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The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7)
This might have been worth three stars, because I quite enjoyed it, but I’ve been stingy and given it just two, because of the disproportionate number ...more
Nov 26, 2011
Nov 27, 2011
The Lady and the Unicorn
I hope someone has pointed out to Tracy Chevalier that if you are going to have seven different narrators for your story, you really need to give each ...more
not set
Nov 04, 2010
This Year It Will Be Different, and other stories
This is the current choice of my local reading group. Short stories all with a Christmas theme, I suspect a lot of them will be quite sentimental. Not ...more
Aug 07, 2011
Jul 26, 2011
Fairy and folk tales of Ireland
A rich collection of beguiling tales of encounters between Irish peasant-folk and the Daoine Sidhe, the Fairy People, or “fallen angels who are not go ...more
Jan 1988
Jan 26, 2011
Twentieth-Century Short Stories
I picked this up because I'm finding it difficult to concentrate on longer fiction these days - presumably because I've been spending far too long rea ...more
not set
Feb 22, 2015
White Feathers
If you're thinking of reading or buying this book, please don't be put off by my comments, for despite some flaws, there is much to enjoy in this stor ...more
Dec 30, 2014
Jan 29, 2015
South Riding
This is one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve read for ages.

South Riding covers two years in the life of a fictionalised borough in Yorkshire (though
Apr 12, 2011
Apr 14, 2011
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)
Oh dear, where to start with this ridiculous book. Rarely have I read anything so lacking in accomplishment.

Firstly, if a writer is going to populate
Nov 2012
Nov 16, 2012
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
The most memorable and affecting books aren’t always written by writers. Conor Grennan isn’t a “writer”, but he is a very engaging narrator and tells ...more
Mar 02, 2011
Mar 04, 2011
The Art of Laundry Work Practically Demonstrated for Use in Homes and Schools
I recently retrieved this book from a dusty pile of stuff in my cellar. It covers every conceivable element of the laundering process, some of which o ...more
not set
Apr 11, 2011
A Quiet Belief In Angels
This wouldn’t have been a bad crime thriller, had it not been ruined by the author’s apparent belief that he’s a much better writer than he actually i ...more
Jan 11, 2012
Jan 12, 2012
The Flight of the Maidens
The interconnected stories of three 17 year old girls living in a small Yorkshire town in which everyone knows each other, and which seems to bear few ...more
Feb 20, 2011
Feb 20, 2011
Pig Island

An entertaining read and this writer has on the whole a much better command of language than many other writers in the horror/thriller g
Jul 25, 2012
Jul 27, 2012
Although well-written, and pleasingly unostentatious in style, this isn’t a book I could say I enjoyed. The narrator, Manon, is enduring a miserable m ...more
Dec 31, 2011
Jan 12, 2012
Old Filth (Old Filth, #1)
Despite being very funny in parts, Old Filth overall is quite a sad book. But a great and memorable read.

The protagonist, Sir Edward Feathers ,or Old
Mar 12, 2011
Mar 15, 2011
Never Let Me Go
Imaginatively conceived and executed novel, and with some rather chilling euphemisms ("completion", "donations", "carers").
The narrator's voice is de
Nov 2010
Nov 14, 2010
Cider With Rosie
The book that launched a thousand English comprehension tests....though in my school never the bit with Rosie herself, it was years before I understoo ...more
Jun 1985
Feb 21, 2011
Doors Open
I don't like heist films, not even when they are starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, I find them quite unsatisfying, so perhaps I shoul ...more
Dec 2010
Dec 11, 2010
McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland
Not the best travelogue I’ve read on Ireland (Mark McCrum’s The Craic is much better, and owes less to Bill Bryson), but it has some entertaining mome ...more
Jan 26, 2011
Jan 14, 2011
American Psycho
This is a hugely problematic book with enough talking points to fuel hours of debate. It’s a brilliant piece of work – I think that’s beyond argument ...more
Feb 11, 2011
Jan 26, 2011
One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie, #2)
An addictive read, a complex mystery woven from the personal mysteries in the lives of several very different characters, a self-effacing writer, the ...more
Feb 27, 2012
Mar 11, 2012
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
I found this book grim from start to finish, a one-note misery-fest chronicling the bleak and joyless lives of girls and women in a society where ever ...more
Jul 2013
Jul 10, 2013
Queen Lucia
I thoroughly enjoyed this witty satire of English village life in the 1920s, the first book of Benson's I've read.

The village in question, Riseholme,
Nov 05, 2011
Nov 05, 2011
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
Wild Swans is a compelling and very readable story of three generations of a family living through the turbulence of 20th century, seen through the li ...more
Jan 1995
Feb 14, 2011
Fortune's Rocks
I'm still not quite sure what to make of this novel. I found it extremely hard to buy into the relationship between a teenage girl and a married man i ...more
Sep 2009
Oct 11, 2009
Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance
A rather different take on the Renaissance, focusing on the flowering of financial institutions, and the accumulation of material goods, not only for ...more
not set
Jan 14, 2011
A very strange novel about glass-blowing, presented in quite poetic language, contrasting with some odd taciturn characters. It's about ten years sinc ...more
Jan 2000
Mar 27, 2011
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1)
Although I couldn’t say that this book (which I seem to have come to ten years after everyone else) has left any deep impressions on me, nor strongly ...more
Feb 03, 2012
Feb 04, 2012
Like Bees to Honey
This is the story of a woman's search for release from the grief of losing a child through a return to her birthplace, the Mediterranean island of Mal ...more
Jun 2012
Jun 21, 2012
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
I had a rather odd experience of synchronicity with this book. I was in the middle of it as the news about the killing of Osama bin Laden was breaking ...more
May 03, 2011
May 08, 2011
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