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Isabel Costello

Writer (novels: Paris Mon Amour 2017; Scent 2021).Host of the Literary Sofa blog. Co-founder of Resilience for Writers with Voula Tsoflias. Perfume lover and Francophile.
Isabel Costello has written 419 posts for The Literary Sofa

Writers on Location – Anne Goodwin on the long-stay psychiatric hospital

Welcome to the final post of the Summer Reads guest programme – if you missed it (or have already read all the books on the original selection – some people do!), Summer Reads Extras was released earlier this week with another five novels that really impressed me.  There seem to be even more great books … Continue reading

Summer Reads Extras 2021

There’s a heatwave on, I’ve got my reading mojo back and it’s time to share the follow-up to my main Summer Reads selection which met with a great response last month. Here are five more novels worth shouting about before the blog goes quiet for August: 1.Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Penguin) As a child … Continue reading

Guest Author – Rosie Wilby on Love (and Creativity) in London

We’re on a roll with this year’s Summer Reads guest line-up. Last week’s post on Older Love by Catherine McNamara has been resonating loudly with readers for its rare affirmation of what later life can hold for women.  Today I’m excited to welcome comedian and author Rosie Wilby to share her unique perspective on matters … Continue reading

Guest Author – Catherine McNamara on Older Love

My Summer Reads guest season continues today with a repeat visit from Catherine McNamara who is the real deal: a writer whose work has wowed me since I first discovered it, a kindred spirit and a great friend. As writers Cat and I have many interests in common and several of our stimulating conversations have … Continue reading

Guest Author – Louise Soraya Black on the English Countryside and Gardens

There was a fantastic response to my Summer Reads selection last week with every single title attracting lots of entries in a competition I ran on Twitter. It didn’t surprise me at all to see The Water Garden, the second novel by today’s guest Louise Soraya Black, in high demand. Look at that beautiful cover! … Continue reading

Summer Reads 2021

Here we are, facing a second weird summer but I’m as excited as ever to share my 2021 Summer Reads selection with you. These 11 books explore a huge range of people, life experiences and places including France, Algeria, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA when the transporting power of fiction has never been more … Continue reading

A Personal Perspective on Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and the Menopause (Channel 4 TV)

It’s noticeable that menopause, which eventually affects half of the population but has always been cloaked in silence and shame, is being talked about more openly and more often. It would be a brave person who dares to suggest that it’s fashionable, a trend or a passing moment.  Not if 13 million of us have … Continue reading

(Writing) Each Book is a Different Story

I said you wouldn’t be hearing from me until Summer Reads at the start of June, but I’m hoping you’ll be interested in (Writing) Each Book is a Different Story, a piece I wrote for the fantastic Women Writers website on trying new methods, strategies (and misjudgments, but it’s all good) in the making of … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Amanda Huggins on the North Yorkshire Coast

There was a very enthusiastic response to Marika Cobbold’s recent Writers on Location about Hampstead Heath and in keeping with the times we’re staying put in the UK for this week’s instalment in the series by Amanda Huggins on the North Yorkshire coast. Short novella All our Squandered Beauty, one of my Spring Spotlight choices, … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Marika Cobbold on Hampstead Heath

It’s wonderful to open this week’s post with the news that I’ve been shortlisted for Best Reviewer of Literature in the 2021 Saboteur Awards, a big surprise given that my running of the Literary Sofa has been pretty shambolic over the last year (bad times make for good excuses).  Thank you to everyone who showed … Continue reading