The Arctic Curry Club, by Dani Redd: the perfect winter heart-warmer!

Maya moves to the Arctic to accompany her boyfriend, Ryan, as he embarks on some very important scientific research to do with tracking polar bears. She has left a life in London including friends, a job, and her own home, to come to a land that’s in perpetual darkness and sub-zero temperatures, and she findsContinue reading “The Arctic Curry Club, by Dani Redd: the perfect winter heart-warmer!”

London: who wants to go on a bookshop tour of Covent Garden and Charing Cross?

Who doesn’t love looking round unique independent bookshops? Who wouldn’t want to spend all their money in them? On a recent trip to London I walked this route around the Covent Garden and Charing Cross area to try and visit as many bookshops as possible. The walk takes around two hours depending on how longContinue reading “London: who wants to go on a bookshop tour of Covent Garden and Charing Cross?”

My Top Ten Books of the Year (Part 1)

Inspired by many other book bloggers, I’ve come up with my own list of my top ten favourite books I’ve read in the last twelve months (they might not have been published in the last year). I will talk about the first five this week and the other five next week. Still Life, by SarahContinue reading “My Top Ten Books of the Year (Part 1)”

The Women of Troy: part two of Pat Barker’s superb re-telling of the Iliad

Pat Barker got me interested in Greek mythology. But, more importantly, she got me thinking about the women who were lost in the stories. The Women of Troy, the second part of Pat Barker’s series, after The Silence of the Girls, is a re-telling of the Iliad but told from the point of view ofContinue reading “The Women of Troy: part two of Pat Barker’s superb re-telling of the Iliad”

Rainbirds, by Clarissa Goenawan: a beautifully written book about grief

“Hey, Ren,” she said softly, “I’m going to call every week, I promise. So you won’t be lonely.” “Who says I’m lonely?” And I didn’t believe she would call every week, but she kept her promise until the day she died. Keiko Ishida, you were such a liar. You would have been better off stayingContinue reading “Rainbirds, by Clarissa Goenawan: a beautifully written book about grief”

All the books I read in the dark and chilly month of November

I can’t believe it is the end of November already! It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was rounding up the books I had read in October. This month has been a fun one full of seeing friends and visiting places (including trips to London, Salford and York!) but it has also been aContinue reading “All the books I read in the dark and chilly month of November”

Learwife, by JR Thorp: a beautiful book about grief and destiny

This book is for anyone who enjoys historical stories written from the perspective of the women who have previously been left out. Think Ariadne or The Silence of the Women, this is a woman reclaiming her space and telling her story. I was very grateful to receive a proof copy of this novel from LucyContinue reading “Learwife, by JR Thorp: a beautiful book about grief and destiny”

Chilling short story collections to make you jump

Halloween may seem a distant memory but November, with it’s darkening nights and chilling temperatures, is the perfect time to curl up with a ghost story. Today’s ‘Books by the Fireplace’ is about two unsettling short story collections to make the toes curl and the skin crawl. Dead Relatives, by Lucie McKnight Hardy Gruesome andContinue reading “Chilling short story collections to make you jump”

You can save hundreds of lives, or the one that matters most… Hostage, by Clare Mackintosh

I’m grateful for this oasis of sobriety as the rest of the cabin gets progressively merry. I have a sudden yearning to be at home, cuddled with Sophia on the sofa, watching Peppa Pig. When I’m away travelling, I remember all the good bits. Isn’t that always the way? I even remember the good bitsContinue reading “You can save hundreds of lives, or the one that matters most… Hostage, by Clare Mackintosh”

Magpie, by Elizabeth Day: a twisty-thriller with one heck of a twist (book review)

I picked up this book after my mum recommended it and so I knew it would be good because she has great taste. She said that as the book got going she felt she knew what the story was going to be and guess what the twist but then, when it came, it completely surprisedContinue reading “Magpie, by Elizabeth Day: a twisty-thriller with one heck of a twist (book review)”