Book Review: Shards of Earth, Adrian Tchaikovsky

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans ­such… Continue reading Book Review: Shards of Earth, Adrian Tchaikovsky

Book Review: Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason

Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.So why is everything broken? Why is Martha - on the edge of 40 - friendless, practically jobless and… Continue reading Book Review: Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason

Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could… Continue reading Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

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: 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: The First Woman, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

As Kirabo enters her teens, questions begin to gnaw at her – questions which the adults in her life will do anything to ignore. Where is the mother she has never known? And why would she choose to leave her daughter behind? Inquisitive, headstrong, and unwilling to take no for an answer, Kirabo sets out… Continue reading Book Review: The First Woman, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

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: 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

Book Review: Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

The world is not run from where he thinks. Not from border fortresses, not even from Whitehall. The world is run from Antwerp, from Florence, from places he has never imagined; from Lisbon, from where the ships with sails of silk drift west and are burned up in the sun. Not from the castle walls,… Continue reading Book Review: Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

Book Review: Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart

“Rain was the natural state of Glasgow. It kept the grass green and the people pale and bronchial.” I have been delaying reviewing this book for a while, wanting to let it dwell in my mind for some time before putting my thoughts down... and then life got in the way - as did new… Continue reading Book Review: Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart

Book Review: The Survivors, Jane Harper

“Are they supposed to be happy or sad? I mean, is it a celebration of the people who made it, or a memorial to the ones who didn't?” One thing that Jane Harper can do extraordinarily well is to create a sense of place in her writing: her settings, whether they be the oppressive heat… Continue reading Book Review: The Survivors, Jane Harper

Book Review: White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

“But then, maybe “I don’t believe in you” is the cruelest way to kill a monster.” Oyeyemi has been on my radar for a while, but has been languishing on my bookshelf for longer than she deserves. There were words and phrases connected to her which tantalised - fairy tale, gothic, ghost, unconventional - and… Continue reading Book Review: White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

Book Review: The Redhead by the Side of the Road, Anne Tyler

“The only place I went wrong, he writes, was expecting things to be perfect. Abruptly, he signals for a turn, and when the light changes he heads east instead of continuing north.” After reading a number of heavily plot driven books this year, Redhead was a definite change of pace for me. I'd not read… Continue reading Book Review: The Redhead by the Side of the Road, Anne Tyler

Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea, T. J. Klune

“Hate is loud, but I think you'll learn it's because it's only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as your remember you're not alone, you will overcome.” You know what it is like where there is a book that you… Continue reading Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea, T. J. Klune

The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

I’m hoping it will not be the essay I proposed to Mrs Morgan. I’m hoping it will be the truth. What really happened to Andie Bell on the 20th April 2012? And – as my instincts tell me – if Salil ‘Sal’ Singh is not guilty, then who killed her? How would a community react… Continue reading The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

For the sisters & the sistas & the sistahs & the sistren & the women & the womxn & the wimmin & the womyn & our brethren & our bredrin & our brothers & our bruvs & our men & our mandem & the LGBTQI+ members of the human family

10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Elif Shafak

I have sat on this book for a while since finishing reading it - partially as a result of workload; mainly because it, like The Heart's Invisible Furies and many others, is a book that deserved some time to settle and be absorbed before launching into a review. The novel revolves around a single character,… Continue reading 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Elif Shafak

Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie

With two stories in the news today - Safir Boular, at 18, being the youngest girl to be convicted of terrorism offences; and Alia Ghanem speaking of her son. Osama bin Laden - about terrorism and the legal system and family, the importance and relevance of a book like Home Fire is painfully apparent. The… Continue reading Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie

Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor

This is one of the most unusual and beautiful books I've read for a while. Hard to define. Difficult to keep track of people. But beautiful and lyrical. Radio 4 do a slot of "slow radio" sometimes and this book reminds me of that. And of my childhood. And of a familiarity with the country… Continue reading Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor

Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is one of those authors who I have been aware of but avoided for a while. I put my hands up, it was and has been deeply unfair of me. Like that chap in the village I grew up in who always crossed the road when he saw my mother to avoid talking… Continue reading Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

History Of The Rain, Niall Williams

Books appeal to me in a variety of different ways.Some are intellectually challenging; some have intricate or gripping plots; some tug on the heart strings; some create whole worlds inside me; some create characters who live on inside my mind and imagination.And some sing to me. They breathe under my fingers. They live. And this was one… Continue reading History Of The Rain, Niall Williams