fiction, so here are two short reviews for you, both in translation carrying on week 2’s theme also… Stalking the Atomic City by Markiyan Kamysh Translated from the Ukrainian by Hanna Lelive & Reilly Costigan-Humes Ever since I read the chapter on disaster Read More

Urgent Matters by Paula Rodriguez – Blog tour

Translated by Sarah Moses I’ve been reading a bit more Latin American literature in translation this year. All in translation from Spanish, but from a range of countries: Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina, to be precise. Most of these novels have also been noirish or had a psychological thriller feel, but all have been unashamedly Read More

A Very Thought-Provoking Novella in Translation for #NovNov22

I had hoped to write more posts, but a very busy week with school trips, reports to proofread, and our big fireworks event on Friday meant I was too tired to write, or read much this week. The fireworks were great! But, luckily, I got some serious novella reading in the previous week, so here’s Read More

NORDIC FINDS is back for Jan 2023

After the success of my first Nordic FINDS Reading Project this January (wrap-up post here, dedicated page here), I’ve been asked if I was bringing it back to make it a regular reading month. Well, I couldn’t resist! This year I dedicated the first five weeks of 2022 to one of the five countries per Read More

Two Modern Classics from Faber Editions #NovNov22

I adore reading novellas all year round, but particularly when we focus on them in November with the reading event hosted by Cathy and Rebecca. Week one concentrates on ‘classics’ – which are defined as pre-1980 for these purposes. Although one of the titles I’m including in this post was published after 1980 in 1982, Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: The Naked Chef

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

Havana Fever by Leonardo Padura

Translated from the Spanish by Peter Bush I’m delighted to be one of those leading off the blog tour for another of Bitter Lemon Press’s reprints of relatively recent world noir novels. This time we visit Cuba for Havana Fever which was first published in Spanish in 2005, with the English translation in 2009. Padura, Read More

Salt Crystals by Cristina Bendek

Translated by Robin Myers Released earlier this month, this is the latest title from Charco Press, the Latin American translation specialists, by Colombian author Cristina Bendek. The setting is San Andrés, a small island in the Caribbean Sea which although geographically closer to Nicaragua, is under Colombian rule. It wasn’t always so, the Dutch settlers Read More

Watchlist: October

This month’s summary is going to be dominated by two trips to London to see two plays, both productions that had been postponed by the pandemic. One was good the other not just ‘Good’ but excellent! The Doctor, written & directed by Robert Icke, starring Juliet Stevenson The setting, wooden walls, a long table with Read More

Deceit by Jónína Leósdóttir

Translated by Sylvia and Quentin Bates I’m delighted to be today’s stop on the blogtour for yet another new to me Icelandic author. Deceit is the first of Jónína Leósdóttir’s books to be translated into English, brought to us by Corylus Books and translated by veteran Icelandic translator Quentin Bates with Sylvia Bates. Deceit is Read More

Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree by David George Haskell

I’m delighted to be on of the stops leading off the blogtour for this super little book, a collection of essays about the olfactory aspects of trees by a noted writer and biologist. I was particularly interested in this volume as it promised not just nature writing, which is a theme I’ve been actively trying Read More

#TDiRS22 – The Dark is Rising Sequence Book 3: Greenwitch

Now this is more like it! In the first volume of the series Over Sea, Under Stone, we met the Drew children, Simon, Jane and Barney who had an adventure with their Great-Uncle Merry in Cornwall and found the grail, which was given to the British Museum. The Drews were missing from the second volume Read More

The Grove: A Nature Odyssey in 19½ Front Gardens by Ben Dark: Blogtour

One thing I hoped to do this year is to cover more titles that come under the broad genre of nature writing. This book makes it a handful, which is most of a handful more than last year, so that’s a win already. I was drawn to The Grove because of its sharp focus on Read More

The Moose Paradox by Antti Tuomainen: Blogtour

Translated from the Finnish by David Hackston Last year I was delighted to discover this new to me Finnish author, and his book The Rabbit Factor (reviewed here), the first in a planned trilogy, was a sheer delight, and I’m delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for the middle volume. I should Read More

Psalms for the End of the World by Cole Haddon

When a friend of mine, Theresa, mentioned a friend of hers had written a book mostly during lockdown in Abingdon (where I live), I winced, as you do. Then I thought I recognised the title and realised it was a big autumn title from Headline and that I had a proof copy on my shelf Read More

Review Catch-up: Naspini, Atwood, Grant & DNFs

And breathe! Half term has arrived for me, and I can relax after the busiest first half of term I can ever remember at school. I’ve had a new boss to get to know for the Health & Safety part of my job; new H&S computer systems to learn and then update everything in; a Read More

Betty Boo by Claudia Piñeiro: Blogtour

Translated by Miranda France This intriguingly titled noir reprint from Bitter Lemon Press came emblazoned with a quote ‘An Argentine Patricia Highsmith’. That’s an awful lot to live up to, given that Highsmith was famed for her dark twisty plots, told without unnecessary embellishment, but, there’s something in that epithet, and Piñeiro is highly respected Read More

Watchlist: Aug-Sept

Better late than never! What did I watch from the end of August through September. The West Wing One of the very best TV series ever made. Spotting it had become available on Amazon Prime, I spent most of August into September re-watching all 154 episodes, bingeing on them 4 or 5 at a time. Read More

Two memoirs by screenwriters – Morgan and Considine

This is not a Pity Memoir by Abi Morgan Morgan is a BAFTA and Emmy award winning screenwriter. Most recently, you may have watched her BBC TV series The Split, following a family of divorce lawyers, starring the wonderful Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan as the central couple with a rocky marriage. I enjoyed the Read More

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