The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers by Samuel Burr – Blogtour

What a delight this novel was to read: a feelgood quest to find himself for young fogey Clayton Stumper, who was left in a hatbox on the doorstep of the Fellowship of Puzzlemakers HQ in Bedfordshire in 1993. He was taken in by sixty-seven-years-old director and founder of the organisation Pippa Allsbrook, and brought up Read More

Murder Under the Midnight Sun by Stella Blómkvist

Translated by Quentin Bates It’s my turn on the blogtour for the second Blómkvist novel to be translated by Quentin Bates for Corylus Books, who continue their quest to bring us translated crime fiction with a sense of social justice. Murder Under the Midnight Sun was published in 2010, and the series has a huge Read More

All You Need is Love: The End of the Beatles by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines

I am delighted to have been able to read this amazing book and review it for the blogtour. Whereas I’m by no means a Beatles completist, I am a huge fan having grown up with them. And yes, I watched all 8 hrs of Peter Jackson’s documentary, Get Back, which compiled the hours and hours Read More

Anna O by Matthew Blake

Anna O has been asleep for four years now. A known somnambulist, the experts think it was her body’s response to having committed a terrible double murder while sleepwalking. Now it’s time to wake her up, and the man to do it is Dr Benedict Prince, a forensic psychologist based at a sleep clinic in Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

First Saturday of the month and new year too, 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 Read More

Tristan / Yseult by Harry Bonelle – Blogtour

Given my love of things Arthurian and mediaeval, and need – and yes, it is a need – to engage more with poetry I was not going to turn down the opportunity to take part in the blogtour for Harry Bonelle’s retelling of part of the myth of Tristan and Isolde / Iseult / Yseult Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: the last book you read

First Saturday of the month and new year too, 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 Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

First Saturday of the month and new year too, 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 Read More

Review of the Year #3: 2023, Books of the Year!

I still award a score to all the books I read – recorded on my Reading List page. I score out of 10, including half points (so out of 20 really!). Those scores are only snapshots of course, and some books fade from your memory as others, which maybe scored lower initially, stay or grow. I read Read More

Review of the Year #2 – 2023 – Time for Book Stats!

I always say this, but this post really is my favourite of the year! The master spreadsheet is still going strong. I love playing with all the data, mining it for nuggets of information that will tell me if my reading habits have changed. In truth, they bobble along generally, but there are some general Read More

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

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

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

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

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

My first Booker longlist read…

Of the four books from the 2023 Booker Prize longlist that I already had or treated myself to, I picked the shortest one to read first. (The others I have are In Ascension, The Bee Sting, and Prophet Song by the way.) Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein Bernstein, a Canadian living in Scotland is Read More

Murder at the Residence by Stella Blómkvist – blog tour

Translated by Quentin Bates The identity of Stella Blómkvist is a secret – she/he/they are the Icelandic equivalent of Elena Ferrante – and has been publishing crime novels in Iceland since 1997 featuring the maverick lawyer Stella Blómkvist in a long-running series of Icelandic bestsellers. Two seasons of TV adaptations have appeared in Iceland too. Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Wifedom

First Saturday of the month, 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 chosen. This month Read More

#20booksofsummer23 : Mackie, Herron & Kuang

How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie There is a select sub-genre of crime novels featuring prison confessions of serial killers. One I read last summer was A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G Summers. In that book, Dorothy Daniels is a food critic and black widow, murdering her lovers – and enjoying eating select Read More

Assassin Eighteen by John Brownlow – blog tour

I am delighted to be one of those leading off the blog tour for this page-turning thriller. Imagine, if you will, that there is a long lineage of the world’s greatest hitmen – seventeen ‘generations’ actually – and that you only get to the top of the tree by killing the current leader. So seventeen Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Time Shelter

First Saturday of the month, 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 chosen. This month Read More

Announcing another Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week

When Facebook reminded me that I had memories from June 2016, I was shocked to think it was that long ago that I last hosted a Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week! Beryl is one of my favourite authors, and I first hosted a BBRW in 2012, repeating in in 2016. Amazingly I still have a few Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Friendaholic

First Saturday of the month, 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 chosen. This month Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Hydra

First Saturday of the month, 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 chosen. This month Read More