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October 9, 2019

A few weeks ago, I bought a pair of ratcheted loppers for the garden. Bear with me, because this is relevant. For those of you who may not know what a pair of ratcheted loppers is, it’s a tool to chop large-ish branches from shrubs and bushes, and the ratchet action gi...

August 28, 2019

I've borrowed this descriptor from Amazon, because I think it's so apt. Just after I read the book, I saw the play – at the Bridge Theatre, with Joanne Froggatt as Frances. It was brilliant, and really brought this gripping, unsettling novel to life....

June 3, 2019

I’m in awe of authors. All of them — novelists, non-fiction writers, experts, short story writers, people who write cookery books, children’s stories and all the other types of books I haven’t mentioned. The life of an author is a rollercoaster, full of highs and lows,...

April 10, 2019

I went on a Nordic cruise a few weeks ago, and someone recommended this book: The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen (translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw). I was so glad I read it while I was there; it really enhanced my experience of the country.

Similarly, I was reading...

March 5, 2019

As an author, one of the questions I’ve grown to hate is: “How are sales of [insert latest book] going?”

You’d think that was a reasonable question, and all things being equal, I’d say you’re right. In most businesses, you’d probably have a pretty good grip on how sales...

February 20, 2019

Nobody likes rejection. Throughout life there are many occasions when we feel its pain: not being included in friendship groups at school, being excluded from that party, not getting into the school you longed to attend. Not getting the grades you needed for your first...

February 4, 2019

There are some authors who have a gift for creating a setting in their novels that truly resonates with readers.

In writer-speak, ‘setting’ includes both place and time. For example, in Joanna Cannon’s wonderful novel, Three Things About Elsie, the names of her characte...

February 2, 2019

Three Things about Elsie by Joanna Cannon

I read this book late into the night, and really looked forward to getting back to it. You can’t really call it a classic page-turner, though it has a lovely twist or two. It’s beautifully imagined and the characters are portray...

January 15, 2019

The second of my book reviews for 2019 is Tin Man by Sarah Winman. I think the cover is brilliant. 

Sarah Winman’s debut, When God was a Rabbit, was one of my favourite books of the last few years, so I was really looking forward to reading this, her third novel. I...

January 3, 2019

Okay, everyone, I’ve been missing a trick! Every month (almost) since Dare to Remember was published, I’ve been reviewing books and recommending my favourites on Bill Buckley’s Book Club show on BBC Radio Berks (thank you Bill!). I’ve really enjoyed it and I know other...

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October 9, 2019

April 10, 2019