The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith

You know when you hope you got a book series wrong? Other people are telling you it’s great but you just don’t get it? You end up offering excuses for the writer: maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind; maybe  I was too tired; maybe I read it too quickly. Sometimes, it is…

The Vows Of Silence, Susan Hill

Susan Hill is, without doubt, a fantastic writer. The Woman In Black is an exquisitely crafted horror; Strange Meeting is exceptional. so I am persevering with these detective novels hoping for … well something. But I’ve not found it yet. I really don’t know what it is that’s missing but something is. The plots are decent enough: this…

The Trees, Ali Shaw

This book might win the most striking cover award this year: the stunning autumnal russets and reds are gorgeous! But you know what they say about judging books by their covers? As a parent and as a teacher, we trot out that truism time and again but on what else are you going to judge…

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, Max Porter

Wow! This book is extraordinary. It is strange and bizarre and wild. And has the vividness and opacity of a nightmarish dreamscape. It is literary and visceral, erudite and scatological, mythic and domestic at the same time. Death and grief are such massive topics that you expect a weighty tome to contain them. Yet this…

H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

I mostly read fiction: an escapist flight from the same rigours of the real world – work, a beautiful but demanding three-year old – that have kept me from keeping up-to-date with my reviews! So this book has languished on my kindle to-be-read pile for a while. A pretty long while. Which just goes to…

The Reader On The 6.27, Jean Paul Didierlaurent

  How can you review a book like this? I mean, seriously? It was just so incredibly sweet and heart-warming and just delightful and you can’t review that, just enjoy it! The book is set in Paris and follows a few weeks in the life of Guylain Vignolles, a lover of books whose job is to…

Fool Moon, Jim Butcher

Book Two of the Dresden Files. Pretty similar to book one, really! Special Investigations, Karrin Murphy, Bob the Skull, potions brewed, magic used. This time around, we have werewolves! Seriously, there’s not much more to say: it’s smart and sassy, it’s got magic and werewolves. It is not high literature! It’s a decently written, fast…

Case Histories, Kate Atkinson

Another detective fiction novel – and another still to review, albeit with a paranormal twist – and this shares many similarities with The Cuckoo’s Calling but is done so much better. Kate Atkinson – whose more explicitly literary offering of Life After Life was divine and possibly one of the best books I have ever read – is…

The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith

Okay. I’m putting my hands up to this. I did not like this book. Yes, I know that Robert Galbraith is J. K. Rowling and the sainted J. K. can do no wrong in the eyes of many… but this did not work for me. The plot was decent enough: the death of Lula Landry,…

The Vegetarian, Han Kang

This is a very difficult book to review, to consider, to – for wont of a better analogy – digest. It is also a book which I think will haunt and follow me. And, Heaven forfend, make me think. What an appalling concept! The plot, such as it is, is devastatingly simple: Kim Yeong-hye is…