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

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

Some Books I’ve Read Recently

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

The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong

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

The British Book Awards: Debut Book Of The Year Nominees

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