Six Degrees of Separation: Kitchen Confidential

First Saturday of the month, time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, I’ve been so busy, I’ve missed the past couple of months, but I’m back to joining in today! Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them Read More

The Weatherman by Royston Reeves – blogtour

Now this was dark fun! Wilbur Cox works in an advertising agency in London. He commutes in every day from north of London. He likes to go for a drink with his colleagues before catching the train home. It’s a bit of a walk to the tube station, but there’s a short cut through a Read More

Two for #GermanLitMonth #NovNov23 – von Chamisso & Dürrenmatt

Just squeaking in at the end of the month, here are two shorter reviews of novellas (hence qualifying for Novellas in November also) originally published in German, however, neither are by German-born authors. Adelbert von Chamisso was French, becoming naturalised German, Friederic Dürrenmatt was Swiss. Peter Schlemihl by Adelbert von Chamisso Translated by Leopold von Read More

Shiny Linkiness – Nicholas Royle

Today at Shiny New Books, I have a pair of posts for you. Nicholas Royle (the one who is/was a professor at Sussex University, not the Manchester one), has just had a new non-fiction book published. A series of essays, lectures, ‘memoirish’ narrative non-fiction, conceived as a valedictory speech after being offered voluntary severance from Read More

#ReadingBeryl23 – It’s a wrap!

It was a relatively quiet #ReadingBeryl23 week this time, although livelier on socials, as having her birthday in the middle of the week brought up a plethora of other tweets etc. I owe a huge thank you to Maureen, whose short piece about meeting Beryl on a writing course got us started, and also those Read More

Unnatural Death by Patricia Cornwell – blogtour

It’s hard to believe that we’ve now reached the 27th Kay Scarpetta thriller from Patricia Cornwell! I remember discovering them back in the early 1990s, reading the first two, Post Mortem and Body of Evidence, back to back and then devouring each one as they were published up until about 2000. I’m pretty sure that Read More

An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge #ReadingBeryl23

Back when first published in 1989, this was my first exposure to Beryl Bainbridge, and it would be some years before I read another, which was when the paperback of Every Man For Himself (later re-read and reviewed here) was published in 1996/7. Then another big gap until I started reading her again in 2011 Read More

The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress by Beryl Bainbridge #ReadingBeryl23

Finally, a review for you. This is one of the few novels by Beryl that I hadn’t read. Bainbridge’s eighteenth and final novel was left unfinished, but her great friend and colleague (and later biographer) Brendan King tidied it up from the notes she gave him. Like all of her later work, it was based Read More

Guest Post: Beryl Bainbridge. A memory, by Maureen Hanscomb

Today I have a special post for you. A couple of weeks ago when I was publicising #ReadingBeryl23, a lovely sounding lady contacted me to ask if there were plans for the week, and that she’d been tutored by Beryl on a writing course. I replied – it’s just an encouragement to read more Beryl, Read More

Novellas in November Wk 3: Broadening my Horizons with Epstein & Hornby

The idea of week three of #NovNov is to read novellas outside your normal purview, be it a new genre, in translation etc. Rebecca and Cathy are happy to let us interpret ‘broadening my horizons’ however we wish, so I’ve gone with a slightly different tack with two short nf books. They’re not in a Read More

Nonfiction November Week 3 – Book Pairings

This week of Nonfiction November is hosted by Liz and the subject is Book Pairings. Pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. Maybe it’s a historical novel and the real history in a nonfiction version, or a memoir and a novel, or a fiction book you’ve read and you would like recommendations for Read More

Book Group Report: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

Translated by Maureen Freely Following on from last month’s book, The Museum of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Buchan, we picked another book with ‘Museum’ in the title following our Word Association method. This is the novel Pamuk wrote after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, and he went big! Oh blimey! What a Read More

Very Short Introductions – new OUP series for children

I don’t often review books for younger readers on my blog any more, but managed to get my hands on a couple of the new ‘Very Short Introductions for Curious Young Minds’ series for children from the OUP. They have long been producing their VSI series for adults – which now has over 700 titles Read More

What is a Novella? #NovNov23 Week 2

I’ll admit, I was a bit cheeky last week, I included several books in my tally of novellas that aren’t really novellas. Novellas are accepted as being between 10k and 40k words, and up to 200 pages, although the more usual bottom limit is 17.5k words. Novelettes – a term not often used – are Read More

