Reading Update: 14th October

Oh the books. The piles of books. The new books coming out. The unread books still waiting. So, this week I have found myself with four books on the go, simultaneously: waking and alert, I’m continuing Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under and as I drive I’m listening to Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black from the Man Booker Shortlist; and…

The Mystery of Three Quarters, Sophie Hannah

Hercule Poirot. Arrogant and dandy and moustache firmly in place. An extended cast of somewhat two-dimensional characters. A convoluted and contrived plot – very contrived in this instance. Very contrived. Let’s face is, when the plot of a novel revolves around the construction of a battenburg cake, that novel is – for fear of being…

Weekly Reading Round-Up: 28th September

A new start to the school year, and a new stage of life as my little one heads into school – real school, Reception Year, for the first time. I had no idea how tough that would be for her – or for me. And, one week, she was poorly on top of everything else;…

The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner

I am not a fan of prison drama. Orange Is The New Black? No thank you. Shawshank Redemption? I just don’t like the prison setting. It may have something to do with an innate suspicion of large numbers of people being together; it may have something to do with having been a criminal barrister and…

Weekly Round-Up: 26th August 2018

Ah the Summer Holidays. Every year I begin it with ambitious plans to catch up on the blog, the housework, the gardening, my TBR list – pile – mountain, planning for next year…. Every year, those six weeks stretch out with the promise of that most elusive thing: time, opportunity, leisure. And every year, it…

Snap, Belinda Bauer

It’s that time of year again, the Man Booker Longlist has been released and I do try to keep.up to date with them – as I do with the Costa and Women’s Prize lists. Sometimes they can be a bit hit-and-miss, sometimes a little pretentious, but generally a good addition to my TBR list and…

Home Fires, Kamila Shamsie

With two stories in the news today – Safir Boular, at 18, being the youngest girl to be convicted of terrorism offences; and Alia Ghanem speaking of her son. Osama bin Laden – about terrorism and the legal system and family, the importance and relevance of a book like Home Fire is painfully apparent. The…

Faithful Place, Tana French

Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series is a delight, but has sometimes only vague connections to the eponymous Murder Squad. In The Woods, the first novel, centred on it; but the follow-up The Likeness, centred on Cassie Madox from the first book who is now in Domestic Violence rather than murder and being supervised by…

Weekly Round Up: 30th July 2018

It is here at long last! The summer holidays! We – and all other teachers – survived! And golly it has been a heck of a year! So, the upside: more time to read! Insofar as a five year old will let me! Less issues for reading past my bedtime! The downside, and it’s a…

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet came to my attention through the Booker Prize: I loved his His Bloody Project novel with its multiple voices and setting, evocatively recreating the brutality of life in Scottish crofting communities. It was on the strength of that that I picked up this, the first of his Detective Gorski novels and –…