Tag: links

April wrap-up

Time for a round-up of what was happening on this blog in April.

Book of the Month

I meant to read it last year, but never got around to it; and I should have done, because it’s excellent. Mike Thomas’s debut novel Pocket Notebook is a brilliant study of a policeman’s life spinning out of control, and a superb piece of writing. I can’t wait to see what Thomas comes up with next; I’ll be following his writing career with great interest.



March wrap-up

March felt like a month that was relatively light on reading, though I must admit I haven’t counted up to confirm this. There was still a fair amount of stuff on the blog, though, as I shall now list.

Book of the Month

The best book I read in March came from the Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist. Generosity by Richard Powers is a fascinating story about stories and science and being caught up in change. It’s in my top two contenders for the Clarke, with only one book on the list left to read.


No book notes this month, but quite a few full-length reviews:

… and I finally completed Volume I of The Oxford Library of Classic English Short Stories.


February wrap-up

A new month begins, so here’s a look back at what appeared on this blog during the last one.

Book of the Month

I should read non-fiction more often, and I’d love it to all be as good as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot’s wide-ranging account of how one woman’s cancer cells became, unbeknownst to her family, a key tool in modern medical science. It was the best book I read in February.


Full-length reviews:

Shorter write-ups:

… and my blogging of Volume I of The Oxford Library of Classic English Short Stories continued.


Changes are being rung…

There are some changes underway at a couple of the blogs I visit regularly, which I’m going to mention here.

Niall Harrison recently stepped down as editor of the BSFA’s journal, Vector, and became editor-in-chief of Strange Horizons — so now he’s changing blogs. Niall is handing the reins of Torque Control over to his successor, Shana Worthen (and Vector‘s reviews editor, Martin Lewis), and beginning to post at the Strange Horizons blog. Good luck to all, and I look forward to seeing how both blogs develop.

Elsewhere on the internet, Scott Pack has started a project to read and blog about a different short story on every day of 2011. That should yield some good recommendations. Check out Me and My Short Stories to see what Scott has read so far.

Links: 15 December

The Orange Prize has a new website, and has announced its judges for 2011.

More commentary on Edward Docx’s “literary vs genre” article: a response by Cora Buhlert; and Laura Miller of Salon.com looks at why people love bad writing.

Jackie from Farm Lane Books posts the first part of her list of books she’s looking forward to next year.

Guy Fraser-Sampson has a Christmas Book Quiz on his blog.

Jane Smith asks: what do you look for in a publisher’s website?

Valerie O’Riordan reviews the BBC National Short Story Award 2010 anthology (which will be featured on this blog next week!) for Bookmunch.

Keith Brooke is reviving Infinity Plus as a publisher of ebooks.

Sam Jordison invites people to nominate the worst books of the year (luckily for me, I’ve managed to avoid any real stinkers this year).

John Harris reads eleven celebrity memoirs in four days (not a task which I envy him!).

Mark Wernham writes about developing an app based on his novel-in-progress. (I’m struck that there are parallels between what Wernham says here about ‘a generation for whom the novel will be just a part of their expectation from…[an] author’ and the remarks in Harris’s article on celebrity memoirs being part of a a celebrity’s wider ‘brand’. I’ll think on this a bit more. Incidentally, I do like the sound of Wernham’s novel-in-progress.)

Ten beautiful converted bookstores from around the globe.

Some books that sound interesting:

  • Stuart Evers enthuses about the work of Chris Paling over at Fiction Uncovered.
  • Max Cairnduff on Berg by Ann Quin.
  • The Bookseller interviews Mary Horlock on her debut novel The Book of Lies.

The second UK Book Bloggers’ Meet-Up

Following on from May’s gathering in London, yesterday saw another meet-up of UK book bloggers, this time in the beautiful city of Oxford. Unfortunately, it was down on numbers from last time, as many people had to cancel at the last minute; but that didn’t stop it from being a highly enjoyable day.

