Birdsong

Title: Birdsong Writer: Sebastian Faulks Publishing House: Vintage International Date of Publication: June 2nd 1997 (first published September 27th 1993) Rating: 5 stars “But you must live your own life eventually. You have one chance only.” A poetic, heart-breaking novel, about the atrocities of war and the hope that springs even under the most harrowing circumstances. Sebastian Faulks…

Dear Mrs Bird

Title: Dear Mrs Bird Writer: A.J.Pearce Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ”Μrs Bird says if people get themselves into a silly pickle, they’ve only themselves to blame.” London is trying to survive in the middle of the Blitz. The Londoners are doing their best to go on with their lives, amidst the…

Lancelot

Title: Lancelot Writer: Giles Kristian Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: May 31st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I smell the rising fog of the crowd’s breath. It warms my feathers against the thin dawn air and I watch. I feel, too. More than a bird should feel. The sorrow which lies over the assembly like a shroud….

Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer:  Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (illustrated by Ashling Lindsay) Publishing House:Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication:April 7th 2020 Rating:5 stars ”Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” (quote from the 2014 film The Imitation Game) Alan was a shy boy. His brain could work in such mysterious,…

The Ninth Child

Title:The Ninth Child Writer:Sally Magnusson Publishing House:John Murray Press Date of Publication:March 19th 2020 Rating: 4 stars ”’Tis thin, this place of water and stone and tree. Here meet north and south, Highland and Lowland, Gael and Scot. Here are mountains made too thin for awe; burns that idle over-prettily, the maist o’them, for the making…

The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort

Title:The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort Writer: Michel Faber Publishing House:Canongate Books Ltd Date of Publication:April 1st 2010 Rating: 5 stars ”Within minutes, of course (or was it hours?), her head was disjoined from her neck, and the seagulls were screaming.” Siân is a student of archeology and has recently joined an…

Transcription

Title: Transcription Writer: Kate Atkinson Publishing House: Black Swan Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 (first published September 6th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ”In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” Winston Churchill 1950. Juliet is a BBC producer, responsible for the children’s zone. Intelligent, energetic and a talented writer,…

The Poison Bed

Title: The Poison Bed Writer: Elizabeth Fremantle Publishing House: Penguin UK Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.’’             The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster May I just say that this is one of the most intriguing front covers I’ve ever seen?…

Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land

Title: Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land Writer: Benjamin Myers Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: April 25th 2019 (first published May 17th 2018) ‘’Let things settle. Let tress reach downwards, their curling roots grasping deep into the underworld. Let weeds wander, and life crawl and colonise and entangle.  Let the seasons set the pace….

A Column of Fire

Title: A Column of Fire Writer: Ken Follett Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication: September 12th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ‘’People should hear Bible stories from their parish priest. If they start reading for themselves, they’re sure to get the wrong idea.’’ Some things never change… 1558, Kingsbridge. Europe is once again in disarray, torn by trivial religious differences. The…

Occult London

Title: Occult London Writer: Merlin Coverley Publishing House: Oldcastle Books Date of Publication: May 1st 2018 (first published June 1st 2007) Rating: 4 stars ‘’London is a city whose origins remain obscure and whose identity remains bound up with the mythical and the legendary, the hidden and the occult.’’ One of my most beloved semi-urban myths/ modern fables/ occult instances/…

Μystical Britain and Ireland

Title: Mystical Britain and Ireland Writer: Richard Jones (photography by John Mason) Publishing House: New Holland Australia Date of Publication: August 10th 2006 (first published 2003) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Those who pace its lanes and squares may yet hear the echoes of their footsteps on the sounding stones and read upon its gates…’’Who enters here leaves noise behind.’’ Charles Dickens…

The Familiars

Title: The Familiars Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: MIRA Date of Publication: February 19th 2019 (first published February 7th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Justice means fairness. Luck of prejudice.’’ I’ve always loved Pendle Hill and the stories of the women who were accused of witchcraft during one of the darkest moments in the history of Europe. The fascinating legends found…

The Blue

Title: The Blue Writer: Nancy Bilyeau Publishing House: Endeavour Quill Date of Publication: December 3rd 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’London is alive. And so am I.’’ 18th century, England. Genevieve comes from a Huguenot family that found shelter in England, persecuted in their own country due to their religious beliefs. In a time when the war with France is raging,…

North Wales Folk Tales for Children

Title: North Wales Folk Tales For Children Writer: Fiona Collins Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: May 2nd 2016 Rating: 4 stars ”…under the stone, two dragons are curled up, fast asleep. All day, they sleep, but at night they wake, and then they fight. Their battle destroys your tower each night.” Wales, lovely, mysterious, mythical Wales… A…

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Writer: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows Publishing House: The Dial Press Date of Publication: July 29th 2008 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Real dyed-in-the-wool readers can’t lie. Our faces always give us away. A raised brow or a curled lip means that it’s a poor excuse for a book, and…

Macbeth

‘’There’s husbandry in heaven; Their candles are all out.’’ This is a text that has been brewing inside my mind for quite some times. I started reading Jo Nesbø’s retelling of Macbeth  two days ago (quite interesting so far, by the way…) and it gave me the chance to reflect on a masterpiece that isn’t…

East Yorkshire Folk Tales

Title: East Yorkshire Folk Tales Writer: Ingrid Barton Publishing House: The History Press Ireland Date of Publication: April 15th 2015 Rating: 4 stars ”May night is, as everyone knows, a chancy time of the year, the hinge between spring and summer, when all sorts of magic seep into our world from the Other. At that time it is possible to…

Lancashire Folk Tales

Title: Lancashire Folk Tales  Writers:  David England, Jennie Ruth Bailey Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: June 1st 2014 Rating: 3 stars “Sir Lancelot, you may be surprised to hear, has a close association with the county. ‘Lanc’ is the Celtic term for a spear, and ‘lot’ refers to the people of the land, hence ‘Lancelot’s shire’ or as…

Anne Boleyn

Title: Anne Boleyn Writer: Howard Brenton Publishing House: Nick Hern Books Date of Publication: August 16th 2011 (first published July 22nd 2010) Rating: 2 stars Tormented Queen Anne is possibly my favourite historical figure. A woman as fascinating as she was controversial, a woman who left her mark on English History with her wit, her charm and the injustice that…