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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

Reading matter 2015: Part 3

Last lap: here’s the final ten books in my list of reading material for the previous 12 months. Bon appetit! Pierre Lemaitre, Camille – Last book in Lemaitre’s Camille Verhoeven trilogy, and for my taste the least successful of the three books. Having said that, Lemaitre is always worth reading, and the twists when they come are dramatic, … Continue reading

Reading matter 2015: Part 2

Stand by for part 2 of my list of everything (well, nearly everything) I’ve read over the last 12 months. Here come books 11 to 20: Pascal Garnier, The Islanders – Garnier is a rare talent, but not suitable for everyone. His books have a queasy inevitability about them, and none more so than this short tale which describes a … Continue reading

Reading matter 2015: Part 1

I haven’t kept this kind of record since I was a teenager, but over the next three posts I’ll be listing – in chronological order – all the books I’ve read during 2015. There are 30 in all, slightly more than one a fortnight – not a bad average for someone with a full-full-time job … Continue reading

Ten Best Books of 2014

Last year I resisted the temptation to add to the cacophony of ‘favourite book’ lists, but 2014 has supplied such good reading that I can’t help but make a few recommendations. The twist on my top ten is that it’s split in two: five books from 2014, five published longer ago. Much longer ago as … Continue reading

My Top Ten Crime Novels

There’s been a lot of comment online about the Crime Writer’s Association (CWA) list of the 10 Best Crime Novels of All Time, taken from a poll of their members to celebrate the CWA’s 60th birthday. Much of the debate has been around what it does and doesn’t include; but I was particularly disappointed that … Continue reading

Ten Books for the Library of Birmingham

Yesterday the new £188m Library of Birmingham was handed over to the City Council. As part of the regulation PR hullaballoo, the Leader of the Council Sir Albert Bore was pictured placing the first book on the shelves. This was The Hobbit, chosen by the public as part of a Twitter campaign last year – and … Continue reading