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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 414 posts for The Literary Sofa

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

The Sweet Scent of Gratitude

It’s a week since the launch of Scent (and reissue of my debut Paris Mon Amour) and today I’d like to share some thoughts, links and above all, thanks to so many people for making my publication week so joyful *despite everything*. Last year I really felt for the authors who had to navigate publication … Continue reading

On my own Sofa – Catherine McNamara interviews me about Scent

To celebrate publication of my second novel Scent and the reissue of my debut Paris Mon Amour by Muswell Press, something very different’s happening today: for the first time ever, I am the guest on my own Literary Sofa and my good friend, short fiction maestra Catherine McNamara is playing host – we could have … Continue reading

Guest Author – Claire Fuller on Dogs in Books

Today it’s a great pleasure to welcome one of my favourite British authors back to the Literary Sofa. This is Claire Fuller’s fourth visit (that’s what happens when you write a great novel every time) and at this rate I’d be surprised if anyone manages to overtake her.  It’s also an opportunity to congratulate Claire … Continue reading

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