The Soul of Discretion, Susan Hill

Trigger Warning: child sexual abuse and rape. Ah, Susan Hill, you seemed to have taken a different direction with this book from the rest of the Serrailler series. Had the gentility of Lafferton started to wane for you? Was there only so much you could do with the cloistered – and I choose that metaphor…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20!

Heading – finally – into the last ten entries with A book with an unreliable narrator I do love me an unreliable narrator since reading Poe. Oh The Tell-Tale Heart! You know you’ve made it when your novel is restaged by The Simpsons! I love that shifting uncertainty of these narrators: how are they misleading…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 19!

Taking advantage of a rare quiet moment, let’s throw another entry into the 30 Day Book Challenge, namely today An audiobook you like because of the narrator’s voice. Now, before selecting a book, I’m going to relate a terrifying incident from my student days. My early student days. Imagine, if you will, a young and…

Melmoth, Sarah Perry

Look! It is winter in Prague: night is rising in the mother of cities and over her thousand spires. Look down at the darkness around your feet, in all the lanes and alleys, as if it were a soft black dust swept there by a broom; look at the stone apostles on the old Charles Bridge, and at all the blue-eyed jackdaws on the shoulders of St. John of Nepomuk. Look!

2019: A Year in Books

Thanks to Melany Parker at meltotheany‘s review of her year in books – which looked so much fancier than mine: oh, we teachers do love a colour coded spreadsheet and pie charts! – and led me to Brock Roberts‘ 2019 Book Tracking Spreadsheet. Reading. Books. Spreadsheets. Charts and Graphs. What’s not to love? I’m still…

2018: A Year in Books

So here it is. New Year’s Eve and, being a dad to a five year old and generally quite antisocial, I am at home with family, a glass of chilled champagne and, currently, Pointless on the television. Living the high life! But I’d have it no other way. The little one is upstairs reading Emma…

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker

The Greek epics seem to have had a resurgence – dare one say a renaissance? – or a reimagining recently. On my to-be-read list are Stephen Fry’s Mythos and Heroes, Madeline Miller’s Circe, and Song of Achilles and now this by Pat Barker. I don’t know what the appeal is of these narratives, nor why they are…

Normal People, Sally Rooney

Normal People. Are people normal? I don’t think so. I think we are weird and strange and contradictory and self-contradictory and life primarily in delusions and bubbles of pretense and make-believe. But maybe that’s me! “Normal” seems like a slur… So the point is, I’m not entirely sure what drew me to this book: it…

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

Oh well, having set down my best intentions earlier, to review Washington Black before finishing Sally Rooney’s Normal People, and to complete the 30 Day Book Challenge by Christmas, I have failed on all accounts and now have Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls to review as well! But, I have had a lovely Chrsitmas…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 17!

I find this a very broad category today; A book with a person’s name in the title (real or fictional). I mean in every genre, there are a wealth of books containing (or perhaps consisting of solely) the name of the characters: every one of the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl series in Young…