I went to my local indie bookshop in Abingdon, Mostly Books, for a ‘Book Group’ style event with Claire Fuller, (in the middle above) talking about her third novel Bitter Orange, which is now out in paperback. I’ve read and really enjoyed Claire’s previous two books: her debut Our Endless Numbered Days (see here) and second novel Swimming Lessons (here). I’m Read More
Is this how others view Little England…
English Animals by Laura Kaye Reading this sparkling debut, in which Mirka, a young Slovakian woman, finds herself working for an English couple in the depths of the countryside, I couldn’t help thinking of what it was like to listen to The Archers for the first time. All those posh folk going on about pheasant Read More
The quest for Mr Right…
Last week you may have seen my post about ephemera (here) reporting my finding of some marginalia in an old book – well it made me want to read said book instantly – so I did! The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford Published in 1945, The Pursuit of Love is the companion piece to Read More
Looking for 'Chap Last'
Thinkless by Sophie McCook It’s not often that I respond to a direct request from an author to review their book, but Sophie McCook wrote me a lovely note and she and her book sounded worth investigating. Thinkless comes from small publisher Limehouse Books in London, and Sophie who is based in Scotland has written for Read More
John Buchan meets Umberto Eco via Dan Brown
The Pendragon Legend by Antal Szerb, translated by Len Rix OK – so I put Dan Brown into the title of this post to grab your attention! While I totally agree with the rest of the world that the Da Vinci Code is not great literature, there is no denying that however silly the whole Read More
The Baroness takes on Austen
Death Comes to Pemberleyby P D James Novels that take on the classics have a chequered history, and will always be subjected to increased scrutiny to see if they live up to the premise. Jane Eyre, Rebecca, and Gone with the wind, for instance, have all had prequels, sequels and adapations written with varying degrees Read More
Memories are made of this?
The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner Sally Gardner is moving up through the ages with her books. She started off with illustrating and writing picture books, then she wrote a series of Magical Children novels for younger readers, before writing several brilliant historical novels for older children (see my review of The Red Necklace here). Read More
Book Group Report – The Little Stranger
This post was edited and republished into my blog’s timeline in its original place from my lost posts archives. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters This made a great choice for a book group (as long as you have the time to read it’s 500+ pages), because we all had differing ideas on the mystery Read More
A Wartime Romance
This post was edited and republished back into my blog’s original timeline from my lost posts archive. The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons In the same way that we all rejoiced when the TV powers that be gave us Downton Abbey and resurrected Upstairs Downstairs, not to mention the Oscar-winning success of The Read More
3 from March 2011 – Handler – Reed – Fredericks
Adverbs by Daniel Handler – Lemony Snicket for Grown-ups 3 from March 2011 This author is best known as the writer of the fun Lemony Snicket series of novels for children. I’ve read the first Lemony Snicket novel, and heard the audiobook narrated by Tim Curry, (I just love his voice!) and one day intend to read the rest of the Read More
Art for art’s sake?
The Bellini Madonna by Elizabeth Lowry There have been many novels about the search for missing art masterpieces, but few so convoluted as this. It’s written totally in the first person as a confession by Thomas Lynch, a randy old professor of art history who is an expert on the renaissance masters, Bellini in particular. Read More
An great adventure read for 11+
The Secret Ministry of Frost by Nick Lake This novel for older children of about eleven upwards was our book group choice for May/June. As a group, we haven’t read a novel aimed primarily at a younger audience since the penultimate Harry Potter, (as opposed to adult books that are great for younger readers too). Read More
Tempus Fugit – Time flies when you’re having fun!
Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson There is much to like in Winterson’s novel for older children (upwards). I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope it might have a sequel some time. This fast-moving Fantasy/SF novel, (it’s a bit of both), about the power to control time, owes a lot to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. It Read More
A Trio of Five Star Books
As this is a new blog and we’re still getting to know each other, I thought I’d briefly introduce you to a trio of the 5 star books I’ve read this year, so you can see some of the books I’ve really enjoyed reading. The Scheme for Full Employment by Magnus Mills This was a Read More