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whatareyoureadingfor

Blogging book obsessive. Teacher of English, just starting my NQT year. Father of 2. Ex-local government drone. North of 40
whatareyoureadingfor has written 135 posts for What are you reading for…?

Marking Time

Blimey. Only five weeks since I went back to school after the Easter break, but it feels like a lifetime ago. This last half-term has been, without a sliver of a whisker of a shadow of a doubt, my hardest since I started teaching just over 18 months ago. That was partly due to getting … Continue reading

Death by Powerpoint

Friday was tough. Three reasons: Standard end of the week fatigue Massive and ongoing behavioural problems with a difficult Year 8 class Decidedly mixed feedback from the previous day’s observation Number 3 was the hardest to take because (as is so often the case) it was fair and accurate and well-meant. A key issue was … Continue reading

Kathy Reichs, ‘The Bone Collection’ (2016)

My own interest in forensics goes back to Monday nights 30 years ago, watching Jack Klugman in Quincy M.E. growl his way through another moider. So it’s surprising that I haven’t read any of Kathy Reichs’ work until now, but she’s certainly an author I’ll be coming back to. Since 1997 Reichs has written 18 novels featuring … Continue reading

Summer Reading 2016

The six week school holiday is coming to an end, and on Thursday I go back to work. Although, that’s not strictly true; I’ve been getting ready for the new term for the last fortnight – lesson plans and seating layouts and all the rest of it. But I’ve still had a clear three weeks … Continue reading

Nicolas Freeling, ‘The King of the Rainy Country’ (1966)

‘I am like the King of a Rainy Country, Rich, but powerless; young, yet feeling wintry; no longer flattered by the obsequious bow; Bored by my dogs and by every other creature now, Nothing brightens my day, not the Hunt, not falconry, Not the dying people below my balcony.’ Not many crime novels take their … Continue reading

Richard Price, ‘The Whites’ (2015)

There’s an enormous amount to love about Richard Price’s crime novel The Whites, enough to make it difficult to know where to start. The title is a reference to Moby-Dick – the white whale that haunts Herman Melville’s novel, and which is hunted mercilessly through its pages but ultimately escapes. In Price’s book, the ‘Whites’ are … Continue reading

Para One: Derek Raymond, ‘He Died With His Eyes Open’ (1984)

These are the opening lines of He Died With His Eyes Open, the first in Derek Raymond’s celebrated, five-book ‘Factory’ series.  As so often in the crime genre the book begins with a corpse; but there is much more here to savour. Raymond is precise in putting his body into context, and in describing a London … Continue reading

Gavin Francis, ‘Adventures in Human Being’ (2016)

‘People tend to think of brain surgeons as being very dextrous,’ the neurosurgeon replied, ‘but it’s the plastic surgeons and microvascular surgeons who do that meticulous stuff… The rest of us just go gardening.’ When I was at university 20 years ago the best parties were thrown by the medical students. This was not just … Continue reading

On Barry Hines

Sad today to hear about the death of writer Barry Hines. He’s not someone I’ve thought about recently, but he is an author who had a profound effect on my childhood, for two reasons. We’ll get to A Kestrel for a Knave in a minute, but the first time I encountered Hines’ work was when my … Continue reading

The McBainiad, Book 11: ‘Give the Boys a Great Big Hand’ (1960)

‘If you are a cop, you know that death is seldom pretty, that it is in fact the ugliest and most frightening event that can overtake a human being.’ Book titles are a continuum. At one end are those descriptive, unobtrusive ones which just plainly describe what you can find inside the covers. Here you’ll … Continue reading