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…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Eight!

So, week two and day eight roll around and we’re still going… And the challenge today is to name  A series everyone should read. Now I struggle with this concept. Why should everyone read the same thing? Why would one series – which is a massive investment of time – be something everyone should read? Why should anyone read…

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…

The Humans, Matt Haig

There’s nothing new or original in this novel. Touches of Doctor Who, perhaps. Touches of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime. Touches, indeed, of Eleanor Oliphant Is Perfectly Fine. An outsider struggles to fit into humam society and ultimately fights to understand what it is to be human. Wrap that up with…

Railhead, Philip Reeve

  This is a delightfully fun and engaging tale with all the confidence you’d expect of Phillip Reeve, returning to the steampunk genre, if in a very different world, of Mortal Engines. Here, rather than walking cities, we have sentient trains and K-gates – wormholes or portals, taking trains and their passengers instantly to different worlds and different…

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…

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017

It being March, the CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist has been announced and I’m embarking on the ritual of trying to read them. This year, the list is:

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

This book – a Booker Prize shortlisted book from a Booker Prize winning novelist – has been sat on my book shelf since forever. I was convinced I’d read it. I am sure I’ve had lengthy and enthusiastic discussions about it. Heated debates. Yet, having downloaded it from Audible as a re-read, expecting something familiar…

The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu

What the hell was that? There is this much fuss over … this? Now, I suppose I should confess: I’m not a great science fiction reader. Especially not hard science fiction. And I’m neither a scientist nor a historian of the Cultural Revolution in China. But this was not a good book. I didn’t dislike…

The Martian, Andy Weir

  This review is going to be controversial. There is a lot of hype about this book with the movie and Matt Damon and the Hollywood machine in overdrive. I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t like it. It wasn’t well written. Clever, credible and smart, yes;…