One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson

Read with caution: Cleaning companies may never be the same again! I’ve come to Kate Atkinson late in her career: I can recall surprisingly vividly my mother’s water damaged, crinkly paper copy of Behind the Scenes at the Museum teetering on the side of the bath – an avocado kitsch bath – from my childhood…

Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver

This was my first Paver read having heard some good things about her, and it thrust me straight into a solid Gothic historical yarn with some genuinely creepy moments! The novel is perhaps misnamed: it focuses on the house Wake’s End set beside the local fen, some three miles from the village of Wakenhyrst; and,…

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon

It is no secret that I love my fantasy. I cut my reading teeth on fantasy – thank you Tolkien and Eddings and so many others! I love the way that the freedom of a fantasy world can throw a light into the contemporary. I love the sheer fun and spectacle that can come with…

Lost Acre, Andrew Caldecott

This is a deliciously quirky trilogy of novels! Many many things in the books, Rotherweird and Wyntertyde should not work, and yet they somehow do. Gosh! Wyntertyde had left us on a cliffhanger: a second mixing point was discovered; Bolitho was revealed as Fortemain and then dispatched; the vile Calx Bole had succeeded in resurrecting…

A Map of Days, Ransom Riggs

Some series just don’t know when to die. But I guess, if you get acclaim – and money – for it, why stop? Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine‘s series was enjoyable enough as a piece of popcorn reading. And the books were better than the awful film – but that’s not saying much. In the first…

The Comforts of Home, Susan Hill

How does Simon Serrailler recover from a vicious assault at the hands of paedophiles, which left him on the verge of death? How does Serrailler manage his post-traumatic stress disorder? Entry number nine in Susan Hill’s DCS Simon Serrailler series picks up where the previous novel, The Soul of Discretion, finishes: Serrailler is in hospital…

The Pisces, Melissa Broder

Why is it that the words of female sexuality – and of female anatomy – are either rendered taboo or fetishised in our society ? Vagina. Clitoris. Vulva. Menstruation. Compared to “cock”, there is a different quality in these words. A frisson of shock and challenge. And that is a frisson which Broder does not…

The Rosie Result, Graeme Simsion

I’m not a person with autism any more than I’m a person with lesbianism. I’m lesbian. I’m autistic. When I get a cold, I have a cold; I’m a person with a cold and I want to get rid of it. Medical help appreciated. But being autistic and lesbian—that’s who I am, and I’m not interested in anyone trying to cure me of who I am.

The Salt Path, Raynor Winn

Part memoir, part nature book, part social commentary, The Salt Path kind of fails to be any one thing. Had it not had a local interest for me, I am not sure that I would actually have finished it! The local section came – obviously – towards the end. It was a Sunday Times best…