This is a book for cold winter nights and cosy evenings with crackling fires. Possibly stupidly, I read it during one of England’s rare mini-heatwaves. The story enchanted me despite the weather. The icy streets Robert Dinsdale describes made a nice change from my overheated home. Continue reading “Review: The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale”
You’re never too old for adventure or vodka. In this quirky shaggy dog story, hundred-year-old Allan Karlsson escapes his strict retirement home and goes on the run.
After climbing out of the window in urine-splattered slippers, he wants freedom – and a stiff drink. Continue reading “Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of A Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson”
I owe someone out there a lot of chocolate. It’s the person who told me to read Dorothy Koomson’s work.
The Friend is the first book I’ve tried by this author and I’m already hooked. I’ve started making plans to binge-read her back-list. Continue reading “Review: The Friend by Dorothy Koomson”
I don’t like this book. I love it. The main character is brave, brilliant and ruthless.
Evelyn Hugo has more pizzazz that most real people (me included). How can a life this vibrant be fictional?
As an actress in Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’, she was world-famous. Now in her late seventies, Evelyn’s retired from the big screen.
Still a household name, she’s known for her movie career and her many husbands. The press is desperate for interviews with this elusive former-leading-lady. Continue reading “Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid”
Some readers are pioneers. There’s nothing more boring for them than going back to stories they know. They delve into libraries and hunt through recent releases to find exciting new bookish experiences.
Sadly, this isn’t me. Just as I have a favourite cup (seriously, it makes all hot drinks taste better) there are a few much-loved plots I wrap around myself like a warm quilt. The characters are old friends and turning the pages feels like coming home.
So, when wondering what to read this week, I opened Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe for the second time. OK, it’s not on my multiple rereads list yet but it’s a strong contender. Continue reading “Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz”
Have you heard of Marmite? This salty, yeasty sandwich spread is famous in the UK. It’s a source of national division, nearly on a par with Brexit: People either love it or hate it.
The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet is a Marmite book. Some readers say it’s the best thing ever, others want to spit it out.
I found this story, like Marmite, to be flavoursome and delicious. I’d be happy to spend the day reading it while eating spoonfuls of my favourite, sticky condiment straight from the jar. Continue reading “Review: The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers”
This book makes me want to spontaneously applaud. W.C. Ryan has managed to squeeze at least four genres into a single story. Somehow, he’s combined a spine-tingling supernatural tale with war-time espionage and romance, then plopped the entire plot into a country house murder mystery. Continue reading “Review: A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan”
One of the best books I’ve read this year. Colson Whitehead takes readers through some of terrible injustices heaped upon slaves in America.
The Underground Railroad is a well-written mixture of history and magical realism. The violence, racism and murder mean it isn’t light reading but I’m glad I picked up this story. Continue reading “Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead”
Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan. Who can resist that tag line?
Soniah Kamal has moved Jane Austen’s most famous romance to a brand new setting. The Bennets are now the Binat family living in Pakistan in the early 2000s.
Unmarriageable sticks closely to the original plot: Five impoverished sisters are under pressure to find husbands.
Like the Bennets in the original novel, the Binats are hanging onto their privileged status by their fingernails. Conned out of money by unscrupulous relatives, Mrs Binat is determined to marry her daughters to wealthy men. Continue reading “Review: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal”
This gorgeously grotesque book features body parts of all shapes and sizes. Go out and pick up a copy today. Just don’t read it while you’re eating.
Little fictionalises the life of Madam Tussaud. Born in the eighteenth century, this famous woman narrowly escaped the guillotine in France before touring Britain with a macabre set of death masks taken from the Revolution’s victims. Continue reading “Review: Little by Edward Carey”