In the afternoon, a group of us went on a tour of the city (courtesy of Simon and Becca), which took in a couple of bookshops, the Ashmolean Museum, and Somerville College. Then it was off to a nice little pub called Far From the Madding Crowd, for a meal and book-swapping; courtesy of Annabel, I unwrapped a copy of Obstacles to Young Love by David Nobbs, which isn’t a book I knew before, but it sounds interesting.

The full list of attendees, and their blogs, was:

Annabel – Gaskella
Becca – Oxford Reader
Harriet – Harriet Devine’s Blog
Jackie – Farm Lane Books
Peter – Morgana’s Cat Speaks
Sakura – Chasing Bawa
Simon – Stuck in a Book

It was great to see everyone, but those I’d met before and those I hadn’t – and, of course, the number of books on my TBR pile is a little higher than it was two days ago…

Some other bookish folks…

There was a meet-up of UK book bloggers in London at the weekend — including me. It was great to meet everyone there in person, but, of course, you can do so virtually through their blogs. And here they are:

Annabel (Gaskella)
Boof (The Book Whisperer)
Claire (Paperback Reader)
Guy (Pursewarden)
Hayley (Desperate Reader)
Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
Katy (5th Estate)
Kim (Reading Matters)
Kirsty (Other Stories)
Lizzy/Marcia (Lizzy’s Literary Life)
Naomi (Bloomsbury Bell)
Polly (Novel Insights)
Rachel (Book Snob)
Sakura (Chasing Bawa)
Simon (Savidge Reads)
Simon (Stuck in a Book)
Verity (The B Files / Verity’s Virago Venture)

Why not go and visit them?

Thanks to Simon of Stuck in a Book for organising the event (and for compiling the above list!).

Links: 6th May

A selection of links on books featured here, and other stuff…

Rhian of It’s a Crime! on Rupture by Simon Lelic, This Bleeding City by Alex Preston, and The Rapture by Liz Jensen.

Views on Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey: Kim of Reading Matters, and Jean Hannah Edelstein.

Victoria Hoyle on Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed.

Views on Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi: Savidge Reads, Dovegreyreader, Stuck-in-a-Book,

Savidge Reads interviews Evie Wyld, who is also blogging at Booktrust, as their current online writer in residence.

The Book Whisperer on her top book club reads (we used to be in the same book club, so I remember the discussions on some of these).

Kamvision on New Model Army by Adam Roberts.

Jenn Ashworth on ‘When the Door Closed, it Was Dark’ by Alison Moore.

Nigel P. Bird on ‘Black Country’ by Joel Lane.

Sharon of Dark Fiction Review on both of the above.

Alex Preston on fiction’s response to financial crisis.

Links: 19th February

A selection of links which may be of interest:

Paul Kincaid reviews Liz Jensen’s The Rapture for SF Site.

Martin Lewis’s double review of The Rapture and Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, at Strange Horizons.

Simon Savidge reviews Little Hands Clapping, and interviews Dan Rhodes.

Another Dan Rhodes interview, from the Independent on Sunday.

A further review of Little Hands Clapping, from Bookmunch.

Reviews of Simon Lelic’s Rupture: Dovegreyreader, Farm Lane Books and Reading Matters.

Lotus Reads on Nadifa Mohamed’s Black Mamba Boy.

Adam Roberts on Jeff VanderMeer’s Finch.

A couple of short stories on Untitled Books: ‘Homecoming’ by Simon Lelic; ‘Scuttle’ by David Vann.

Links: 25th November

Okay, this is my first attempt at doing a links post. Hopefully, over time, these will become more frequent, and the links more numerous; but, for now, you may find these pages of interest:

  • Adam Roberts reviews Transition by Iain Banks, and doesn’t think much of it.
  • Niall Harrison reviews three books, and reminds me that I really need to get around to reading The Ask and the Answer.
  • Lija from The Writer’s Pet interviews David Vann.
  • A few months old, but well worth reading: John Grant champions the good stuff.
  • Gav from NextRead asks what reviews are good for.
  • And, finally,  just because: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as you’ve never heard it before.

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