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

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

Codename: Madeleine by Barnaby Jameson – Blogtour

It’s my turn today on the blogtour for the debut novel by counter-terrorism barrister Barnaby Jameson, published today. It’s a 500-page doorstop of a wartime thriller, which I absolutely devoured! I knew that the novel was inspired by a real WWII spy story, but such is the lack of depth to my history knowledge of Read More

May-July Watchlist

Having started the year so well, I have rather lapsed with my watchlist reports, but apart from a couple of NT live screenings (see down the page), I haven’t been to the cinema. I have watched a fair amount of telly though, so here are a few high and low lights. Bingeworthy (& not so Read More

#20BooksofSummer22 No 4 – A super debut from 2002

The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh Having loved Louise Welsh’s Plague Times Trilogy, (see here, here and here with interview here), and read her second outing Tamburlaine Must Die for 20 books two years ago, it was about time that I read more of her back catalogue and her debut novel in particular, as she Read More

Truly, Deeply, Darkly by Victoria Selman

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to win a signed proof of this psychological thriller during Quercus’s Summer Preview on zoom. Now I’ve read it, and it really lived up to its title and I’m delighted to take part in the blog tour for it. Narrated by Sophie, now in her early thirties, Read More

Finishing #Narniathon21 – The Last Battle

And so we reach the final book of CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia – the last to be published and the last chronologically. The Last Battle was also the first of my 20 Books of Summer, read at the beginning of June, and I’ve been mulling over how to approach writing about it ever since. 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

England’s library estate (with detours)

Before getting started with my review of the book pictured above, I just wanted to share a little about the three Croydon Borough libraries that shaped my childhood and adolescence. Coulsdon Library was the one I went to as a child every weekend to replenish my stock of reading materials. The children’s library had a Read More

Red is My Heart by Antoine Laurain & Le Sonneur

The Other Red Notebook? Translated by Jane Aitken I’ve read everything by Laurain that the wonderful Gallic Books has translated. I’m a big fan of his brand of entertaining novels, mostly driven by key objects be it a hat, a notebook, a tape, a portrait, cigarettes, a bottle of wine, or a manuscript – I’ve Read More

My Year in Irish Lit

It’s Week 2 of Reading Ireland Month, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books and Raging Fluff. The prompt for this week is ‘My Year in Irish Lit’, and it is a pleasure to go back through the year to last March and see how many books by Irish authors I read – I was pleasantly surprised by the Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: The End of the Affair

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. I’m Read More

#NordicFINDS – Iceland Week – living the dream?

Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss Novelist Sarah Moss fell in love with Iceland during a trip with a friend as a student. Years later, she was beginning to get itchy feet at the University of Kent and began looking for a job abroad. It just so happened that her husband lost his job Read More

Review of the Year #1 – 2021, A Year of Reading and Blogging

As always, I’m saving my books of the year for the 31st, but today I plan to share some other blogging highlights, discovered authors and the few disappointments of my reading year. (By the way, the cute calendar comes from Asking For Trouble). Let’s go through the year first… JANUARY – saw the start of the Read More

Christmassy reads

With perfect timing, I have some Christmas fare for you today. Admittedly, I probably wouldn’t have read these at the right time unless I had occasions to read them for, so without further ado… The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis Chris at Calmgrove is hosting #Narniathon21 beginning this month, reading the 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

Two SF Novellas for #NovNov #SciFiMonth

Another opportunity to tick two boxes with one blog post. This time two superb novellas for Novellas in November and both SF for Sci Fi Month. The Employees: A Workplace novel of the 22nd Century by Olga Ravn Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken This is the most unconventionally structured book I’ve read this Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: What Are You Going Through

Last month was the first I’ve missed of my favourite monthly tag for ages! Six Degrees of Separation 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

RIP XVI – The Spirit Engineer by A J West

I’m not the biggest reader of historical fiction, but a quote on the press release for The Spirit Engineer by Derren Brown (big, big fan) sold me instantly, and of course ’tis the season for spooky reads. What’s more this novel is a fictional account based on real events, in which science meets spiritualism head Read More

Weekend Miscellany

GoodReads Challenge I’ve done it! Pressure’s off now, except I’d like to beat my best ever total of 142 in 2018! With a clutch of novellas (see more below) that might be doable too! However, I doubt I’ll reach my best ever total page count of over 41k from 2016, I’m currently in the 31k Read More

I had to treat myself…

To a third copy of Lord of the Rings I’ve already got these… On the left my single volume paperback from the 1970s, on the right one of the 50th anniversary editions – in this case illustrated by Alan Lee, which together with its companion 60th anniversary Hobbit was part of my joining offer to Read More

The Mirror Visitor quartet – the final installment

The Storm of Echoes by Christelle Dabos Translated by Hildegarde Serle When I was sent a copy of the first volume in this fantasy quartet of novels by Daniela at Europa Editions in 2018, I fell in love with Christelle Dabos’ world-building in its fractured planet, the wonderfully realised young heroine Ophelia and anti-hero Thorn. Read More

Lots of Shiny Linkiness

Time to catch up here with a bit of linkiness to my reviews published at Shiny New Books, there have been several over the past weeks I’ve not mentioned here. Star Turns by Tim Walker Journalist Tim Walker has worked at many publications, currently at the New European, where he resurrected the Mandrake diary column Read More

Love Under Lockdown by Michael Estorick – Blog Tour

I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for this gentle comedy about two ageing chaps taking them from the Brexit referendum through to the end of the first Covid lockdown. Bill and Pete have been best friends for 55 years, they’re now in their mid-sixties, and retired. Estorick first wrote about them in Read More

July Watchlist

This was such a busy month, especially at the beginning with all the end of term stuff – trips were back on for that last fortnight – big time! Also my daughter came home from uni, I had the School magazine to compile, cover shifts at school on admin, etc etc. So I didn’t get Read More

20 Books : Paris in July : Euro Reading Challenge

Today, two more reviews for you that fit into multiple challenges, namely: 20 Books of Summer 21 hosted by Cathy, Paris in July hosted by Tamara, and the European Reading Challenge hosted by Gilion. Maigret’s Madwoman by Georges Simenon Translated by Siân Reynolds My 8th book reviewed for 20 Books, and 2nd for Paris in Read More