Still Life, by Sarah Winman

If I could choose one other city in the world to live in, it would be Florence. The art, the architecture, the food, the wine. It’s a beautiful city, passionately loved by many, many people. Such as the characters in Sarah Winman’s new novel, Still Life. A quick spoiler-free summary of the plot before IContinue reading “Still Life, by Sarah Winman”

This Book Is Hard To Read!

Let’s own up. After all, it happens to everyone. Sometimes you start reading a book and it just feels like hard work. And when there’s a million really good books in the world (at last count) it seems like the best idea is to toss (gently!) that hard book aside and pick up something that’sContinue reading “This Book Is Hard To Read!”

In Praise of Community Book Sales

There are so many things that have been put on hold because of Covid and the national and international responses to it. Travel, obviously – including a special trip my wife and I had booked. There were gatherings that had to be called off or postponed – from religious services to sports games, not toContinue reading “In Praise of Community Book Sales”

Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen

I’m a fan of Carl Hiaasen’s books. He’s the world expert on the crime comedy genre: fast, energetic stories filled with sharp humour, engaging characters and good guys triumphing, always set in his beloved Florida. His latest book, Squeeze Me, has all the above ingredients, and it rips along in his regular fashion, as aContinue reading “Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen”

Can A Plan Also Be A Pleasure?

Reading plan (ˈriːdɪŋ plæn): A system of methodically working one’s way through a self-selected list of books; formerly derided, but now heartily endorsed by Greg Brook of brookandthebook.com Before I give you my 3 tips for creating a pleasure-filled reading plan, I need to make a confession: doing an English literature degree destroyed for many yearsContinue reading “Can A Plan Also Be A Pleasure?”

Which Edition of Wuthering Heights?

The familiar friend, or the classic? I’ve been given a new edition of Wuthering Heights. Well, when I say ‘new edition’ I mean new to me, not actually new. It’s a leather-bound hardback from the 1930’s with an embossed cover, gold lettering and trim, heavy, thick pages and the good, dry smell of a well-madeContinue reading “Which Edition of Wuthering Heights?”

Do we overlook children’s picture books?

When I challenged myself to come up with my can’t-live-without desert island books, there was only one children’s book on it, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, all seven books included on the list as one title as a way of sneaking some extra books ashore with me. It was some time later that I realisedContinue reading “Do we overlook children’s picture books?”