If you’re the kind of person who flicks through a few pages of a book before you decide to buy it, then you might be put off by Max Porter’s “Lanny”. The way one of the character’s contributions are printed is, shall we say, a little ‘esoteric’; the font is variable, and the words bend… Read More “Lanny”

“The Nickel Boys”

Simply stunning. Having read “The Underground Railroad”, I confess to being a little reticent about deciding to read Colson Whitehead’s “The Nickel Boys”. I wasn’t sure that it would be quite ‘me’. Perhaps I was nervous that – as a white, middle class Brit – the book wouldn’t resonate with me, that I’d fail to… Read More “The Nickel Boys”

Why as an author you shouldn’t use a Goodreads’ ‘Giveaway’…

As a member of Goodreads.com – and therefore a “Goodreads author” – I have indulged in their ‘Giveaway’ scheme twice now. The premise is simple: you fund 100 copies of your e-book and Goodreads runs a lottery on your behalf where members can apply for a copy which, if they are selected at random, they… Read More Why as an author you shouldn’t use a Goodreads’ ‘Giveaway’…

“The Offing”

I really liked Benjamin Myers’ “The Offing”. It’s a gentle, inoffensive coming-of-age tale; romantic with a small ‘r’. Like most things, “The Offing” is far from perfect: perhaps it tries a little too hard early on before it gets into the swing of itself; and most sixteen-year-olds simply wouldn’t have the nouse to do some… Read More “The Offing”

The Impossible Readers

I am a registered Goodreads.com author. I had hoped that membership of Goodreads would allow my work to reach a wider audience. In support of this ambition – and possibly naïvely – I have twice indulged in Goodreads’ ‘giveaway’ promotions. The basic premise is that you offer 100 e-books to Goodreads members in what is… Read More The Impossible Readers


From its earliest origins in aural tradition, poetry has inevitably tracked the metamorphosis of language through time. You only have to reflect on the differences between Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Larkin to see how poetry maps not only the journey of a civilisation but its language and mores too. Perhaps poetry takes a little while… Read More “Homie”

“The Human Stain”

There is a section toward the end of Philip Roth’s “The Human Stain” where one of the book’s characters, Ernestine, confronts the author/narrator about her life and the life of her family, African-Americans from New Jersey. What follows from Ernestine/Roth seems to me – a white, non-American – a brilliant and powerful exposé of racism,… Read More “The Human Stain”

“Memory Wall”

Although I first came across Anthony Doerr through his novel “All the Light We Cannot See”, if you wanted a more subtle introduction then his collection of short stories then “Memory Wall” wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The stories are engaging and well-written, and you somehow feel ‘safe’ in Doerr’s hands. The subject… Read More “Memory Wall”