The Boy On The Bridge, M. R. Carey

There are times when comfort, familiarity and ease are, actually, exactly what you need; at other times, by all means, challenge me, make me confront my preconceptions, subvert my genres in different ways. When I’m tired, poorly and stressed, however, enfold me in familiar settings, tropes and – hell, yes – even the comfort of…

The Girl of Ink and Stars, Kiran Millwood Hargrave

  This certainly has a distinctive and gorgeous cover on it, which has graced the window front of local bookshops for weeks! But they do say that you shouldn’t just a book etc etc etc … The book is narrated by Isabella, a young girl on the island of Joya, who has been brought up on…

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

What’s the bravest thing you ever did? He spat into the road a bloody phlegm. Getting up this morning, he said. Yup. That is how bleak the world of this book is. Tragically, lyrically and devastatingly bleak, but bleak nonetheless. Nothing grows. Nothing lives. The world contains nothing of beauty or of value and very…

The Girl With All The Gifts, M. R. Carey

  Oh dear.  I fear I’m going to be unpopular here because I’ve heard so much good about this book. People have raved about it. A friend, whose book recommendations I’ve often been steered well by, re-reads it. Monthly.  So I apologise in advance.  I found it to be… okay.  It was standard zombie post-apocalyptic horror fare…

Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson

  I’ve been considering reading this for a while.  I do like Sanderson’s world building, especially in the Mistborn series; I also have a penchant for superheroes, dating back to a misspent youth. Sanderson’s take on superheroes was appealing and tempting, especially as the sequel to Steelheart, entitled Firefight, came out in January this year.  And…

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…

More Than This, Patrick Ness

I am a huge Patrick Ness fan! Let me put that out there at the start of this. I hugely admired his Chaos Walking Trilogy but was utterly blown away by the visceral emotion and mythic scope of A Monster Calls. There are few books that dig inside you as much as that one. This…

Blackout, Mira Grant

I’m not going to write much about this book: it doesn’t really warrant it! This is the third in Mira Grant’s post-zombie-apocalypse political thriller Feed trilogy – so I have that glow of satisfaction of completion having read it – but it is a trilogy that should never have been. The first book, Feed was,…

The Twelve, Justin Cronin

It’s a strange thing with books. You can start one – particularly a lengthy one like this – and things get in the way of you finishing it. That’s not the strange thing. That – I imagine – is familiar. Maybe you put it down because work has become hectic or your baby is born…

Deadline, Mira Grant

In education, there is a chap by the name of Dylan Wiliam who espouses the theory that one shouldn’t give grades out. Children look at their grade and either think “yeah, that’s good enough” or they think “I’m a failure and there’s no point in trying”. Dylan Wiliam tells us that we should just give…

Feed, Mira Grant

I’m a sensitive soul, me. I like books and words; I wear my heart on my sleeve. I cringe at the sight of gore and blood. So why have I been immersing myself in gore recently? The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin and now Feed, book one of the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira…

Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner

When we got the books for the Carnegie Shadowing in school, there was a lot of excitement that this was a book about a dyslexic, in the voice of a dyslexic, written by a dyslexic. Obviously, in an educational environment, it was … enticing. And, whilst that is all true, that is only minor part…