Book Reviews

You Are Dead: Peter James' Latest Blockbuster

Arnie Wilson | Posted 11.06.2015 | UK Entertainment
Arnie Wilson

Drat! He's done it again. But how? You Are Dead, the best-selling author Peter James' 11th annual offering about a fictional British detective, Roy Grace, may just be his best yet.

Vietnam by Christian G. Appy | Book Review

Robert Bradley | Posted 11.06.2015 | UK
Robert Bradley

This book is testament to humanity's duo of absolute cruelty and contrasting beauty, when faced with the evil that is human perspective.

Have We Been Sold a Lie About Multi-Tasking?

Natasha Courtenay-Smith | Posted 03.06.2015 | UK Lifestyle
Natasha Courtenay-Smith

They say knocking out a few hundred tasks for whatever reason is a poor substitute for doing even one task that is meaningful. Being busy, they stress, is not the same as being successful.

Book Review: 'Jolly Lad' by John Doran

Musa Okwonga | Posted 27.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Musa Okwonga

At times, this book feels more like an film than anything else: at vital moments, the prose is so vivid as to be cinematic. Witness, for example, Doran's account of his first beer, a delight at odds with the attendant ruin it would bring to his health...

Giffords Circus - The First Ten Years, Book Review

Douglas McPherson | Posted 18.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

In October 1999, Nell Gifford was invited to give a talk at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival the following May. She suggested that they book her circu...

How to Market a Circus - The Advance Man Book Review

Douglas McPherson | Posted 12.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

Most circus memoirs are written by performers or showmen. But it doesn't matter how good a show is if there's no audience to see it. The Advance Man ...

Why Clare Carson's 'Orkney Twilight' Is Set to Be Summer's Hottest Thriller...

Alix Long | Posted 07.05.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Alix Long

I read books. I review books. I talk to people about books. Books take up an immense proportion of my life. However, being a teenager, sometimes it is way too easy to slip into the sociocultural safety net of reading, reviewing and talking about YA books.

Fishnet: A Review

Laura Lee | Posted 27.06.2015 | UK Entertainment
Laura Lee

Being inherently lazy, it's seldom I feel compelled to write, well ... anything really. Let alone a book review. But Fishnet, the debut novel of Kirstin Innes caused removal of The Cat from my keyboard at just slightly excessive speed.

Erwin Mortier and Stammered Songbook

Ben Mirza | Posted 05.06.2015 | UK Entertainment
Ben Mirza

Erwin Mortier is a Flemish writer, whose work is sadly little known in the Anglosphere, but thanks to Pushkin Press that is changing. Erwin's literary style is unorthodox, always merging a diverse roster of themes to create stories that are deep with emotion. He has been dubbed the voice of his generation.

Book Review: Love and Resistance by Theresa Wolfwood

Sumeet Grover | Posted 04.06.2015 | UK Entertainment
Sumeet Grover

I first read her poem, For Shaima, few years ago; it was written for an Iraqi girl whom Wolfwood met in 2001 in Baghdad.

Book Review: Tariq Mehmood, You're Not Proper

Claire Chambers | Posted 31.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Claire Chambers

The literary world is currently witnessing a boom in Young Adult fiction, but the state of diversity in YA writing is dire. Fewer than three per cent ...

Rise of the Political Technologists: "Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible" by Peter Pomerantsev

James Snell | Posted 22.05.2015 | UK Politics
James Snell

For the critiques of this transparent media manipulation alone, Pomerantsev's book is a vital resource. And it is more than that; he creates a powerfully written, endlessly evocative and terribly recognisable description of the state of Russia today.

'ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror' - Review

Tam Hussein | Posted 20.05.2015 | UK Politics
Tam Hussein

It is a rich and nuanced piece touching on all the points that the arrival of ISIS has raised in Syria and Iraq. Typos aside, this is an important contribution to the emerging literature on ISIS and will surely be on any academic reading list for years to come.

Write Harder, Better, Faster, (Not) Longer - with Uri Bram

Mark Brewer | Posted 07.04.2015 | UK Entertainment
Mark Brewer

So, please, indulge me as I hitherto invent a new genre of literary criticism and thrust it upon your unwitting and uninterested eyes. I call it a "pre-review review". I hear your teeth grind as you call me a "wally" and slap the back of your own neck in the hope you'll hit that "off-button" sweet-spot. Why not simply call it a "preview", like a sensible person?

