Category Archives: book review

Giving and receiving books is exposing your heart Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Sharing what you think about a book is risky, it’s like wearing your heart on your sleeve. So why do we do it? Continue reading

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What does Philip Pullman say about writing fiction? Daemon Voices Philip Pullman

The subtitle of this book is ‘Essays on Storytelling,’ and Philip Pullman has things to say both about how to write stories, and about the responsibilities of a writer. Continue reading

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Does this book need an index? The Man in the Red Coat Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes plunges his readers into the period, and we are dragged along like children taken to a funfair – look at this, don’t miss that. It’s exciting and enthralling – and confusing Continue reading

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Is the clockwork octopus the most endearing character in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley?

Natasha Pulley’s imagination fizzes with ‘what ifs’ – and the ‘what ifs’ are followed up, not just then this would happen, but then this could, and this is likely too. Continue reading

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A book that is more than the sum of its parts? On the Marsh Simon Barnes

What is this book about? Ostensibly about maintaining a wildlife area, actually about so much more. Reading anything written by Simon Barnes is a delight, I can even enjoy reading about sport when he’s written the analysis. Continue reading

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Why should we buy some books from local bookshops? The Bookshop Penelope Fitzgerald

If I’m talking about books with messages in this post, then the message I read in The Bookshop is that for a book shop to fail it is only necessary for local readers to do nothing. So I’m going out to Steyning Bookshop where I’m usually tempted to spend more than I planned, but always come out with more than I bargained for. Continue reading

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A book about a dog? Or something else? Flush Virginia Woolf

It’s a foolish reader who goes to Virginia Woolf for advice on canine exercise and diet. Continue reading

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Does the onlooker see more of the game? Klara and the Sun Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro has created an android. Klara is sympathetic, engaging and considerate, she has to be – that’s how she’s programmed. Her story has poignancy and pathos – that’s how Ishiguro writes. Continue reading

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Too eccentric to be believable? Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout

Can characters be too eccentric? Nero Wolfe is a sedentary man mountain, almost as difficult to move to any kind of action as the dark mountains of his birthplace – Montenegro. Continue reading

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Close-up or long view? The Commissario Brunetti Novels Donna Leon

What to re-read after The Darkest Evening? I chose Donna Leon’s books about Commissario Brunetti, a Venetian police inspector, doing his best to circumvent his politically ambitious boss so that he can do his job properly. Continue reading

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