The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne

  Some books you can knock out a review in a moment or two after reading them. Others take time to digest and consider and reflect on. And this beautiful, heart-aching, visceral, funny, tragic novel is one of the latter. But as yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia Intersexism and Transphobia  – should…

The Keeper Of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan

My daughter is four. She loves Talking Tom games and You Tube episodes. I was more invested in the relationship between Tom and Angela on those cartoons than I was in the relationships between Laura and Freddy, or the post-death relationship between Anthony and Therése or between Eunice and Bomber. It is a nice enough…

A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman

We all know that old bloke on the corner who glowers at us, the one with a face like a bulldog sucking lemons, the one who barks at us for dropping litter or parking in the wrong place. The one who we suspect goes around the house grumbling about the radiators being on. Hell, I fear…

Catch Up

For various reasons – Ofsted, toddler, family visits – I’ve not been able to add reviews recently and am about to try to catch-up. Once again. As an aide memoir to myself, to you – and a short cut to adding photos later, the books I’m yet to review are: Autumn by Ali Smith: gorgeous,…

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…

The Martian, Andy Weir

  This review is going to be controversial. There is a lot of hype about this book with the movie and Matt Damon and the Hollywood machine in overdrive. I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t like it. It wasn’t well written. Clever, credible and smart, yes;…

The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett

  My first Discworld novel was Carpe Jugulum which is still my favourite, so it seems very fitting for me that my last (new) Discworld novel takes me back to Lancre, the redoubtable Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Tiffany Aching. Pratchett never finished this novel – not the half-dozen other novels which he appears to…

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Jay Fowler

Why are so few book covers yellow? This looks gorgeous! Like a literary bumblebee. I have to confess, the only reason I picked this up was the cover – despite the advice parents give their children the world over. That and Waterstone’s promotions. But I’m really glad I did because it’s a powerful, haunting, human…

How To Be Both, Ali Smith

I find with this blog that some books can be reviewed almost from the moment you finish them. Others, I need time to … ruminate. To cogitate. To digest. To reflect on. This book, Ali Smith’s Man Booker Shortlisted How To Be Both, definitely falls into that latter category. It is beautiful. It is thoughtful….

The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell

Ahhhhh David Mitchell. This, for me, is probably your crowning glory. I loved the realism and naturalistic voice of Black Swan Green; I also loved the mysticism and scope of Cloud Atlas. The Bone Clocks incorporates both those elements whilst ramping up the fantastical into a breathtaking and deft novel. The novel most closely resembles…