Novellas in November #NovNov23 Week 1: My Year in Novellas

Hot on the heels of My Year in Nonfiction for nonfiction November, comes my post for week 1 of Novellas in November hosted by Rebecca and Cathy and in similar vein, it’s ‘My Year in Novellas’. I’ve read 24/102 books that fall into the novella category (including short NF) – well okay a couple of Read More

Nonfiction November: My Year in NF

November is a busy themed month – I’m starting with Nonfiction (I’m never sure with it should be Non Fiction, Nonfiction or Non-Fiction!), but I shall go with all one word or NF… Week 1 (30th Oct – 3rd Nov) Your Year in Nonfiction: Celebrate your year of nonfiction. What books have you read? What were Read More

Two by Irish authors: Lynch and Keegan

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch My first read from the Irish author, Prophet Song is shortlisted for the Booker Prize this year, and I can see why. I was, of course, drawn to its dystopian picture of a society collapsing. It’s not a book to love, but I did find it a compelling read once Read More

The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen, blogtour

Translated by David Hackston And so we come to the final part of Antti Tuomainen’s Rabbit Factor Trilogy featuring the awakening of Henri Koskinen, an actuary, a man who thinks in numbers. It began in The Rabbit Factor when Henri learns he has inherited his brother’s adventure park, the failing YouMeFun. Henri discovers that Juvani Read More

Meat by Dane Cobain for RIP XVIII

Back in 2017, I had the pleasure of being on the Shadow Judges Panel for the PFD Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year with Dane. (More here and here). Dane’s own website can be found here. He writes mainly in horror/thriller/mystery genres, but has written non-fiction, poetry and is a musician too. He kindly Read More

The IPCRESS File by Len Deighton – #1962Club

My contribution to the 1962-themed reading week hosted by Simon and Karen is veteran thriller author Len Deighton’s debut novel which introduced us to the unnamed spy later immortalised on film by Michael Caine (right) as Harry Palmer. Although I have seen the 1965 movie many times, and also enjoyed the more recent ITV adaptation with Joe Cole Read More

Review catch-up: Buchan, Saint and Laurain

My review pile of books read, mostly some time ago, and needing to be written up before I forget them is too big, so here’s some shorter pieces to deal with said pile! Book Group report – The Museum of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Buchan Following on nicely by association from last month’s Hašek by Read More

Reading the Decades: #6 The 1980s

I am more often than not devoted to contemporary fiction, the shiny and the new. But I do read some older books too as my stats will attest. This series picks out some of those old books that I’ve read, sorted by publishing date, not reading dates which can be any time. You can read Read More

Divide by Anna Jones – blogtour

It’s the last day of the blogtour for this thought-provoking book and I’m delighted to be closing the tour. Anna Jones is a journalist specialising in country affairs, working out of Bristol. She’s also a farmer’s daughter, and her book is her analysis of the relationship between town and country as its sub-title says. On Read More

Shiny Linkiness: Mat Osman’s The Ghost Theatre

I often wait before linking here to my Shiny reviews: why? I don’t know. But I’m on the ball today to direct you over there to my review of The Ghost Theatre by Mat Osman. His second novel is superb. It’s a late Elizabethan era adventure with two wonderful teenaged protagonists, featuring the child theatre, Read More

The Murmurs by Michael J Malone – blogtour

Last year I read my first book by Malone who is a mainstay of Tartan Noir. Quicksand of Memory led me up the garden path and back again with its twists and turns, so I wasn’t going to turn down his latest, The Murmurs, was I? It begins with Annie Jackson waking from a nightmare Read More

The Traitor by Ava Glass – blogtour

Emma Makepeace is back! Last autumn, I absolutely devoured The Chase – Glass’s first book in the ‘Alias Emma’ series, and I was delighted to join the blogtour for the second book in the series, The Traitor. It begins with a body in a suitcase, Emma is called to join her boss Charles Ripley at Read More

A quick one for Czech Lit Month – A little bit of Hašek

I’m delighted that back in July, our Book Group made a serendipitous choice of book for September allowing me to participate in the first Czech Lit Month hosted by Stu. The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek Translated by Cecil Parrott (1973), with original illustrations by Josef Lada We’ve been playing ‘word association’ to pick Read More