Top ways to make me buy a book

It’s not particularly hard to get me to buy a book. I’ve mentioned some triggers here and here. But publishers, if you’re reading, here are some moreContinue reading

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My Best Books for 2016

best-books-2016-my-picks

A ‘classic’ was defined by Italian author Italo Calvino as “…a book that’s never finished saying what it has to say.”

Now, I’m not claiming that the books I truly loved this year are ‘classics’, however, I’m borrowing Calvino’s definition to guide my list of top picks for 2016. This year, I’m paying less attention to five-star ratings and more attention to the books that are still speaking to me. Continue reading

I want…

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This week’s TTT topic is ‘Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card’ but really, ten is stupid when what I actually *need* is at least a hundred.

How about we make this the first week of Top One Hundred Tuesday? Continue reading

The Good Guy by Susan Beale

The title of Susan Beale’s debut novel, The Good Guy, suggests something quite particular about the main character, Ted, however he’s anything but a good guy. He’s an arsehole of the first order (that’s not a spoiler, by the way).

In brief, it’s the story of Ted and Abigail and their baby daughter. It’s 1960s suburban New England, and the couple’s life is filled with polite neighbourhood parties, good manners, and keeping up with the Jones. Ted is a tyre salesman and Abigail sits with gritted teeth through meetings of the Ladies Culture Club (where the ‘culture’ is macrame demonstrations), all the while dreaming of the college degree she didn’t complete.

“They traded decorating and gardening ideas, borrowed tools; they gathered at cocktail and dinner parties. It was real life and yet it retained an aura of play.” Continue reading

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times – read these books

paul-newman-reading

I’m as tight as all-get-out when it comes to handing out five stars. Do I even have enough (after four and a half years of blogging) to put together a list of ten? Just.

It’s Top Ten Tuesday and the topic is ‘Ten of My Most Recent Five Star Reads’ (there’s no legitimate reason for the gratuitous Paul Newman pic, I just felt like it).

So, in case you missed me banging on about these books the first time, here are my most recent winners – Continue reading

The best book soundtracks begin with ABBA

ABBA-1

I have a very, very deep love for ABBA. I won’t try to explain it because if you’re not an ABBA fan, you’ll never understand (and why waste my time when I could be singing along to excellent tracks such as Bang a Boomerang?).

I’m not sure if I’m doing this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic right, but I figure if Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid can pose for a photo in tin foil, then anything goes. So, I’ve taken ten ABBA songs and matched them (very loosely) with ten books.

1. My Love, My LifeWilful Disregard by Lena Andersson Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Olive Kitteridge to Doppler

six-degrees-olive-kitteridge

It’s time for #6Degrees (and for the first time, I’m hosting – that’s code for you absolutely must join in, please)!

We begin with Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge. The story is set in a small town in Maine, as is John Irving’s beautiful saga, The Cider House Rules. Continue reading