Book Reviews

Book Review: The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson

Robert Bradley | Posted 27.06.2016 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

I'm never been exactly sure about how I feel when authors pen their novels around historical figures in fictional plots. Well, I say this having never actually read a book that has even ever done such a thing. Regardless of that fact and slightly odd introduction, I can't help but find it a little bit safe for the writer to choose a writer as their protagonist, fictional or not.

Book Review: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Robert Bradley | Posted 17.06.2016 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

It is from this longing to see these dragons kick them Lannisters back into Westeros' dark ages, that I found myself picking up the Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan, the international bestselling author of Blood Song, with "dar dar, dar dar dar.. DAR!" Ringing its way through the confines of my skull.

The Many Frenemies of Luke Kennard

Phil Brown | Posted 13.06.2016 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

In the eleven years since Luke Kennard won the Eric Gregory Award for The Solex Brothers, he has released five collections, two pamphlets, a novella a...


Lucy Karsten | Posted 09.06.2016 | UK Entertainment
Lucy Karsten

The narrator of Kate O'Riordan's new book, 'A disturbing thriller of sexual obsession and family secrets', is a middle-aged woman. Oddly, I only realised this half-way through the first chapter, having what some people might call a 'self-reflective reading style', where I constantly assume that the lead character is myself.

Book Review: No Map Could Show Them by Helen Mort

Phil Brown | Posted 07.06.2016 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

In the poems which follow, Mort often uses pronouns to emphasise conflict between the female climbers and the male hegemony they are flouting; "Where you made ways, / we will unmake" ('An Easy Day for a Lady') and "Take off the clothes they want to keep you in" ('How to Dress').

Book Review: Holy Toledo! by John Clegg

Phil Brown | Posted 06.06.2016 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

As the truism goes, we get our whole lives to write a debut, and considerably less to produce the follow up. As a result, second collections are usual...

Review: Idiot Verse by Keaton Henson

Phil Brown | Posted 02.06.2016 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

"I am willing to pay due respect to the poetry of George Meredith, of Thomas Hardy, of DH Lawrence as part of their oeuvre, without conceding that it ...

Simon Armitage's Translation of Pearl - Review

Phil Brown | Posted 23.05.2016 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

"If every person in the country was buying poetry and it was available on every street corner and when you turned on BBC 1 on Saturday night, poetry p...

'Talk to Me' by Qasim Rashid Is a Wake-up Call for America Today

Tahir Nasser | Posted 23.05.2016 | UK Politics
Tahir Nasser

I'll admit that I picked up Qasim Rashid's latest book "Talk to Me" with a little apprehension. I had no fear of the quality of his writing. My appreh...

Book Review: The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott

Robert Bradley | Posted 29.04.2016 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

In a world more socially connected than ever before, it is hard for niche tastes to maintain their exclusivity. This is the problem of hive-cool, wher...

Book Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Robert Bradley | Posted 25.04.2016 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

"Ether is to light as air is to sound, but far more efficient. You will have noticed that when fireworks ignite, you hear that bang after the flash? T...

Book Review: A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity

Robert Bradley | Posted 20.04.2016 | UK
Robert Bradley

What does infallible mean? Well, Google seems to think (as well as perhaps consider itself) something that's perfect and cant be critiqued. This book, however chocked full of fact, followed by more facts, some light Saturday night takeaway humour, then some biblical "facts", is hardly perfect. So an ironic title, well Nearly!

Positively Primal Living

Esther Dark | Posted 15.04.2016 | UK Lifestyle
Esther Dark

Does our world of constant connection, instant gratification, with an abundance of choice and information available at just a click away leave us feeling content and satisfied with our lives? I don't think so - it seems as if we're more depressed, stressed and disconnected than ever before.

Reverse Ferret - A Fleet Street Classic by W.M.Boot

Arnie Wilson | Posted 28.03.2016 | UK Entertainment
Arnie Wilson

Reverse Ferret is a book about Fleet Street. And the suspicious, somewhat sexually explicit death - was it murder? - of the editor of the mythical "Su...

The Turning Tide - Dr. Brooke Magnanti

Laura Lee | Posted 18.02.2016 | UK Entertainment
Laura Lee

I'm not a fan of crime thrillers, at all, but having followed Dr. Magnanti's previous works I was very interested to read The Turning Tide. I wasn't disappointed. The story opens with the discovery of a body in the highlands and takes us on a journey, introducing us to some very rich and diverse characters along the way.

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.