It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.1 As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.2 The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house.3 Curiouser and curiouser!, cried Alice.4 ‘It’s today!’ said Piglet. ‘My favourite day,’ said Pooh.5
That was the day the Curious Book Fans site was born. We built a small room on the world wide web. The door is open for all readers who want to hear and talk about books. Welcome to our room full of books…
Most popular reviews in 2013
- The Kashmir Shawl – Rosie Thomas
1. The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas is a story of two women separated by 70 years but linked by a shawl and a lock of hair. It’s a mystery story, a historic novel and several love stories all rolled into one.
- 100 Places You Will Never Visit, Dan Smith
2. Possibly the strangest addition to the ranks of travel list publications, Daniel Smith’s new book 100 Places You Will Never Visit: The World’s Most Secret Locations is effectively a travel guide to places you can’t go. Or wouldn’t want to go for that matter....
- The String Diaries, Stephen Lloyd Jones
- No Child of Mine by Susan Lewis
- Mohammed Rafi My Abba – A Memoir
5. For those fans who would like to know more about a legendary singer, the book is full of agreeable anecdotes and shows Rafi the family man, a man who loved cars, and who despite all odds managed to break into the Hindi film industry and grow to legendary heights.
- Melting the Snow on Hester Street, Daisy Waugh
6. It’s 1929 and movie director Max Beecham and his actress wife Eleanor hobnob with Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and more. To them, Max and Eleanor are the happiest, most loving couple in Hollywood....
- The Kenneth Williams Diaries by Kenneth Williams
7. Kenneth Williams kept a diary for more than forty years and in 1993, five years after his death, these diaries were published in an edited form. The diaries revealed a more complex figure than the comedian who became much loved through his Carry On roles ...
Curious Book Fans talked to:
- Will Schwalbe
Will Schwalbe: Mom would have wanted readers to be proud of themselves as readers — to realize that reading is one of the most important things you can do — it’s how you know what you need to do in life and how you join the human conversation.
- Essie Fox
Essie Fox: Oddly enough, when I first started to write I was planning on something contemporary. But every time I began, a character or some ‘item’ from the past would crop up and intrude on the novel’s plot
- Sonia Faleiro
Sonia Faleiro: I met Leela through a source in what I call the ‘bar and brothel business’. She was 19 at the time, and one of the smartest young women I’d met anywhere. I immediately knew I wanted to write about her...
- Patrick Bishop
Patrick Bishop: I am of the view that most Talibs are fighting for the same reasons that young men fight – for the excitement of it and to test themselves. In this respect they are not much different to their British and American opponents.
- Abbas Kazerooni
- Christie Watson
- Oliver Burkeman
- Martin Pevsner
Martin Pevsner: I had a different name for the novel originally – Companions of the Garden – a reference to the Qur’an. An agent told me people browsing in a bookshop would presume it was a gardening book.
- Deborah Harkness
- Farahad Zama
Farahad Zama: Yes, my wife’s uncle was our neighbour and that’s how the marriage was arranged. I met my wife for the first time in October and we were married on New Year’s eve, six weeks later.
- Alex Marsh
Alex Marsh: I used up the best bits of my life in Sex and Bowls and Rock and Roll and don’t want to do a diminishing returns thing… but I have been floored by some of the nice things that people have said about this one.
- Urmilla Deshpande
Urmilla Deshpande: The Kashmir in my book is no more real, I think, than is the Alexandria in Durrell’s quartet or the London that Sherlock Holmes lives in.
- Sorayya Khan
Sorayya Khan: The inspiration for Five Queen’s Road is drawn from real events in my family’s history. Five Queen’s Road, in fact, was once the real address of my father’s parents’ home in Lahore ...