Melmoth, Sarah Perry

Look! It is winter in Prague: night is rising in the mother of cities and over her thousand spires. Look down at the darkness around your feet, in all the lanes and alleys, as if it were a soft black dust swept there by a broom; look at the stone apostles on the old Charles Bridge, and at all the blue-eyed jackdaws on the shoulders of St. John of Nepomuk. Look!

2019: A Year in Books

Thanks to Melany Parker at meltotheany‘s review of her year in books – which looked so much fancier than mine: oh, we teachers do love a colour coded spreadsheet and pie charts! – and led me to Brock Roberts‘ 2019 Book Tracking Spreadsheet. Reading. Books. Spreadsheets. Charts and Graphs. What’s not to love? I’m still…

2018: A Year in Books

So here it is. New Year’s Eve and, being a dad to a five year old and generally quite antisocial, I am at home with family, a glass of chilled champagne and, currently, Pointless on the television. Living the high life! But I’d have it no other way. The little one is upstairs reading Emma…

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…

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…

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

Oh well, having set down my best intentions earlier, to review Washington Black before finishing Sally Rooney’s Normal People, and to complete the 30 Day Book Challenge by Christmas, I have failed on all accounts and now have Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls to review as well! But, I have had a lovely Chrsitmas…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 17!

I find this a very broad category today; A book with a person’s name in the title (real or fictional). I mean in every genre, there are a wealth of books containing (or perhaps consisting of solely) the name of the characters: every one of the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl series in Young…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 16!

With an unexpected day off again tomorrow – thanks to an unwell child, poor thing! – it is possible that I may be able to catch up a day or two! Maybe. But today’s challenge is to name a  book you’ve read more than once. Now, this is a tricky one. If we look at…

The Sentence is Death, Anthony Horowitz

Why do we read detective stories? It is a strange genre.  Every piece of advice is that tension and conflict are the driver of a narrative and, with this genre, unlike the thriller genre, the most significant conflict – the one which traditionally culminates in murder, as it does with this one – occurs significantly…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 15!

I really should have limited myself to just naming a book and moving on! One name, one image; job done! Instead, no, I decide I’m going to chat and talk about them! I do find it hard not to chat about books. That’s the problem! So now, if I do one a day every day, I’ll finish…