Sorrow and anger: Books I couldn’t finish or wished I hadn’t started

I don’t usually write negative reviews of books, because (1) it’s usually not fair on a writer to pillory them in public, (2) why waste the reader’s time? But sometimes writing a reasoned critical appraisal for the record can be a public service. For those searching online to find out if anyone else hated this book … Continue reading Sorrow and anger: Books I couldn’t finish or wished I hadn’t started

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London calling: Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels

I feel I’ve come rather late to the fair with Kate Griffin’s sorcerers-in-London series, since the first one came out in 2009. I was looking stupidly at A Madness of Angels in a bookshop last autumn, wondering why it wasn’t ringing bells – surely I’d read all the magical-London novels in print? – and was … Continue reading London calling: Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels

Tell Me What You Read: Wendy Bryant

In Tell Me What You Read, a new feature on this blog, I interview well-kenned folk in public life about how their reading has shaped their lives, in the past and now.  This week, Wendy Bryant, senior lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of Essex, artist and dog-walker Tell me which authors, or what reading, you … Continue reading Tell Me What You Read: Wendy Bryant

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell revisited

I haven’t seen the TV series yet (I’ve been away from home; the recordings are waiting), but precisely because I’ve been away from home, I’ve had time to reread the 800pp door-stop boot-thumper novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (2004) that made Neil Gaiman mutter about Susanna Clarke taking to writing like a novice musician sitting … Continue reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell revisited