Archive > October 2012

The Blue Book

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Blue Book,  A. L. Kennedy, book reviewA. L. Kennedy’s The Blue Book is probably one of the most handsomely presented novels that I own. Hardbacked with gold lettering, no dust jacket and the page edges coloured blue to match the cover, it is a very fine thing indeed, old-fashioned and reminiscent of a Victorian-era book on palmistry. It suggests a tome of mysteries lies within. If you were to judge the book solely on its cover (which we are told repeatedly not to do of course), then this would undoubtedly be one of my favourite books. I was tempted to buy it after seeing its beautiful presentation, and convinced after hearing a talk by the author, who shared the stage on this occasion with Britain’s only Professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology, Richard Wiseman, a noted debunker of paranormal phenomenon. The reason why should become apparent shortly.


Continue reading

A Feast for Crows

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire), George R. R. Martin, book reviewA Feast for Crows is the fourth novel in George R.R. Martin’s epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Set in the fictional lands of Westeros and Essos, the saga follows its participants as they play “the game of thrones”. King Robert Baratheon died in the first novel, and was succeeded by his son Joffrey – but given the allegations that his children were actually the product of incest between his queen, Cersei, and her brother Jaime, this did not sit well with the kingdoms. Other kings declared themselves, and war followed.

At the opening of the saga, the main family was the Starks of Winterfell, but due to the loss of various members of the family, there are many other narrators by the time of A Feast for Crows.


Continue reading

The Dirty Great Dinosaur

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Dirty Great Dinosaur,  Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Leonie Lord, book reviewHal, a very small boy, is playing with his dog in the garden when a roaring dinosaur suddenly confronts him. When the dinosaur announces that he is going to eat Hal, the little boy answers politely that it’s not fair to eat small children. The dinosaur threatens to eat Hal’s parents and then his dog, but each time Hal stands up to him and protests. A chase round the garden ensues, and it ends with Billy the dog and Hal tying the dinosaur up with the washing line.

The dinosaur eventually has to give in, and Hal demands an apology from him. The creature also has to clear up the dreadful mess that he has caused in the garden.

,

Continue reading

Secret Scripture

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry, book reviewSebastian Barry’s story about the 100 year old Roseanne McNulty is both fascinating and engrossing. Although this is one in a series of books about these characters, it stands alone very well and is an excellent introduction to Barry’s writing.

Roscommon Mental Hospital is set to be torn down and the director, Dr. Grene has to figure out what to do with his patients, including Roseanne McNulty. Should he move her to the new facility, or should he find someplace for her on the outside where she can restart her life? The problem with the first option is that she doesn’t seem at all crazy.


Continue reading

Rivers of London

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch, book reviewRivers of London is the first novel in Ben Aaronovitch’s PC Grant series. Set rather unsurprisingly in London, we are introduced to Police Constable Peter Grant who at the start of the novel is assigned to Charing Cross police station, and is waiting to find out what section of the Met he will be posted to. Then he meets a ghost…and finds himself the apprentice of Detective Constable Thomas Nightingale, a wizard and sole member of the Met’s supernatural division.

Within the first few pages of Rivers of London, I was sure that this was going to be an enjoyable novel. The story was already shaping up to be interesting and exciting, but even before it really gets going the style and characters are very appealing.


Continue reading

Restless

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Restless, William Boyd, book reviewRuth Gilmartin is a single mother, working on her Master’s Thesis and teaching English as a Second Language in Oxford. Her mother, Sally, has decided to write down the story of her experiences during WW2 and give them to Ruth. This is when Ruth discovers that the woman she grew up with was actually Eva Delectorskaya – a Russian who moved to Paris and was recruited to be a spy for England in 1939 after her brother was found dead. The problem is, Eva is certain that her story didn’t end there, and now she feels its time for her last job. But without her daughter Ruth’s help, her mission can’t be accomplished. This is the story of William Boyd’s novel Restless.


