Star Ratings on Book Reviews

I haven’t done star ratings on my book reviews for years, mainly because I think it’s difficult to compare books against each other when you read as widely as I do. How can I compare a dense textbook on the philosophy of logics with a throwaway beach novel?

I can’t, of course. But there’s a certain rating each book hits within its own genre, and of course many books which span multiple genres. So I’ve decided to re-add star ratings, partly to make it easier to write my monthly review round-ups. Here’s how that’ll work. Read more

The British Book Awards: Debut Book Of The Year Nominees

It’s that time of year again: The British Book Awards, aka the Nibbies. Usually I manage to get my post published before the winners are called, but this year I missed the delivery of books so had to go to the big post office, which was shut, and then I arranged a redelivery and missed that too, and so it went on for a couple of weeks, until finally last week I received all six nominees for Debut Book of the Year.

I read them over the weekend, and didn’t look at the winner until after I’d made my own judgements. Like every other year, I seem to be out of step with the judges, but never mind. Here’s what I thought of this year’s Debut nominees, from the one I liked least to the one I liked most. Read more

After She’s Gone by Camilla Grebe

I do enjoy a good Scandi noir, and Camilla Grebe doesn’t disappoint with After She’s Gone.

The story focuses around a couple of detectives, Hanne and Peter, who are also romantic partners. They’ve just returned from a holiday in Greenland after finishing a particularly taxing investigation, and they have their own difficulties to deal with too, not least of which is Hanne losing her memory, a fact she has been trying to keep secret from everyone around her. Read more

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

The Temple family are those people you’ve always looked at and wanted to be. The patriarch is a respected academic who has recently risen to prominence after debating conspiracy theories on a popular TV show. The matriarch, Celia, had her own meteoric rise to fame decades ago, playing a beautiful woman in a sci-fi series.

Their children, and their children’s children, are no different: from the outside, they seem like the perfect family. Or are they…? Read more

Books of the Month: Mainly Novels

March was an extremely busy month, so in the interests of preserving my own sanity I took a hiatus for a while. Now I’m back, and I’ll probably keep doing my weekly book posts, but I might move the general round-ups to monthly rather than weekly.

In March I barely read anything until the final week, when I read a bunch of novels. Reviews below. Read more