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 he used to write for the Telegraph and writes witty theatre reviews. This book collects seventy of his interviews from the mid 1980s onwards, from Lauren Bacall to Maggie Smith, Ronnie Corbett to Patrick Stewart, and the spat he had with Stephen Fry! Very entertaining snappy portraits of stars from the world of entertainment, plus directors/producers. He’s very witty, and good at winkling out little stories that illustrate the interviewee’s real character. Would be a great Christmas present!

Read my full review HERE.

Source: Review copy – thank you. Tim Walker, Star Turns (SunRise, 2021). 978-1914489006, 256pp., hardback.

BUY at Blackwell’s via my affiliate link (free UK P&P)

A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery

Translated by Alison Anderson

Muriel Barbery’s new novella goes straight onto my year end best of list – it’s that good.

A simply gorgeous story of the coming to life of a forty-year-old Frenchwoman who goes to Japan for the reading of the will of the father she never knew. She arrives in Kyoto to find that Haru had planned a series of visits to the city’s temples for her, and in exploring these, she would get to know him. Chapters are prefaced with stories from Japanese history and legend, each symbolised by a different flower. Rose is aided in this journey of discovery and self-discovery by Paul, Haru’s Belgian assistant for twenty years. A sensory and calming read with a lovely ending too. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Read my full review HERE.

Source: Review copy – thank you. Muriel Barbery, A Single Rose (Gallic Books, 2021). 978-1913547110, 144pp., paperback original.

BUY at Blackwell’s via my affiliate link (free UK P&P)

The Red Planet by Simon Morden

I knew Morden wrote SF, but didn’t know he’s a planetary geologist too. His ‘Natural History of Mars’ uses both his scientific and writing skills to great effect, taking us through the story of the Red Planet, from its formation during the early years of the solar system, then going age by geologic age through the planet’s features, using the latest information gleaned from recent missions there. His storytelling is great, delivering an entertainingly erudite text with clear language to entice anyone with an interest.

Read my full review HERE.

Source: Review copy – thank you. Simon Morden, The Red Planet: A Natural History of Mars (Elliott & Thompson, 2021). 978-1783965618, 240pp., hardback.

BUY at Blackwell’s via my affiliate link. (free UK P&P)

The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

Translated by Rebecca Copeland

I read this contribution to Canongate’s Myths series – which seems to have come to a halt sadly – some years ago. I still plan to read the lot (see here).

Japanese thriller author Kirino’s addition to the series, which mirrors the Shinto creation myth of Izanagi and Izanami, the divine beings who gave birth to all the islands of Japan, is a fine one.

Now Canongate have reissued it, adding it to their ‘Canons’ series of future modern classics, so I dusted off my original review for Shiny.

Read my full review HERE.

Source: Own copy. Natsuo Kirino, The Goddess Chronicle (Canongate, 2014). 978-1782111603, 320pp, paperback.

BUY at Blackwell’s via my affiliate link (free UK P&P)

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