Category: Uncategorized

  • Liberation Day: Stories by George Saunders

    I read George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardot a few years ago and was blown away by his creativity and narrative style. He takes well-used concepts, strips them bare, then reassembles them into unique and quirky stories. This collection of shorts certainly won’t be for everyone – his inventive use of language and punctuation takes […]

  • Review: Lessons by Ian McEwan

    Lessons is more biography than novel. It follows the span or Roland Baines’s life, from his youth in the Middle East to his twilight days in London, and because of the length and slow pacing I felt at times that I was living this in real-time! Every description is huge, passing characters are given full […]

  • Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch

    Could you alter genome sequences to give yourself superhuman advantages? Could you run for miles without fatigue, use two computers at once, absorb multiple media sources simultaneously? That’s the premise of Upgrade. This amazingly researched, fast paced thriller often feels like it’s a movie script, and I suspect it won’t be long before someone snaps […]

  • Review: Hide by Kiersten White

    Hide is how Stephen King would’ve tackled the Hunger Games! An excellent opening with a great setup, then some irritating PoV jumps and a bloated over-written ending (I found myself skimming paragraphs), but a fun holiday read. It won’t change your life, but the premise will keep you entertained! Book supplied by Netgalley for an […]

  • Review: French Braid by Anne Tyler

    I’ve loved Anne Tyler’s books for years, including her last, “A Spool of Blue Thread”, which was marketed as being her final novel. Unfortunately, I feel she should’ve stopped there. Her books are always a slow burn – typically following a family over a generation or so – but a focus and a direction drive […]

  • Review: Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

    Vladimir is a book of three parts. The first, introduces John and his unnamed wife, literary academics, and the writing is gorgeous. The wife’s wit and intelligence shine – she discusses the #MeToo movement, her husbands need for sexual attention from the younger students, and what it means to grow old and how that shapes […]

  • Review: On Opium: Pain, Pleasure, and Other Matters of Substance by Carlyn Zwarenstein

    On Opium is an interesting series of essays discussing the use of opium and other hard drugs, both for recreational and medical/pain relieving purposes. Some sections were eye-opening, such as how the decriminalisation of these drugs, as with the alcohol prohibition in 1920s America, causes unwanted consequences and forces otherwise good people into crime and […]

  • Review: Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street

    Excellent book, covering all aspects of recruitment. Very American (UK here) and very boardroom focused, but valuable observations that would work for all positions across an organisation. The fourth chapter, Select, discusses how to structure interviews, and that would be worth reading for candidates and recruiters alike. See review on Goodreads.

  • Review: The Importance of Being Interested: Adventures in Scientific Curiosity by Robin Ince

    I’ll start by saying I like Robin Ince, he’s a great co-host on Infinite Monkey Cage, and his intelligence and humour are normally engaging. Unfortunately, his book on being interested, just wasn’t, well, interesting. The book is about science and curiosity, but it’s incredibly rambling. Ideas aren’t pursued before he spins off. He just gets […]

  • Review: The Quiet Whispers Never Stop by Olivia Fitzsimons

    On the face of it, The Quiet Whispers Never Stop has a very simple story, but the plotting and execution make this a stunning literary debut by Olivia Fitzsimons. Set amidst the anger and distrust at the peak of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, relationships within a dysfunctional family are explored over several timelines and […]