Books

This category contains 39 posts

Review: Teeline Gold

Is your writing pad mightier than your iPad? Your pen faster than your keys? Perhaps for speedy note taking in hostile terrain, the old-fashioned approach might just work for you: shorthand lives on. If you’re new to shorthand, this is the book for you. With plenty of dictation practice, Teeline Gold takes the novice through … Continue reading

Book Review: Solaris Rising

Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction [Paperback] I have fond memories of sci-fi shorts. Not the ones sported by Zapp Brannigan in Futurama. I mean short stories. I used to read a lot of sci-fi as a kid, it was one thing our local library was good for. So visiting my current … Continue reading

Review: The Woman in Black – Susan Hill

You may have been disappointed by the film, but Susan Hill’s riveting novella is a Christmas story to rival Dickens, and it’s as scary as they come. The Kipps family are celebrating Christmas by telling ghost stories around the fire, when their solicitor father, Arthur, plucks up courage to share an otherworldly encounter which he … Continue reading

Review: My Last Duchess – Daisy Goodwin

Cora Cash is an American Emma Woodhouse of the fin de siècle. Clever, spirited and rich, she is used to having her way and, despite her experience as a celebrity heiress, in matters of the human heart she is utterly naïve. When her husband-to-be, the Duke of Wareham, chivalrously saves her after a fall from … Continue reading

Review: BBC Review: Radio 4 Book of the Week – Tubes by Andrew Blum

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet Written by Andrew Blum. In April 2011, a seventy-five year old woman deprived Armenia of its Internet access when she sliced through a buried cable with her garden spade. That January, Egyptian authorities simply switched off 70% of the country’s Internet … Continue reading

Review: The Weekend – Bernhard Schlink

Schlink is fascinated by criminal responsibility. The Weekend addresses the question at the heart of The Reader – can homicide ever be pardonable? Family and friends have gathered to celebrate the release of pardoned terrorist Jörg. Jörg killed innocent people in the name of the Red Army Faction terrorist group, and has served twenty-four years … Continue reading

Review: The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber

Less Upstairs, Downstairs than inside the family and out The 835 pages of The Crimson Petal and the White may look daunting, but embark on the first few chapters and you’ll find a gallery of original characters with compelling prose depicting life in and above Victorian London’s underworld. Faber’s protagonist is Sugar, a prostitute whose … Continue reading

Review: Amsterdam – Ian McEwan

Most of us strive to be heroes, but when we’re vying to achieve ambition, it’s easy to wind up as villains. Amsterdam depicts three high profile characters desperate to create a worthy legacy, but who are sunk by immoral decisions they make on their journey to the top. Clive Linley, Vernon Halliday and Julian Garmony … Continue reading

Review: How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran

I’d say this semi-autobiography describes Moran’s home-schooled childhood, how she grew up with seven siblings, her foray into journalism by joining Music Weekly ‘Melody Maker’ at 16, her stint at broadcasting, her longer career as a columnist in The Times, and in a way it does, but here the life story structures the rant. How … Continue reading

Review: Fifty Shades Freed – E.L. James

Never judge a book by its cover… I picked up ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ because it was in the best seller charts. The dark cover with the fettered key promised some sort of crime plot with (according to the blurb) a bit of romance thrown in. What I found was kinky sex scene after kinky sex … Continue reading

Book Review: Williams’ Progress by Matt Rudd

Parenting? On second thoughts… William’s Progress revels in the common and not-so-common traumas of being a father. The eponymous hero and his tolerant wife, Isobel, have a new son, Jacob, who is more than enough stress in an already busy life. Think again. Amongst his new-found lack of parenting skills, William has to contend with … Continue reading

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