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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

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

Reading Round-up – October 2020 #1

The first quick-fire round-up went down well last week, prompting lots of shares and interesting conversations, which was the whole idea. Thanks to you I also added a few promising titles to my own TBR list.  Today I’m going to dive straight in with four more novels I’d recommend as there’s lots to say about … Continue reading

Summer Reads 2020

Welcome to the Literary Sofa’s biggest event of the year.  This isn’t the summer any of us were hoping for but the supply of new books is as good as ever. Like everything else, my Summer Reads has encountered logistical challenges but it’s happening anyway, along with the best guest programme I can put together. … Continue reading

Spring 2020 Sofa Spotlight

Books can provide comfort and refuge in uncertain and anxious times, (even if the themes aren’t particularly escapist), which makes this a good moment to be bringing you my spring Sofa Spotlight.  It features 8 brilliant new and forthcoming releases and will be followed by an exciting guest author line-up in which I get to … Continue reading

My Books of 2019 – Non-fiction

I’m a bit behind in posting the second part of my Books of 2019 (Non-fiction) but I’m sure you’ll let me off – it was a considerably happier than usual first week back in January with the announcement of my new novel Scent. Again, many thanks to all who sent good wishes – the response … Continue reading

My Books of 2019 – Fiction

Picking my books of the year is an exercise I love but it’s also a slightly weird one when I spend all year recommending titles I’ve really rated and enjoyed here on the Sofa.  They’re all excellent in their own way but those below are the ones which really wowed and touched me on a … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Linda Mannheim on Western Massachusetts: ‘The Happy Valley’

Following the very welcome enthusiastic reception for my Autumn Sofa Spotlight last week, today I’m delighted to be hosting one of the authors included there – American short story writer Linda Mannheim.  Every year I come across one or two story collections which leave me reeling at what can be accomplished in the space of … Continue reading

Autumn Sofa Spotlight 2019

It’s hard to know how to introduce this year’s Autumn Sofa Spotlight, though that’s no reflection on the six fantastic books included.  When I announced I was taking a few weeks away from the blog before bringing you today’s selection, I had no idea this would coincide with the last agonising crisis in my mother’s … Continue reading

Books People Love 2019

Normally I’m the one recommending books here but once a year we switch roles. The latest Literary Lunch competition attracted a record number of entries and the fascinating and eclectic list of book recommendations below.  Entrants have to name the book they’d most enjoyed this year regardless of genre or publication date and every time … Continue reading