Book Reviews

Book Review: When Clowns Attack - A Survival Guide

Douglas McPherson | Posted 07.02.2016 | UK Comedy
Douglas McPherson

This is a silly book, of course - a bit like those guides to surviving a zombie apocalypse. I mean, clowns are harmless bringers of joy, aren't they? They wouldn't turn on us... er, would they? Surely they don't pose the same threat to our civilisation as a plague of zombies. But then again...

A Book to Read, Share and Keep: Letting Go by Emma Woolf

Louisa Mallejacq Flynn | Posted 19.01.2016 | UK Entertainment
Louisa Mallejacq Flynn

Each and every one of us could likely do with letting go of something. Whether it's a past hurt, a toxic habit or a reoccurring vision for the future ...

Book Review: 'The Person Controller' by David Baddiel

Samantha Baines | Posted 14.11.2015 | UK Comedy
Samantha Baines

The Person Controller is a real page turner or should I say jewel encrusted button presser. Indeed it presses all the right buttons for a generation of young video gamers and adults who may need reminding to switch off those pesky electronic devices once in a while.

Robert Harris Caps Cicero Trilogy With Astonishing Dictator

Philip White | Posted 09.11.2015 | UK Entertainment
Philip White

For those unfamiliar with the first two volumes, Imperium and Conspirata, Harris's three-parter tells the story of the great Roman advocate and orator Cicero, whose speaking skills were so convincing that he became only the second man who was neither a military commander or nobleman to win the consulship.

How to Fail Successfully - A Look at Brené Brown's 'Rising Strong'

Jackie Kemp | Posted 08.10.2015 | UK Entertainment
Jackie Kemp

For Brown, there are many ways of knowing and she rejects the hierarchy, arguing that creating a dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative research serves only the traditional quantitative researchers.

James Rhodes, Instrumental: A Powerful Memoir on Child Abuse and Classical Music

Victoria Sadler | Posted 01.09.2015 | UK Entertainment
Victoria Sadler

With his autobiography Instrumental, James Rhodes may well have achieved the impossible - writing a first-hand account of child abuse and its terrible legacy that is not just desperately needed, but is also readable and, well, even funny.

Five Books to Make You Want to Travel

Frontier | Posted 20.08.2015 | UK

Books are there to make you dream and escape the real world. But sometimes, the books just open our eyes to what is out there. And there it is - the travel bug is back. No matter how hard you try to fight it, these books will make you want to hop on a train, plane or fuel up the car and just go

Who Reviews The Reviews?

Caragh Little | Posted 14.08.2015 | UK Entertainment
Caragh Little

'You shouldn't read that book,' he cautioned, a tone of urgency in his voice. 'It's got some terrible reviews...'

Book Review: A Novel Take On The Rakish Progress Of The Rolling Stones

Clive Crump | Posted 14.08.2015 | UK Entertainment
Clive Crump

Despite being yet one more Rolling Stones book in a sea of Rolling Stones books, 'Rollaresque' is definitely a one-off.

Peter Kalu, The Silent Striker: Book Review

Claire Chambers | Posted 30.07.2015 | UK Entertainment
Claire Chambers

On the surface, it is the tale of a Manchester teenager who has to overcome obstacles in the way of success. Marcus is in Year 9 and is a talented footballer, spending every spare moment practising and, excitingly, being watched by a Manchester United talent scout.


Tony Schumacher | Posted 16.07.2015 | UK Entertainment
Tony Schumacher

Misery is as good as it gets for me, and I'm always happy to chat about it at writer events. Just do me one favour though, if we ever meet, please don't tell me you're my number one fan, I'll not sleep if you do.

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?