The Girl of Ink and Stars, Kiran Millwood Hargrave

  This certainly has a distinctive and gorgeous cover on it, which has graced the window front of local bookshops for weeks! But they do say that you shouldn’t just a book etc etc etc … The book is narrated by Isabella, a young girl on the island of Joya, who has been brought up on…

Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde

 The second Thursday Next book picks up immediately after the end of The Eyre Affair and is a fun and joyful thing! A bit of lovely fluff: light, quick and just fun.  It does perhaps suffer from its role in the series: The Eyre Affair was pretty self-contained; it has spawned a series of – I…

The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

  Oh I’m in two minds about this book.  I so wanted to like it.  A alternate history world in which the borders between reality and books is flexible and malleable. Who would love to pop to Wuthering Heights for a cup of tea with Nelly Dean? Or stroll through the 100 Acre Wood? Or play hide-and-seek…

A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan

     This was a pleasant enough way to round of my half term: decently written in the engaging and practical voice of Lady Trent, this book conjures up a Regency style world with echoes of Austen. With dragons.  The opening sections of the novel are the most Austenesque – if that’s even a word. Isabella…

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North

   “Complexity should be your excuse for inaction.” I was born in 1973 in a village in Kent. So far as I know, only once. I have to say, when I die, if I were to be reborn as myself in the same village in 1973 again, I’d be a tad surprised! I mean 1973….

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, Mark Hodder

    Okay.  I’m going to ‘fess up here.  This is no great work of fiction. This is not a literary masterpiece. It is neither lyrical, resonant or thought-provoking – those three adjectives appearing more and more regularly on my blog as praise-words for novels. It does not sparkle with intriguing new metaphors; its prose does…

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke

Fantasy is my (not so) secret (not so) guilty pleasure in reading. Fantasy introduced me to reading through The Hobbit and Tolkien. Fantasy was my escape from teenage tedium … my family was far too middle class to have angst! And I still enjoy a healthy dollop of fantasy, as readers of this blog will…

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, Mark Hodder

Some books are born great. Some books achieve greatness. Some books have greatness thrust upon them. This book is not one of them. It’s not great. It’s not beautifully written. It’s not literary. But it is immensely fun! Mark Hodder propels us into Victorian London: the search for the source of the Nile, Stanley, Livingstone,…