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

Green Dot by Madeleine Gray

This is the hyped title du jour, and I couldn’t resist, even having been singed around the edges with another relationship novel in Monica Heisey’s really good, actually last month. For a start, the cover stands out with the green, and its design is great, with two figures in the style of Julian Opie (whose 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

The Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist 2024

On Thursday, the longlist for the, to give it its full title, Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2024 was revealed, and as I’ve come to expect, it is an eclectic and wide-ranging list of books by young authors (written in English, and under the age of 39 – ie that of Dylan Thomas when he Read More

The Dancer by Óskar Guðmundsson

Translated by Quentin Bates Corylus Books are certainly keeping Icelandic translator Quentin Bates busy. There’s another Stella Blómkvist in the works soon after last year’s Murder at the Residence, amongst others he has translated for Corylus and other publishers. This novel is Guðmundsson’s fifth, the second to be translated, and the first in a new 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

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

Dirty Geese by Lou Gilmond

It’s nice to be able to support a local publisher. Fairlight Books is based in Oxford, and Dirty Geese is being published under their Armillary Books imprint. Dirty Geese is a political thriller, set in the very near future. The Tories are in power, but the Whigs are now the main opposition and beginning to Read More

The Bleeding by Johana Gustawsson – blogtour

Translated from the French by David Warriner The Bleeding is an unusual crime novel with three timelines covering three different eras, combining a millennial police procedural strand set in Québec, with two historical threads, one set in post-WWII Québec in 1949, and the other older still in 1899, in Belle-Époque Paris. The focus of each Read More

A Game of Deceit by Tim Glister – Blog tour

Exotic locations are de rigueur for the period spy novel genre, but none are more suited for a bit of cold war paranoia and plenty of double-crossing than Hong Kong in the mid 1960s. That is the setting for half of Tim Glister’s third Richard Knox spy novel. I haven’t read the first two – Read More

The Cook, his Wife and the Waitress – Service by Sarah Gilmartin

I won’t be the first to write a tagline reminiscent of the ace 1989 Peter Greenaway film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, for this book. They have little in common other than a cook and a wife, but I couldn’t resist, sorry! A more apt comparison would be with Stephanie Danler’s 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

Beautiful Shining People by Michael Grothaus – blogtour

I must admit that reading the first few pages of this novel, by American author Grothaus, I thought 372 pages of this… will I make it to the end? Something I would do my best to do because I’d signed up for the blog tour. Well something clicked and I couldn’t put the book down. Read More

A One-Session Read – The Chase by Ava Glass

You all know how much I adore spy thrillers, don’t you? Whether on the page or screen, the twisty double or triple-bluffing, the danger, the tradecraft, the rivalry between secret government agencies, the mind games and living on your wits that are the life of the secret agent combine to tick all the thriller boxes Read More

Book Group Report: The Promise by Damon Galgut

This was our pick from the final decade of the Big Jubilee Read, which we’ve worked through decade by decade of her late maj’s reign. In recent years, our book group has steered clear of most of the big prize-winning books–The Promise won the Booker in 2021–but we were all keen to read this one. Read More

Review of the Year #3: 2022, 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. Read More

The Reviews that Got Away… Goldsworthy, Grudova & Pavone

My aim on this blog has always been to write at least a little about every book I read whether I loved them or DNF them. But, just occasionally, I read and love a book, but can’t find the hook to base my review on right away and the books then sit there waiting for Read More

Review Catch-up

In an effort to plan for Christmas and beyond (who am I kidding?), I’m aiming to clear the decks of my review pile, so this is the first of a couple of catch-ups. Shiny Linkiness My three latest reviews for Shiny … Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries – edited by Alan Taylor. Rickman’s diaries, 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

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

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

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

The Octopus Man by Jasper Gibson – blogtour

Back in 2013, Jasper Gibson wrote a comedy thriller called A Bright Moon for Fools (reviewed for Shiny here) in which archetypal old reprobate Harry Christmas runs away from his London life to Caracas and has the time of his life until a nasty reminder of his old life arrives to upset things. This book Read More

Herne the Hunter & the Great North Wood

Mischief Acts by Zoe Gilbert I shall be reviewing this wonderful novel in full for Shiny New Books very soon. But I loved it so much, and it got me thinking so much about it’s themes, locations and references that I needed to write more about it. Let me briefly fill you in on the Read More

Review Catch-up: Ginsburg & Alsterdal

I’ve spent so long writing up a review for Shiny with a companion blog piece for this Thursday, I’m getting rather behind on my other reviews, so here’s a twofer of shorter reviews for you today, both from Faber & Faber Books. Unusually in my reading they show serendipity – both feature an older woman Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: No One is Talking About This

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

#NordicFINDS – Norway Week – My Gateway Book

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder Translated by Paulette Møller My second gateway Nordic read was another huge worldwide bestseller, first published in English translation in 1995. I got my original copy with the cover above through the QPD book club, now defunct, who produced what we’d now call trade paperbacks of new hardbacks – ie: Read More

Review of the Year #3: 2021, Books of the Year!

I still award a score to the majority of books I read – out of 10, including halfs (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 150 books this year, of which Read More

#NovNov – Review round-up – 4 more novellas/short NF

I had a great month (plus a few days at the end of October) fitting in as many novellas as I could alongside other reading for #SciFiMonth and general for Novellas in November hosted by Rebecca at Bookish Beck and Cathy at 746 Books. I’m left with several yet to review – two short NF reads, and Read More