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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

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

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

Pick a book, any book (you hadn’t heard of)

This is a parallel post to Book Hype (for want of a better word), inspired by the entries to my recent Literary Lunch competition in which entrants had to name a book they’d really enjoyed this year.  It could be any type of book, regardless of publication date. The 40 suggestions I received were too … Continue reading

The Verdict on my Summer Reading 2018 – Part Two

It’s been a frantic couple of weeks since I returned from Provence and the days of lounging by the pool reading for 6+ hours seem very distant. Last week I reported on half of the books I read during my August blog break, but as the others were just as good and included several I … Continue reading

The Verdict on my Summer Reading 2018 – Part One

As always at this time of year, this is an informal round-up of the books I read during my summer blog shutdown (as distinct from my Summer Reads selection of recommended new releases, where I’m delighted to hear that many of you found something of interest).  To be precise, it’s my verdict on half of … Continue reading

My Poolside TBR 2018

This is one of my favourite posts because it always feels like I’m off duty, or soon will be.  For me, the year starts in September – literally, as my birthday is early that month.  I’ll always look back on being 50 as a huge turning point in my life, much of it spent grappling … Continue reading

Summer Reads 2018

I’m delighted to be bringing you my Summer Reads 2018.  I’ve been hard to impress recently but the outcome is a selection of compelling and powerful titles which I really loved and for each one I tell you why! As always, there is a wide variety of settings – Italy [1], Australia [4], Chicago/Paris [8], … Continue reading

My Novel – Now out in paperback

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