Category Archives: reviews

Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig

I asked my former colleague for a copy of Reasons to Stay Alive, and it may have taken me a while, but I’ve read it — over a day, no mean feat if you’re a mum of a(nother) baby who doesn’t like to sleep unless she’s being held. (Thanks, Mum, for holding her while I […]

Normal life, or a tiny approximation of it

A cinema in Swindon does parent and baby screenings. I went and saw Life of Pi with a few ‘mummy friends’ (I swear I will never use that phrase again) and even though it was 10am, it felt amazing to do something kind of normal again. I did wonder if Ang Lee would recreate the […]

My Friend Dahmer

Jeff might be my literary soul mate. He sent me a copy of My Friend Dahmer speculatively in anticipation of my labour and delivery. I’m sure he didn’t mean to hint that I should pay attention in case Anne has dark fantasies and murderous desires as an adolescent. I don’t read graphic novels enough. This […]

In One Person

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So I asked the publishers if I could get a review copy of John Irving’s latest, In One Person, because I am a big fan and would (more likely than not) review it. And I got it, two days later. Billy Dean grows up in 50s and 60s […]


My mate Jeff has been on me to read Reamde since before Christmas. Neil bought it for me for Christmas. Jeff kept asking me, Have you read Reamde yet? Tell me what you think of it once you have! I wondered why he was so kancheong about it — we both really like Neal Stephenson, […]

A Kind Man

Have you ever read a book that gave you a real sense of impending dread and heartbreak by the second or third chapter? Perhaps it’s because I am in my current ‘condition’, but I felt so stricken by Eve’s story. Eve has met and married a man — Tommy Car — who is very kind, […]

Stay Close

Harlan Coben is one of those authors whose books I’ve seen in all the bookshops, but have avoided because I was thinking he might end up too much like James Patterson (i.e. prolific, not very good, but begging for a film rights deal). So when I was sent a copy of Stay Close (part of […]

Rape: A Love Story

This is one brutal novella. It tells the story of Teena and her daughter Bethel Maguire, who are accosted one night, going home from a Fourth of July party via a shortcut. The ones doing the accosting are a bunch of young men. You can imagine what happens next. It’s crude and takes no prisoners, […]

Eastern Standard Tribe

Only having read two of Cory Doctorow’s novels, I can’t really say if he’s going to be one of my favourite authors, but the prognosis is good. What I’ve liked so much about what I’ve read so far is his science fiction-y view of our near future is so plausible (and so deliciously geeky). In […]

Island of Bones

Take one middle-aged anatomist and one much-younger widow, put them together in 18th century England, and bang! A crime-fighting team. This period Grissom and Sidle (heh, they’re Crowther and Westerman) have been called in to solve the mystery of an extra body found while excavating an old tomb. The complication is, the land used to […]