“Deep curiosity, deep listening, that’s what we have to give to each other. Reading is a form of deep listening, isn’t it? Staying with something, and being affected by it." Maggie Gee
Posts tagged "bookshelves"
Plain shelves and glittering prose

Plain shelves and glittering prose

William Friend’s debut novel Black Mamba is a chilling tale of hauntings, fatherhood, sexual attraction and the taboos of grief. Since his wife Pippa died suddenly nine months ago, Alfie has been struggling to look after their twin daughters. When they tell him one night there’s a man that comes to them in their room,...
Mixed up by design

Mixed up by design

The disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from an island in the Outer Hebrides in 1900, which became known as the Flannan Isles Vanishing, inspired Emma Stonex’ debut novel The Lamplighters. How and why did three men just disappear? The mystery has never been solved, and it’s been great fodder for films and books ever since....
Upwards and sideways

Upwards and sideways

Daphne Palasi Andreades’ stunning debut novel Brown Girls (Fourth Estate, 3 February 2022) is a vibrant and poetic look at the lives of women of colour growing up in modern America. Told in vignettes, we meet a collective group of girls from different immigrant backgrounds finding their way in today’s society. On a single block...
Mystery, magic and treasured memories

Mystery, magic and treasured memories

In Sally Hinchcliffe’s bewitching new novel Hare House, a woman decides to leave London when she loses her teaching job, and moves to a remote part of southwest Scotland. Renting a cottage on a scattered estate, she strikes up a friendship with her landlord Grant and his beguiling sister Cassandra. Soon she begins to realise...
A collector's thing

A collector’s thing

Nicholas Royle’s White Spines: Confessions of a Book Collector reflects on the author’s passion for Picador’s fiction and non-fiction publishing from the 1970s to the end of the 1990s. It explores the books themselves, the bookshops and charity shops he gathers them from, and the way a unique collection grew and became a literary obsession....
Spilling over

Spilling over

Alix O’Neil’s memoir The Troubles With Us is full of tales of growing up among the sectarian divisions of Northern Ireland in the 80s and 90s. Both hilarious and frightening, it’s a brilliant insight into living in a war zone and also having to deal with family secrets. She tells us about her love of...
On the fly

On the fly

Elizabeth Macneal’s second novel Circus of Wonders, set in the latter part of the 19th century, tells the story of a young girl named Nell from a seaside town in southern England whose father sells her to a travelling circus. Trained as an aerialist, and dubbed ‘leopard girl’ because of the birthmarks that speckle her...
Everything, everywhere

Everything, everywhere

Fíona Scarlett’s stunning debut novel Boys Don’t Cry is a heartbreaking book about two brothers growing up in Dublin. Trying to get by while their dad is in prison, their world shatters when the younger brother Joe gets a cancer diagnosis. This book will make you cry and warm your heart at the same time....
Cathy Rentzenbrink: Book whisperer

Cathy Rentzenbrink: Book whisperer

“When I make a friend I wonder what sits on their bookshelves,” writes Cathy Rentzenbrink, ex-bookseller, bestselling author and amiable bookworm. I smile as I read this. Yes, me too. These last few months of lockdown, forcing so many of us to work from home and Zoom with colleagues, has brought that to the forefront....