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…

The Overstory, Richard Powers

“Let me sing to you, about how creatures become other things” I was brought up – and still live – very much in the countryside. A safe, British countryside. I know my oak from my elm for my yew. I am currently harvesting apples and blackberries from the garden, looking forward to the walnuts being…

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…

Weekly Round Up: 17th July 2018

One more week until the Summer holidays and a real chance to get stuck into my TBR pile – and my To Be Reviewed list too! I’m sure I’ve missed some things off somewhere! Wasn’t there a Dresden File I read and haven’t reviewed yet? Blood Rites? I have this week posted my first Netgalley…

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 –…

The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

There are times when I love my job. Some. On rare occasions. One of those times came today when I spotted a copy of The Sleeper and the Spindle on the side in the library and I was asked to have a read of it over night and see whether I thought it was suitable….