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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 406 posts for The Literary Sofa

Spring Spotlight 2021

I’m a bit rusty on the art of the chatty intro so here is my Spring Selection: 8 fantastic books, including several which give a voice to people and subjects we don’t hear often enough. I look forward to hosting some of the authors – see the Sofa Dates – and an honorary addition to … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Neema Shah on Uganda

This week I’m delighted to be hosting the first Writers on Location post of the year, courtesy of talented debut author Neema Shah. Her novel Kololo Hill is set in Uganda and the UK during the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by dictator Idi Amin in the early 1970s. Surprisingly, I have vague memories of this … Continue reading

February 2021 – Reading Round-up

It wasn’t planned this way (who has plans any more?) but three of the four novels in my first fiction round-up of 2021 deal with difficult and potentially traumatising subjects.  WAIT, DON’T GO!   I get that a lot of people are struggling to read and/or looking for lighter material at the moment, but these novels … Continue reading

Books of 2020 – Non-fiction

As we haul ourselves towards the end of the January that makes other Januarys look good, I’ve had to remind myself that while I don’t have people to see or places to go, I do have a blog to run.  I didn’t read much non-fiction in 2020 so this pick of the titles that resonated … Continue reading

Books of 2020 – Fiction

The less said about 2020 the better, except where books are concerned.  For me it’s been a thoroughly atypical year for reading as with everything else. Like many others I lost the ability to focus for at least a month – since then books have been such a comfort, pleasure and respite.  I’ve read 70, … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Cath Barton on Morecambe, Lancashire

Today I’m pleased to introduce my final guest of 2020 and the last of this year’s Writers on Location, Cath Barton.  The UK has made only infrequent appearances in this long-running series, but the north-west of England gets a moment in her post on the coastal town of Morecambe in Lancashire. There’s something I found … Continue reading

How I came to own two bookshops (kind of)

Firstly, thanks so much to everyone who contributed to the fantastic buzz about the cover and opening pages of my new novel Scent last week. I am so happy to see this much interest in a book that is excruciatingly close to my heart (probably just as well I didn’t realise how much at the … Continue reading

My new novel SCENT – Cover reveal and opening pages

I said I had something exciting for this week and here it is: the cover of my new novel Scent, which will be published in the UK on 1 April 2021.  I am absolutely thrilled with it and very grateful to talented designer Jamie Keenan and my publishers Sarah Beal and Kate Beal at Muswell … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Tyler Keevil on Prague

This is the first post of England’s Lockdown 2 (today is the halfway point, not that I’m counting), but not the last, as I have some exciting things lined up. Not many writers can commit right now, so I’m doubly grateful to acclaimed guest author Tyler Keevil, who grew up in Vancouver and now lives … Continue reading

Reading Round-up – October 2020 #2

Welcome to the my latest reading round-up. I soon realised that covering four books a week would be a stretch once I’d cleared my backlog (I read fast, but not that fast, and if everything was worth recommending there wouldn’t be much point to this) – so I hope you’ll continue to join me ‘as … Continue reading