Posts

Edward St Aubyn

Image
Dunbar by Edward St Aubyn (King Lear)

The Hogarth Shakespeare series recreates Shakespeare's plays as current day novels, edgy, topical and not the Shakespeare we knew at school.
Dunbar is in trouble, his financial and personal safety under threat from his daughter Abby and Megan, From a care home in the Lake Districts he plots to escape, succeeding only to be lost in a winter wilderness and a internal mental wilderness. Can Florence, his loyal youngest daughter save him?
If you know the play you know the ending but this novel keeps you wanting to see how it works out regardless. The writing is compelling and provides insights into the human condition of old age, human frailty, family, madness, power and forgiveness.

Other books in this series
Vinegar girl : the taming of the shrew retold by Anne Tyler (The taming of the shrew)
Hag-seed : the Tempest retold by Margaret Atwood (The tempest)
The gap of time by Jeanette Winterson (Winters tale)
Shylock is my name by Howard Jacobson (The m…

Sophie Kinsella

Image
My not so perfect life by Sophie Kinsella

"Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn't really hers. But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren't they? Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie's hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business. Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter - the woman who has everything - actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. And what's wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?  Everybody l…

Katie Fforde

Image
A country escape by Katie Fforde
"The new deliciously romantic novel from the Sunday Times Number One Bestselling Author. Modern Day Austen. Great fun!
 Fran has always wanted to be a farmer. Her childhood dream is about to come true. She has just moved in to a beautiful but very run-down farm in the Cotswolds, currently owned by an old aunt who has told Fran that if she manages to turn the place around in a year, the farm will be hers. But Fran knows nothing about farming. She might even be afraid of cows. She's going to need a lot of help from her best friend Issi, and also from her wealthy and very eligible neighbour - who might just have his own reasons for being so supportive. Is it the farm he is interested in? Or Fran herself?
Warm, funny and wonderfully romantic, this is Katie Fforde at her very best."

Any of Katie Fforde's books are an excellent light summer holiday read.

Alice McDermott

Image
The ninth hour by Alice McDermott
“A magnificent new novel from one of America's finest writers -- a powerfully affecting story spanning the twentieth century of a widow and her daughter and the nuns who serve their Irish-American community in Brooklyn. On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove--to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his badgering, pregnant wife--"that the hours of his life belong to himself alone." In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Savior, an aging nun appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child. We begin deep inside Catholic Brooklyn, in the early part of the twentieth century. Decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man's brief existence. Yet his suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives and over the decades testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrific…

Ken Follett

Image
A column of fire by Ken Follett
I was worried, since this is the third in the Kingsbridge Series (Pillars of the Earth andWorld without Endbeing one and two respectively) that I would be completely lost with characters’ names and even plot. I need not have feared however as this book was set in the same imaginary town of Kingsbridge, but set 200 years later in the 16th Century. Follett did an amazing job of personalising a story set at a fascinating time in English history, when Elizabeth I came to the throne and there was strong religious conflict right across Europe between Catholics and Protestants. Being a modern reader I googled Kingsbridge Cathedral and discovered that though it was imaginary, Follett had the awe inspiring Wells and Salisbury Cathedrals in mind when he wrote the book.

Ken Follet's "Century trilogy" that cover the fates of 5 families across the world through social changes and wars from 1911 till 1967. An fascinating picture of the modern world unfo…

Liane Moriarty

Image
Truly madly guilty by Liane Moriarty

What did happen at the barbaque? The barbaque that Clementine, Sam and their children, with their friends Erica and Oliver went to at their neighbors Vid and Tiffanys. All of the “responsible” adults have secrets that become difficult to cope and live with after the barbaque. A compelling book that keeps you guessing till the very end.
Also by Liane Moriarty Big little lies The husband’s secret The hypnotist’s love story Three wishes (audio book)

Tim Cope

Image
On the trail of Genghis Khan : an epic journey through the land of the nomads by Tim Cope
Do you like travel in remote places, horses, dogs, nomadic cultures from Europe to Mongolia?

Tim Cope spent 3 years with Tigon, his dog and his horses he owned (along the way) travelling the Eurasian Steppes; following Genghis Khan’s footsteps through remote and dangerous territory.

Kim Hill interviewed Tim Cope on Radio New Zealand, and yes there a podcast; well worth exploring.