"To write anything worth reading you have to put everything you have into every sentence. There can be no lazy thinking, no clichés, no borrowed tropes, no third-hand experience; there can be no hiding.” Miranda Darling
Posts tagged "Shelf life"
Too many and not enough

Too many and not enough

On 30 April 2024, the Booksellers’ Association announced Fleur Sinclair of Sevenoaks Bookshop as its new president, having served since 2020 as one of two vice-presidents. When we heard the news, we wanted to ask Fleur for an insight in how she keeps and curates her own books… Tell us about the bookshelves in your...
A jumble of many things

A jumble of many things

Agnes Arnold-Forster’s Nostalgia: A History of a Dangerous Emotion explores what nostalgia means and how it’s defined. The book takes us through the history from when it was deemed an illness and could have you sent away to hospital, to today’s obsession with marketing nostalgia to sell products to making countries great again! This is...
Ever-changing chaos

Ever-changing chaos

All the Lonely People is a beautiful and moving book about loneliness and all its forms. Sam Carr has interviewed many people of all ages about loneliness and its effects. It’s also part-memoir about the relationships in his life that have shaped him. He explores how feeling lonely can isolate us, but also how it’s...
A semblance of order

A semblance of order

Ana Sampson’s latest poetry anthology Gods and Monsters, illustrated by Chris Riddell and with a foreword by Natalie Haynes, draws together classic and brand-new mythological poems from around the world. With retellings and reimaginings of Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, Aztec, Japanese and Inuit myths, it includes poems from Neil Gaiman, W.B. Yeats, Kae Tempest,...
Spirited gatherings and random stacks

Spirited gatherings and random stacks

Lucy Barker’s debut novel The Other Side of Mrs Wood has been hotly anticipated since the manuscript-in-progess finished as runner-up in the inaugural Curtis Brown First Novel Prize back in 2019 – since gathering praise from literary luminaries including Marian Keyes, Sophie Irwin, Frances Quinn and Katie Fforde. The book whisks readers to the competitive...
Deliberate disorder and mixing it up

Deliberate disorder and mixing it up

Matt Lloyd-Rose’s timely and penetrating account of a year spent as a special constable Into the Night is as eye-opening as it is fascinating. Patrolling the streets of an area of South London, Matt spends his Friday nights with the Met Police witnessing the best and the worst of law enforcement and of society. He...
Special treatment for selected favourites

Special treatment for selected favourites

Michael Bond’s Fans is a fascinating exploration of what it is to be a fan, be it of a pop group, a celebrity or a football team. In each chapter the author delves into the psychological mindset of fandom to examine intrinsic truths about being human. Most of us have been a fan of something,...
Piled high in random places

Piled high in random places

Weak Teeth is a strong debut by Edinburgh author Lynsey May. Set in the Scottish capital, we follow Ellis as her life implodes. Her ten-year relationship has ended, her mother has started one with a much younger man, her job is insecure and her teeth are sore and in a mess. As she tries to...
Golden pillars and lofty plans

Golden pillars and lofty plans

Danielle Evans’ brilliantly titled short story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (a quote from ‘The Bridge Poem’ by Donna Kate Rushin) covers a range of themes from being a teenager to race and class and complicated families. Showing us the yearning we have to be loved and wanted by our parents, these stories are...
Roughly organised, somewhat scattered

Roughly organised, somewhat scattered

Cecile Pin’s exceptional debut novel Wandering Souls is a beautiful and haunting look at the plight of Vietnamese refugees in 1970s France. Partly based on her mother’s experience of coming to the country as a refugee, it’s about identity, loss and trying to find a feeling of belonging – a very human picture of the sacrifices and...
Close at hand and out of reach

Close at hand and out of reach

Jonathan Escoffery’s debut novel is bold and beautiful. It’s told over seven interconnected stories and from different members of the same family. A Jamaican family come to the USA to find a better life for their sons Delano and Trelawny but things don’t work out as planned. When his parents split up Trelawny stays with...
Here, there and everywhere

Here, there and everywhere

TAHMIMA ANAM’S LATEST novel The Startup Wife is a blisteringly funny satire about love, ambition, feminist geekdom and standing up for what you believe in. Deep-seated complexities of sexism and racism in Silicon Valley and beyond, and the frenzied uncontrollability of social media are laid bare as a charismatic husband gets all the credit for...