Spring, Ali Smith

Look what arrived this week: an ARC of Spring, the third in Ali Smith’s gorgeous Seasons Tetralogy, following Autumn and Winter. Autumn being hailed as the first post-Brexit novel – and it is so much more transformative and lyrical and funny and tragic than that! – the timing of this novel’s release at the end…

Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi

I have lived many lives inside this body.
I lived many lives before they put me in this body.
I will live many lives when they take me out of it.

The Mitford Murders, Jessica Fellowes

What a classy cover! Don’t be judging a book by its cover, but even so… classy! I want to describe it as being in an art deco style but I’m not entirely sure what that term means… Similarly classy is the pedigree of the author: Jessica Fellowes is a well renowned journalist and editor; she…

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…

A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I often find – as I mentioned in my previous post – a post-Christmas lull in my reading. The cold dark days of January, which this…

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…

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…