The Kon-Tiki Expedition by Thor Heyerdahl Translated by F H Lyon This was our book group choice for this month, with a sea theme linking from last month’s read, The Old Man & the Sea – yes, we’re playing word association football with our titles at the moment. It was a hit with everyone. We Read More
A perfectly-formed novella
West by Carys Davies West was shortlisted for this year’s Rathbones Folio Prize, and I’m so glad it was, so that when I spotted the new paperback in my local bookshop I bought a copy. In a mere 149 pages, Davies has written a story of epic scale. It’s just superb! Let me tell you Read More
Interlude – I’m ‘going’ to Mars!
No, not really. Only my name – but it’s still so exciting! Everyone registering at NASA’s website here will get their name sent to Mars in 2020 on their next mission. If you do, you’ll get a really snazzy boarding card, and can sign up for updates. My name went on a previous mission too back Read More
I can promise more reviews before Christmas, but in the mean time, here are some more links to my reviews in the latest issue of Shiny New Books… Old Buildings in North Texas by Jen Waldo This compact novel had me chortling from the first page. Olivia is a recovering from a heart attack and Read More
Book Group Report: Travel
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby In an effort to get more variety into our reading, we’ve started a subject cycle. We pick a topic to research, then next month everyone comes with a suggestion or two on that subject and we whittle them down to a handful to draw a Read More
My Name's Going to Mars!
If you’d like your name to go on the Orion test flight at the beginning of December and to collect frequent flyer miles on subsequent NASA missions – head over here. Such fun!
The clue is in the title …
The Echo by James Smythe When I read The Explorer last year, Smythe’s novel of a failed deep space mission, I had no idea he planned a sequel, let alone making it part of a quartet. I disengaged my reality check and went along for the claustrophobic ride with the mis-matched crew who were mysteriously picked Read More
Book Group Report – A new SF classic?
The Explorer by James Smythe Our book group does read the occasional full-blown SF novel, or novels with some SF concepts in like Slaughterhouse-5 which we read last autumn. I chose this book, selling it to the others as like the film Moon but even more messing with your head. It being a year since I Read More
A novel about men and their ‘work’ – it must be Magnus Mills!
This post was republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive Explorers of the New Century by Magnus Mills Mills fifth novel is another very dark and subversive comedy about his speciality – men and their work. This time though, it’s not about manual labourers, white van-men, bus drivers or any of their Read More
To infinity …
The Explorer by James Smythe This brilliant novel’s beginning happens near the end of the story… Cormac Easton is the only remaining living astronaut on the spaceship Ishiguro. Cormac is not even a proper astronaut – he’s a journalist; his part in the team is to observe and document the voyage, to blog and film and send Read More
Book Group Report – In search of dragons …
Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch This story of young Jaffy Brown and his adventures, starting with an encounter with an escaped tiger, was another really good book group choice. We all throroughly enjoyed this impeccably researched and ultimately rather gory tale of exploration and shipwreck in Victorian times. The Guardian’s review of the book tells Read More
One of the other bests of Beryl …
The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge. Now I’ve read three novels by the late great Dame Beryl Bainbridge, I can truly say that she has become one of my favourite authors, and I can’t wait to read more. She was a master of succinctly getting to the heart of the matter. Her novels aren’t long in Read More
A day in the life – a life in a day
The Still Point by Amy Sackville Julia is the great-grand-niece of Edward Mackley, a polar explorer at the turn of the century, who newly married to Emily, left on an expedition and was never seen alive again after a group of men set out for the North Pole from their ship the Persephone. Emily, effectively abandoned after their Read More
Boldly Going …
There are lots of great programmes on the TV at the moment celebrating the 40th anniversary of landing on the moon. I was nine when it happened, and remember watching the landing on the telly and being entranced by the whole event. I will still watch anything about space and I have many books on Read More