Short Book Reviews – January 2017

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It’s been far too long and a combination of laziness and the season that shall not speak its name getting in the way but here are a few short reviews of things I’ve read over the last couple of months.   Colin Grant – A Smell Of Burning I realise this might be of minority interest if, unlike me, you haven’t spent your whole adult life with epilepsy being front and centre, but bear with me. It’s part thorough history of the condition, part look into what it actually is and how it works and part movingly human story about […]

Books To Buy – Xmas 2016 (And January 2017!)

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As it’s something I get asked at the end of every year this has now become a sort of annual thing. So if you’re looking for ideas for books to buy as presents or to get for yourself if Book Tokens are your drug of choice this Xmas here are quite a few ideas with shortened reviews to give you at least a few starting points for your trip to the book shop. Also, before someone says X is missing (as they always do) this is far from a definitive list of the best books of the year, just the […]

Seven Short Book Reviews

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  Firstly, I am SO sorry. I’m way behind here. Seriously, what sort of reviewer does that make me? (Keep your answers to yourself…) Various – Cyberpunk Malaysia I bought this on a trip earlier in the year in London. Just wandered into Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue (something I haven’t done in, literally, decades) and ended up down in their SF section which is gloriously outfitted and varied. The plain, reflecting silver cover was what grabbed me… It’s (unsurprisingly) a collection of new cyberpunk short stories from Malaysia or Malaysian authors and is pretty much universally strong to brilliant […]

6 Long Overdue Short Reviews!

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Yeah, recently when writing pieces about both for newspapers I realised I hadn’t actually written my reviews for two of the books below. I’m falling more than a little behind here… So: Anne Tyler – Vinegar Girl Sadly, this was the first of the Hogarth Shakespeare series I read and it did absolutely nothing for me. She has updated The Taming Of The Shrew to a modern day story of a Kate who tends house for her eccentric scientist father who hatches a plan to keep his research assistant in the country by marrying him off to his daughter. What […]

The 9 Books I Read On Holidays

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It genuinely says something about me that I think it’s a poor show I only finished 9 books when I was away for 2 weeks recently. Still… As has proven popular before I’m going to lump them all together in one post here with short(-ish) reviews as, if not, I’ll never get to them all with the work bearing down on me over the next while! Alexandra Kleeman – You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine I wasn’t sure what to expect from this and, even now, I’m not really sure what happened. Just that I liked it very, […]

6 Short Reviews – July 2016

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As started last month I’m trying to play catch-up on a bunch of things I’ve read by doing shorter one paragraph reviews. The last ones seemed to go down well… (Small bit of duplication here from Summer Reads 2016 – apologies!) Hideo Yokoyama – Six Four Don’t be put off by the size – this is a Japanese giant of a cop thriller. A seven-year-old girl disappears in 1989 never to be seen again, in 2002 a press officer finds an anomaly that leads back into the case and threatens to unravel far more that just one kidnapping. Very precise, gorgeously […]