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My Books of 2021 – Fiction

It’s strange looking back on something nobody wanted: a full year of pandemic. Doesn’t 2021 feel like it’s been dragging on forever?  Despite everything, it’s been a very significant one for me personally and professionally. My second novel Scent came out (followed by the author, which wasn’t the plan but it’s all good); I was … Continue reading

Book Pitch Spotlight 2021

Following last week’s Ten of my favourite novels of the last ten years, it’s exciting to be doing something new today: hosting my first spotlight on pitches for not-yet-published books by unagented writers. I’m also delighted that industry expert Andrew Wille accepted my invitation to share a few thoughts on what makes a good book … Continue reading

Ten of my favourite novels of the last ten years

There was a lovely response to last week’s post looking back on ten years of the Literary Sofa and since book selections have always been a big part of what I do here, I hope you’ll enjoy this post with the carefully worded title. Why is that? Well, as I read around 80 books per … Continue reading

French Fiction Special Edition

In a normal year about a quarter of my reading is in French but due to the toxic combination of Covid and Brexit, I didn’t read a single French novel in 2020 and really missed it, along with everything else I love about France.  That changed when I read All Men Want to Know by … Continue reading

Book Pitch Spotlight – Call for Entries

As part of the Literary Sofa’s fast approaching 10th anniversary celebrations, in early October I’m hoping to dedicate a post to 50-word book pitches* from unagented writers, featuring the 10 best ones in my opinion – and it is only my opinion! They will be chosen on the strength of the pitch, not my personal … Continue reading

Summer Reads Extras 2021

There’s a heatwave on, I’ve got my reading mojo back and it’s time to share the follow-up to my main Summer Reads selection which met with a great response last month. Here are five more novels worth shouting about before the blog goes quiet for August: 1.Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Penguin) As a child … Continue reading

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

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

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