Book Review: 'Oliver Twist for Kids'

Alix Long | Posted 26.03.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Alix Long

Overall, 'Oliver Twist for Kids' was another resounding success for Playing with Plays, and it fulfilled its purpose of creating plays from 'tricky' classics that were enjoyable and accessible for kids to perform, allowing them to enjoy the literature that adults are often guilty of thinking too advanced for them.

#ReviewWomen2015: It's Time to Take Commercial Fiction Seriously

Hannah Beckerman | Posted 27.03.2015 | UK
Hannah Beckerman

Every time you review a book by a female writer - whatever the genre - whether on social media, on your blog, in your local or national newspaper, use the #ReviewWomen2015 hashtag. Let's make this the year fiction by women gets reviewed more than ever before.

The Joy of Accents and Potatoes

Annie Martirosyan | Posted 21.02.2015 | UK Entertainment
Annie Martirosyan

You Say Potato is yet another successful collaborative book by David Crystal and Ben Crystal. The title derives from Let's Call the Whole Thing Off sung by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the film Shall We Dance. (Already got the tune in your head?)

Top Four Books For an Adventurer's Christmas Stocking

Alastair Macartney | Posted 14.02.2015 | UK Lifestyle
Alastair Macartney

This Christmas, the adventurers amongst us will be gazing out of the snow splattered windows, plotting. If we're not currently on an adventure then we know that Christmas is the time for rest and relaxation. This rejuvenation is key as we plot, in our own special way, to take over the world with our hair-brained adventures.

Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Review)

Alice Charles | Posted 07.02.2015 | UK Entertainment
Alice Charles

Fans of the books and films will remember that JK Rowling's world of wizardry is populated with a host of magical and frightening creatures, from elves, pixies and familiars to trolls, giants and werewolves, and everything in between.

Festive Book Review: 'A Christmas Carol for Kids'

Alix Long | Posted 31.01.2015 | UK Entertainment
Alix Long

Kelso's 'A Christmas Carol for Kids' gives children a very important gift; more important than anything they would receive this Christmas. This play familiarizes children and introduces them to a world of first-class literature at their fingertips, and still provides them with an important message, even though it's not in it's original format.

Give Us Back Our Heroes: How the Digital Era Brought Us Too Close to Our Stars

Matthew Phillips | Posted 28.12.2014 | UK Entertainment
Matthew Phillips

In an age when social media reigns supreme and our celebrities are subjected to having their nude, private photographs gleefully circulated online without their permission, it is important to be reminded that, once upon a time, some public figures were beyond the public's grasp. This separation allowed space for stories to emerge and idols to be born.

Move Over Calendar Girls, Its Time for the Adventures of Fifi

Catherine Graham | Posted 25.11.2014 | UK Entertainment
Catherine Graham

Fantasies From The the Kitchen Sink is a story about the adventures of an ex-stripper called Fifi who makes a fortune writing her memoirs, and then moves to the genteel village of Dorking. She takes a cardboard cut out of Jean Luc Picard with her, and under his dictation she goes about causing chaos at the women's institute.

Book Review: Chimene Suleyman, 'Outside Looking On'

Musa Okwonga | Posted 15.11.2014 | UK Entertainment
Musa Okwonga

Chimene Suleyman, a London-born poet, journalist and essayist of Turkish heritage, has produced Outside Looking On, a debut collection of poems for Influx Press; a very fine piece of work which, given its timing, captures London at a pivotal moment in its history.

'Prozac Nation': 20 Years On

Victoria Sadler | Posted 09.11.2014 | UK Entertainment
Victoria Sadler

In September 1994 Elizabeth Wurtzel's first book Prozac Nation was published and a new era of confessional-style memoir was born. Further than that, Elizabeth's frank and unsympathetic portrayal of her battles with depression was revolutionary in a way that now, even 20 years later, we're still getting used to...

Raw and Unforgettable Magic: Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go

Marie Southard Ospina | Posted 30.08.2014 | UK
Marie Southard Ospina

As someone who grew up stretched between Third and First Worlds, in a broken family with seven siblings scattered across the globe (each facing their own demons), there was a lot in this book that resonated with me on an intrinsic level -- things difficult for anyone to read, because of the unfiltered, unedited truth behind them.