Book Eight


  Book Eight 2014: Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl Now this is more like it. If, like me, you used to get inordinately creeped out by Tales Of The Unexpected on TV, then this is the one for you as some of the short stories in this collection of Dahl made it to the screen in that series. It does lag a little towards the end but the first 7 or 8 short stories here are beautifully written with great, strong characters and have the most delicious, macabre twists in the tale that I’ve ever come across. Am going to […]

Book Seven

Posted 1 Comment

Book Seven 2014: Generation X by Douglas Coupland I get it that at the time it was published Generation X was genuinely revolutionary and spoke of the voice of a new post-Baby Boom world. I think it has aged quite a lot in the intervening almost quarter of a century… At times it’s just meandering, at times it reads like an adjunct to Girls (so it is well ahead of its time), at times it’s poetic and beautiful but I have read much, much better. Time to move on.

Book Six


Book Six 2014: David And Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell If you’ve never read Gladwell before I advise you to go back and start with his conscience-altering The Tipping Point and then work your way up through everything he’s ever written since. This is just the same (and I mean that in a very positive way). His hypothesis this time is that, sometimes, the Davids of this world not only triumph over the Goliaths, but that being David is actually and advantage. As usual I came away with more than my fair share of head-tilting “Really?” moments while reading this, learned some stuff, had preconceptions thrown out […]

Book Five

Posted 1 Comment

Book Five 2014: The Martian by Andy Weir First things first, this one isn’t out in shops ’til next month. The publisher was kind enough to send it to me (knowing my willingness to jump into all things SF). The good things about this should come first. I was introduced to SF (and in particular space fiction) early when I found an old, battered copy of a collection of Arthur C. Clarke short stories in the library shelves at the beck of the prefab I spent 3rd class in. I read, I absorbed, I bought everything else he’d ever written. So, to say […]

Book Four


Book Four 2014: Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau First admission is that I’ve had a long-standing obsession with the films of Jean Cocteau. When I was in my teens I was lucky enough to stumble across La Belle Et La Bete and Orpheé and was so blown away by what he was doing with visuals in the 40s and early 50s that I’ve held him in the highest regard ever since. Having said that, I once owned a copy of his short novel Les Enfants Terribles for a few years and it sat unloved on the shelf until I charity shopped […]

Book Three

Posted 6 Comments

Book Three 2014: The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan You wait for ages for a book that will keep you up until late, late at night demanding that you finish it and then two come along at once like buses. Thus with Donal Ryan’s already long-acclaimed The Spinning Heart. Look, I know I should have cottoned on to this some time ago, what with it being longlisted for the Booker and winning the Irish Book Of The Year in 2012. I suppose like many others it winning the Guardian First Book Award recently really stuck in on to the “must read” list. If I’m […]