The Mitford Murders, Jessica Fellowes

What a classy cover! Don’t be judging a book by its cover, but even so… classy! I want to describe it as being in an art deco style but I’m not entirely sure what that term means… Similarly classy is the pedigree of the author: Jessica Fellowes is a well renowned journalist and editor; she…

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker

The Greek epics seem to have had a resurgence – dare one say a renaissance? – or a reimagining recently. On my to-be-read list are Stephen Fry’s Mythos and Heroes, Madeline Miller’s Circe, and Song of Achilles and now this by Pat Barker. I don’t know what the appeal is of these narratives, nor why they are…

The Muse, Jessie Burton

I adored The Miniaturist! It was one of those books which had stayed with me: the cold of her repressed Amsterdam, the sweetness of marzipan, the claustrophobic house. The hint of the supernatural. The difficult, prickly bond between the women. So it was with pleasure and anticipation that I began The Muse and it took…

Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

Okay. I confess. I only read this and the next book (Library Of Souls) to complete a trilogy for my 2015 Reading Challenge. And because I was running out of time. I did complete them by 31st December… just a little slow blogging about them. Due in part to a busy Christmas and also to…

All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

I am no historian and my knowledge of World War Two is pretty much skewed by literature as much as my knowledge of World War One is skewed by poetry. But literature of World War Two seems to have waited. Almost as if it were too horrific, too traumatic to digest. Much of the literature…

The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro

When I was an impressionable teenager, which feels a long time ago now, I imbibed a lot of Arthurian legends. Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Gawaine, Bedivere, Ector, Cai, Pelias, The Fisher King, Tristran, Iseult, Mordred, Morgana La Fey. And from there, at University, a unit on Medieval Literature reunited me with Gawain in Sir Gawain and The…

Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge 

  This is a remarkable novel. Of the three CILIP Carnegie nominees I’ve read, this is my clear front runner. And I’m saying that having read Patrick Ness! Before I review it, however, I’m going to play a game with my sixteen year-old stepson, whose birthday it is today. Despite his protestations, he is going…

Tinder, Sally Gardner

This is the first of my reviews of this year’s CILIP Carnegie Medal nominees. Well, my second. Patrick Ness’ More Than This I read back in August – see here for my review – six months before the shortlist was announced. And to be honest, it will take some beating! Anyway, this is my first knowing CILIP Carnegie…

The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters

There is so much to admire about this book that I feel almost guilty that I didn’t love it. And I feel I might struggle to explain why without losing sight of the fact that it is a great book and beautifully written in places. As you’d expect from Waters, The Paying Guests inhabits a…

Strange Meeting, Susan Hill

I do not generally choose war books. In all honesty, had I come across this book with this cover in a shop or library I would probably have skipped over it. I like Susan Hill; I dislike war. I am particularly hesitant about The Great War novels written recently: I’m uncomfortable with the glorification of…