Category: British fiction

  • On My Nightstand

    On My Nightstand

    I am still reading Wicked, which is so excellent that I went back and started from the beginning. This title was published two years before the first Harry Potter book, and I find myself wondering whether J.K. Rowling had read this book before or while writing about Harry, and possibly got some of her inspiration […]

  • Five Firsts for Friday – first in their series.

    Five Firsts for Friday – first in their series.

    I realized after compiling this list that each story takes place in a different country. The Bridge of Sighs (Olen Steinhauer, 2004) – First in the Yalta Boulevard Sequence, Cold War spy fiction that I found engrossing. Five books total in the series. I hope he writes more. Recommend. Whose Body? (Dorothy Sayers, 1923) – […]

  • Sunday Classic – Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)

    Sunday Classic – Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)

    Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. You probably know you’ve seen it somewhere if you are reading this blog. You may even know it’s the first sentence of Rebecca, the ultimate gothic novel written in 1938 by Daphne du Maurier.  The cast of characters includes: penniless, naïve young woman, overbearing employer, dashing […]

  • Merrily Watkins, Girl Exorcist

    Merrily Watkins, Girl Exorcist

    Merrily Watkins is a single mother, former Goth teen, smoker-turned-vaper. She is also an exorcist.  Those statements, though a little dramatic and exaggerated, are true facts in Phil Rickman’s1 Merrily Watkins series, about a priest in the Church of England who is also the Diocesan Deliverance Consultant (the C of E’s euphemistic title), working with […]

  • Sunday Classic – Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)

    Sunday Classic – Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)

    This is a short commentary on a long book, meant for those who haven’t read it and wonder if they might want to do so. I’m writing this quickly to fulfill my commitment to provide a Sunday Classic review; I will do better next week. Topics in the book are hope, study, death, work, marriage, divorce, […]

  • Sunday Classics – Jane Eyre

    Sunday Classics – Jane Eyre

    As a child, I lost myself so completely in books that when I recollect reading, I don’t envision myself looking at the printed page. Instead I am taking a swan dive right into the open book as if into a deep pond. This was the case with Jane Eyre, which I read when I was […]

  • Tell Me A Story.

    Tell Me A Story.

    Let’s tell stories. Children, read to your parents. Parents, read to your children and to each other.  Friends, siblings, take turns reading as the rest of you listen. With book in hand, (or eBook on phone or tablet or laptop), gather under a tree, around a campfire or at the kitchen table – such stories […]

  • Laugh.

    Laugh.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it hard to focus on anything for long stretches right now. I don’t need to be reading epic novels. I need short reads – light and humorous.  The fantasy and sci fi into which I escaped in the past now hit a little too close to home.  […]

  • The Last Hours by Minette Walters

    Well, this is timely. If you’re looking to completely escape the reality of life as we know it, this might not be the book for you. The Last Hours is a novel set in 14th Century England as the Black Death (plague) first makes itself known. There is self-imposed quarantine, a supply shortages, and suspicion […]

  • Distract yourself with these “beach reads . . . .”

    Distract yourself with these “beach reads . . . .”

    We could use a little distraction right now. Here are some older titles to revisit, whether at the beach or in your living room; each is engrossing enough to pull you into the story for a while but not so deep you have to work at it. Download one today from an indie bookseller (see […]