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Isabel Costello

Novelist and short story writer based in London. Debut novel PARIS MON AMOUR now out in digital and audio, paperback on 22 May 2017. Host of the Literary Sofa blog.
Isabel Costello has written 352 posts for The Literary Sofa

Guest Author – Eleanor Anstruther on Fictionalising a Family Story

My First Sofa Spotlight of 2019 celebrated nine fantastic new releases and this is the penultimate post from the authors.  This is one of the strongest ‘seasons’ I’ve been fortunate to host, and it’s a pleasure to be joined today by Eleanor Anstruther, author of A Perfect Explanation.  I met Ellie very briefly at her … Continue reading

Guest Author – Helen Kitson on Writing about Writers

Today the coverage of my Sofa Spotlight titles continues following my trip to Senegal and I’m delighted to welcome debut novelist and self-described ‘ex-poet’ Helen Kitson, whose novel The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson is amongst the first releases from small independent press Louise Walters Books.  Louise has appeared on the Sofa with each of … Continue reading

Two Weeks in Senegal

When is a travel post a geography lesson? This feels like a bit of both on my family’s recent trip to Senegal in west Africa, but if I only post lovely pictures and talk about touristy things it would give a false impression, not only of the little we saw of the country but also … Continue reading

Guest Author – Isabel Rogers on Writing about Music

This week I am more than usually thrilled to welcome poet, wit and newly hatched novelist Isabel Rogers back to the Literary Sofa.  Last week’s moving piece by Catherine Simpson on Writing about Mental Health was a wonderful start to the series of guest posts by authors of titles from my First Sofa Spotlight of … Continue reading

Guest Author – Catherine Simpson on Writing about Mental Health

There was a really enthusiastic response to my First Sofa Spotlight of 2019 a couple of weeks ago – many thanks to everyone who got in touch, shared it on social media and entered my one day competition on Twitter.  I hope the winners and the rest of you are enjoying the books you chose! … Continue reading

The First Sofa Spotlight of 2019

Moving on from a near-exclusive focus on new releases has been great for my reading but I still love making exciting discoveries in the constant flow of new titles. My first selection of 2019 consists of six novels set between the 18th century and the present day via several decades of the twentieth, plus a … Continue reading

2019 – A new year on the Sofa

If I leave it any longer it’ll be too late to wish you a happy new year, so consider it done – I hope you had a good break over the holidays.  This is just a quick note to say I’m back, at least in theory… like many, I’m not a fan of January but … Continue reading

My Year in Books 2018

It’s time to reveal my Books of 2018, a post I always relish writing, but this year it’s more complicated than usual.  It’s been a strange reading year for me, frustrating in some ways and very rewarding in others. I’ve ‘only’ read 80 books, slightly down on my usual average, as was the proportion written … Continue reading

Unusual Book Gift #3 – Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye with Rebecca Mascull  

The last in my trio of Unusual Book Gift gift suggestions is remarkable in several ways.  Firstly, novella Miss Marley is a prequel to one of the best known, best loved classics, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but with a new protagonist who appears alongside the characters familiar to most of us. The book lives up … Continue reading

Unusual Book Gift #2 – Single-story pamphlets from The Guillemot Factory

  Within minutes of pressing ‘publish’ on my first unusual book, The Accidental Memoir by Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper, I was receiving messages from readers saying they’d ordered it for themselves or as a present.  It’s a lovely thought that this will result in life stories which might never have been told. Today I’m … Continue reading