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
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
I read this book last week, but it gets its own post instead of being in the weekly book round-up because it was sent to me by the publisher for review. However, this is still a genuine review; I’ve given negative reviews of books I’ve received in the past, so you can trust that if I say I like a book, it means I did.
And I liked this one. Read more
I was excited about The Lost Man because Harper’s previous two novels, The Dry and Force of Nature, were both very good.
This one didn’t disappoint. Since her debut with The Dry, Jane Harper has consistenly proven herself as a writer of gripping thrillers with strong psychological threads.
Here are my favourite fiction books from this year. (Note that not all of these were published this year, that’s just when I read them.)
The following are abridged reviews; where there’s a longer version on the blog, I’ve linked to it. Blurbs are either from the back of the book, or from Amazon. Read more
I went to South Carolina recently (oh, did I mention that already?) and I spent some much-needed time lying on the beach. Naturally a lot of this beach time was spent curled up with a novel or six.
Here are a few of the ones I read while I was there. Read more
I read too many books. I know this. It’s an addiction, I can’t help myself.
There are worse things to be addicted to, so I don’t really mind. Though it is hard to keep the blog updated with all the books I’ve read in a given time frame. Currently the backlog is about twenty books long, I think, but hopefully at some point I’ll get around to bringing it up to date again. Read more
I’ll admit that I agreed to review this book because the protagonist is a swimmer, and I was hoping for some passages about how wonderful swimming is. Something like Jessica J. Lee’s Turning: A Swimming Memoir.
If you’re buying it for that reason, you’ll be disappointed at the lack of swimming-related content. But you won’t be disappointed by the book itself, which is excellent. It was so gripping that I got angry with myself for not being able to stay awake long enough to finish it in one go. Read more
One of the things I love about my life is how flexible it is. I spent most of last weekend on the phone to various doctors because my body’s being a pain again. They said they’ll need to do a load more tests (cue more hospital time) and told me to take it easy, to spend lots of time resting for the next few weeks and to go to bed early. So I emailed the lovely people at FMCM and said I had a bit of extra reading time on my hands… and they sent me the nominees for the British Book Awards!
These are all up for Debut Book Of The Year. I’m going to write mini reviews of each of them, and talk about which one I’d like to see win. Read more
A few weeks ago I received an email from FMCM asking if I’d like to review Tubing by K.A. McKeagney.
I read the blurb and wasn’t entirely convinced: Read more