Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

My thanks to Canongate and Netgalley for a review copy of this book. The Book of Form and Emptiness is certainly a strange book, a story about loss and coping, about depression and mental illness, about friends and support systems, and of course, about books, for it is a book that tells us the story,…

Book Review: Lights Rains Sometimes Fall by Lev Parikian

My thanks to Elliot and Thompson and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. ‘Stop and smell the roses’ we are sometimes told or tell ourselves. Slow down, look about, and take in the beauty and wonders of life around you at all times—it isn’t just flowers, but birds, insects, bees and butterflies, trees…

Shelf Control #152: This Is Not That Dawn by Yashpal

Wednesday, the 22nd of September, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it--what…

Book Review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

My thanks to Penguin UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. The Man Who Died Twice is the second book in the Thursday Murder Club (the Agatha Christie/Marple allusion just struck me when writing my review) series by Richard Osman. Set in a retirement village, Coopers Chase, the Thursday Murder Club comprises…

Interesting Facts: Richard Gordon: Author of the ‘Doctor’ Books

Gordon Stanley Benton or Richard Gordon, best known for his comic novels around the medical profession, or the 'Doctor' books was born on 15 September 1921, and thus turns 100 today. Gordon was a surgeon and anaesthetist and worked at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and also as a ship's surgeon, and assistant editor of the British…

Shelf Control #151: The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes

Wednesday, the 15th of September, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it--what…

Book Review: Dr Wortle’s School by Anthony Trollope

Dr Wortle’s School (1881) is a standalone and the fortieth book written by Victorian author Anthony Trollope and focuses on themes of social propriety, gossip and justice, with an incidental thread of romance. Dr Wortle is the proprietor of a boys’ school which prepares students to go on to Eton and eventually Oxford. He is…

Book Review: Darkness Stabs by David Gunter

My thanks to the author, David Gunter and BookTasters for a review copy of the book. Darkness Stabs is the second part of the science-fiction/fantasy adventure Magical After which I had read some time earlier. The books (a four-book series, with each book in two parts) are set in Atsia Major and Atsia Minor which…

Shelf Control #150: Charles Dickens: His Life and Work by Stephen Leacock

Wednesday, the 8th of September, and time once again for Shelf Control! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it--what…

Book Review: A Short History of Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce by Massimo Montanari

My thanks to Europa Editions and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. A Short History of Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce is a short, readable, interesting and well-researched account of how Italy’s most iconic dish, described by some as the ‘premier Italian dish’, came to be. The author, Massimo Montanari, a professor of mediaeval…