Continue reading

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Paul Torday, book reviewI have to confess, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen only made it onto by to-read list after I heard about the movie based on Paul Torday’s novel, starring Ewan McGregor. I had heard of the book before this, and found the title interesting, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it. Having seen trailers featuring my favourite actor however, the story began to appeal to me, and so I purchased the novel on Kindle.

The title tells you quite a lot about the novel. Alfred Jones is a fisheries scientist who is ordered by his superiors to come up with a proposal for a project dreamed up by a fishing enthusiast sheikh, to introduce salmon to the wadis of the Yemen. Other characters include Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, who works for the estate agency who manage the sheikh’s estates; Mary, Alfred’s high-flying wife; and Peter Maxwell, who is director of communications for the prime minister.


Continue reading

London’s Olympic Follies: The Madness and Mayhem of the 1908 London Games

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

London's Olympic Follies: The Madness and Mayhem of the 1908 London Games: A Cautionary Tale by Graeme Kent, book reviewHaving caught a bad dose of Olympic Fever this summer, I was pleased to spot London’s Olympic Follies: The Madness and Mayhem of the 1908 London Games: A Cautionary Tale by Graeme Kent in the recent Kindle sale. I was keen to find out more about the history of the modern Olympic Games, and particularly London’s place in that history.

London 1908 was the fourth modern Olympiad, if we’re not counting the unofficial games in Athens in 1906. The Olympic movement was still gaining fame and learning lessons. With a large stadium built in White City, London was ready to go, having taken over at fairly short notice from Rome which found itself unable to host the games.


Continue reading

Charlie and Lola: We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog (Charlie and Lola), Lauren Child, book reviewCharlie and Lola go to the park one day with their friends Marv and Lotta. Marv brings his dog, Sizzles. Lola is dying to have a dog so she asks Marv if she and Lotta can look after Sizzles. Both girls try to impress Marv by telling him that they know everything about dogs. Marv shows them that Sizzles knows how to sit when told to. Charlie sees some friends playing football and tells Marv that Sizzles will be safe with the girls while they go and join in the game. Marv gives Lola and Lotta some rules to follow, the most important of which is not to let Sizzles off the lead.


Continue reading

The Long Weekend

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Long Weekend, Veronica Henry, book reviewVeronica Henry has written at least half a dozen books but The Long Weekend is the first novel I have read of hers. I’m really pleased that I did as it was a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing read and has made me want to read more books from this entertaining author.

The Townhouse by the Sea is the perfect place to spend a long weekend getting away from it all. It’s in an idyllic setting and the owners’ attention to detail is second to none! The hotel is full and each guest is there for their own reasons but everyone is hoping for a fabulous weekend. Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out exactly as expected.


Continue reading

Decoding Rahul Gandhi

Buy book online

Buy book online

Decoding Rahul Gandhi by Aarthi RamachandranThe question is, who is Rahul Gandhi and what is he doing in the world of Indian politics? Apart from being Indira Gandhi’s grandson and Rajiv Gandhi’s heir that is. Aarthi Ramachandran has written the second book that attempts to chalk out Rahul Gandhi’s political strategies – the first by Jatin Gandhi and Veenu Sandhu disappeared without a trace.

In its pages he comes across as a modern young man who applies management principles from The Toyota Way in an attempt to create a corporate stance where politics is concerned. But despite everything he seems to remain a mystery or an amateur – though the whole of India is aware that he is being groomed for the top job.


Continue reading

The Behaviour of Moths

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams, book reviewTake two estranged sisters, reunited after 47 years and of course things aren’t going to be comfortable and breezy. Put them in the stately home they grew up in, which is now a dilapidated mansion that one sister has stayed in all this time, and you know someone is hiding something – if not both of them. Poppy Adams begins her novel The Behaviour of Moths with older sister Virginia (known as Ginny) nervously waiting for Vivien’s long awaited arrival, and already you can see this visit isn’t going to be a loving and joyful reunion.

The cover boasts that this book can be described as Mark Haddon meets Barbara Trapido.


Continue reading

prev posts