Category Archives: Book Lists

Isolation and Contagion: A Lockdown Reading List

Themed readings may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for literary companions during these socially isolated times, it no longer feels like such bad taste to finally publish the Coronavirus Lockdown Reading List I’ve been mulling over since … Continue reading

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The 2019 Booker Prize Shortlist

Having blogged about my Booker longlist reading, it’s time to turn my attention to the judge’s shortlist. Personally, I’m still not sure I’m ready for a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale (I haven’t been watching the TV version), so am … Continue reading

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The Man Booker International Prize Shortlist

In 2015, ‘The Vegetarian‘ by Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith) was one of my top reads of the year.  In 2016, it was rightly awarded the (newly reorganised) Man Booker International Prize.  In honour of those judges getting it … Continue reading

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2017 Bailey’s Shortlist!

Hooray!  Prize season is upon us yet again, and I’ve been steadily working my way through the Bailey’s Shortlist.  I will say upfront that I personally think the winner should be Yewande Omotoso’s superb novel ‘The Woman Next Door‘, which … Continue reading

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Plans for 2017 (it’s going to be cold)

As my ‘best of 2016‘ post amply demonstrated, I read some fantastic books last year.  This was not by chance though, four of my top ten were read as part of projects: ‘The Dream of Red Mansions’ and Rankine’s ‘Citizen’ were … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Nordic literature | Tagged , | 21 Comments

The Best of 2016!

2016 was a rough year in so many ways, but at least I was able to comfort myself with some outstanding books.  The best of these of course, were reviewed on the blog and, after careful deliberation, I think I … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Cao Xueqin, Carlos Gamerro, Claudia Rankine, Elfreide Jelinek, Elizabeth Von Arnim, Emily Brontë, Jung Chang, Kit de Waal, Magdalena Tulli, Mary Seacole, Sara Taylor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I love Dickens!

As the nights draw in and the Christmas trees start getting lit up all over town, there is one English writer who seems to truly own the season.  I have heard it said that Charles Dickens really invented the jolly … Continue reading

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Top Road Trip Novels

I’ve just finished Sara Taylor’s wonderful new novel ‘The Lauras’ and, while I’m processing how to write a review that encapsulates all my reasons for loving it, this seems a good moment to revisit other favourite travel books.  Fiction travel that is, … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, James Kelman, Patricia Highsmith, Sara Taylor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A book list for the start of the university year

This year I have moved away from classroom teaching to a job in a university, so the first part of September has been unusually restful.  I’m aware that the term start for uni students is coming up though so, in honour … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Donna Tartt, Kate Atkinson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

In honour of the Rio Olympics: A round up of great sport books

As this blog amply demonstrates, I’m more of a sit-still-with-a-book person than someone who’s really into sports.  Once every four years though, I do get into the fun of watching others break records, push their bodies to the limit and … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, E F Benson, Erskine Childers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments