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

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