Theatre Review: Henry V, National Theatre Live

It has been a long time since I have been to the theatre live, and the National Theatre Live cinema showing of staged performances are a relatively easy and accessible variant, and last night's offering of Henry V was visually impressive but ultimately a little confused. The evening began with an interview with Kit Harington… Continue reading Theatre Review: Henry V, National Theatre Live

Book Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi

Jamie’s dream was to hit the big time at a New York tech start-up. Jamie’s reality was a humiliating lay-off. Things look beyond grim, until a chance delivery to an old acquaintance. Tom has an urgent vacancy on his team: the pay is great and Jamie has debts – it’s a no-brainer choice. Yet, once… Continue reading Book Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi

Book Review: October, October by Katya Balen

October and her dad live in the woods. They know the trees and the rocks and the lake and stars like best friends. They live in the woods and they are wild. And that's the way it is.Until the year October turns eleven. That's the year October rescues a baby owl. It's the year Dad… Continue reading Book Review: October, October by Katya Balen

Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the… Continue reading Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

Book Review: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

After Oliver Twist asks nasty Mr Bumble for more food, he has to flee the workhouse for the streets of London. Here he meets the Artful Dodger, who leads him to Fagin and his gang of pickpockets. When a thieving mission goes wrong, Oliver narrowly avoids prison and finds himself in the care of kind… Continue reading Book Review: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Dorothy is a grieving housewife in the Californian suburbs; her husband is unfaithful, but they are too unhappy to get a divorce. One day, she is doing chores when she hears strange voices on the radio announcing that a green-skinned sea monster has escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research - but little does she… Continue reading Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Your Favourite Trope/Theme

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics February 1: Books with Character Names In… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Your Favourite Trope/Theme

Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr

When everything is lost, it’s our stories that survive How do we weather the end of things? Cloud Cuckoo Land brings together an unforgettable cast of dreamers and outsiders from past, present and future to offer a vision of survival against all odds. Constantinople, 1453:An orphaned seamstress and a cursed boy with a love for animals risk… Continue reading Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr

Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe

In the first brisk days of autumn, a woman arrives in Scotland having left her job at an all-girls school in London in mysterious circumstances. Moving into a cottage on the remote estate of Hare House, she begins to explore her new home – a patchwork of hills, moorland and forest. But among the tiny… Continue reading Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe

Book Review: The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi

Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the… Continue reading Book Review: The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi

Book Review: Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance… Continue reading Book Review: Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

Book Review: Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Eva Jurczyk

Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she's left to run things, she discovers that the… Continue reading Book Review: Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Eva Jurczyk

2022 Reading Logs

One of the great things that I love about the new year - alongside new stationery and new notebooks and new beginnings - is starting a new reading log. I have borrowed and downloaded some that I have found online for the last few years, and they have always been great, representing an incredible generosity… Continue reading 2022 Reading Logs

Book Review: The Twyford Code, Janice Hallett

Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children's book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced… Continue reading Book Review: The Twyford Code, Janice Hallett

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read In 2021

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics November 23: Characters I'd Love an Update… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read In 2021

Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.The tea is hot, the scones are fresh and the dead are just passing through.When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own sparsely-attended funeral, Wallace is outraged. But he begins to suspect she’s right, and he is in fact dead. Then when Hugo, owner of a most peculiar tea shop,… Continue reading Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Book Review: Silverview, John le Carré

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town,… Continue reading Book Review: Silverview, John le Carré

Book Review: The Kingdoms, Natasha Pulley

Come home, if you remember.The postcard has been held at the sorting office for ninety-one years, waiting to be delivered to Joe Tournier. On the front is a lighthouse - Eilean Mor, in the Outer Hebrides.Joe has never left England, never even left London. He is a British slave, one of thousands throughout the French… Continue reading Book Review: The Kingdoms, Natasha Pulley

Book Review: A Change of Circumstance, Susan Hill

Simon Serrailler finds himself in devastating new territory as a sophisticated drugs network sets its sights on Lafferton and the surrounding villagesDCS Simon Serrailler has long regarded drugs ops in the Lafferton area as a waste of time. Small-time dealers are picked up outside the local secondary school, they're given a fine or a suspended… Continue reading Book Review: A Change of Circumstance, Susan Hill

Book Review: As Good As Dead, Holly Jackson

Pip Fitz-Amobi is haunted by the way her last investigation ended. Soon she’ll be leaving for Cambridge University but then another case finds her . . . and this time it’s all about Pip.  Pip is used to online death threats, but there’s one that catches her eye, someone who keeps asking: who will look for you… Continue reading Book Review: As Good As Dead, Holly Jackson

Book Review: Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath -- but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.Sealed… Continue reading Book Review: Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro

'The Sun always has ways to reach us.'From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges… Continue reading Book Review: Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro

Book Review: The Mermaid of Black Conch, Monique Roffey

Near the island of Black Conch, a fisherman sings to himself while waiting for a catch. But David attracts a sea-dweller that he never expected - Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.When American tourists capture Aycayia, David rescues her and vows to win her trust. Slowly, painfully,… Continue reading Book Review: The Mermaid of Black Conch, Monique Roffey

Book Review: No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood

This is a story about a life lived in two halves.It's about what happens when real life collides with the world accessed through a screen.It's about where we go when existential threats loom and high-stakes reality claims us back.It's about living in world that contains both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy,… Continue reading Book Review: No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood

Book Review: The Appeal, Janice Hallett

Dear Reader - enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What's… Continue reading Book Review: The Appeal, Janice Hallett