Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All, Jonas Jonasson

I’ve not read anything by Jonasson before, although I am aware of the acclaim that The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of A Window And Disappeared attracted. And it had appeared in Waterstone’s May Book recommendations so I had pretty high hopes. Social satire, I thought; comedy, I expected; characters, I looked forward…

Company of Liars, Karen Maitland

This was … not what I expected. A band of travellers in the England of 1348, travelling and telling tales to each other over the course of their journeys. The reviews and comments on it make an obvious but – to my mind – highly suspect assertion that this somehow a re-imagining of The Canterbury…

Gift of Stones, Jim Crace

Hmm mmmmmm. Some books I’m glad I read before reading any reviews. What would I have learned? It’s set in the Stone Age. Instantly, I’d be put off. I’d be imagining Raquel Welsh in a fur bikini – not a bad thing in itself – and all the other nonsense from one Million Years BC…

The Bands of Mourning, Brandon Sanderson

I tend to have three books on the go simultaneously most of the time: an audiobook for the drive to and from work; a thoughtful, dare I say literary, book for when I’m at home; and a just-entertain-me book for when I don’t actually want to think too much. We all need a just-entertain-me book…

The Lie Tree, Francis Hardinge

I am coming to adore Frances Hardinge! I’ve only read this and Cuckoo Song to be fair, but there’s something about her imagination and her writing which chimes with me: dark, intensely personal, yet somehow mythic at the same time. She captures a sense of wonder,  of terror, of awe which is simultaneously so childlike…

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

This book – a Booker Prize shortlisted book from a Booker Prize winning novelist – has been sat on my book shelf since forever. I was convinced I’d read it. I am sure I’ve had lengthy and enthusiastic discussions about it. Heated debates. Yet, having downloaded it from Audible as a re-read, expecting something familiar…

The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu

What the hell was that? There is this much fuss over … this? Now, I suppose I should confess: I’m not a great science fiction reader. Especially not hard science fiction. And I’m neither a scientist nor a historian of the Cultural Revolution in China. But this was not a good book. I didn’t dislike…

The Pure In Heart, Susan Hill

I’m genuinely unsure of what to make of this book. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad book; listening to it as an audiobook was a pretty pleasant way to spend my journeys to work. But it didn’t seem to be what it was packaged as and marketed as: a crime mystery. It felt…

The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion

There are some great books that I’ve read over the years. Neither this, nor it’s predecessor, The Rosie Project, belong in that category. There are, however, other mental categories into which I file books and this did fall into one labelled silly-books-I’ve-read-extracts-of-to-my-wife and this does fall into that category. It is predictable; it follows an…