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Book Reviews

This tag is associated with 31 posts

Writers on Location – Laura McBride on Las Vegas

The Writers on Location slot returns today and I’m delighted to welcome Laura McBride, debut author of We Are Called to Rise, which is one of my Summer Reads 2014 and the current Radio 2 Book Club choice. Like many readers I love to discover new places through fiction and also to revisit familiar ones – as a … Continue reading

Book Review – Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Being in the very final stages of my re-write, I wasn’t planning to post any more book reviews until I finish the manuscript, but sometimes with resolutions you just have to make an exception.  Hannah Kent’s debut novel Burial Rites is without question one of the best novels I’ve read this year and is justly … Continue reading

Guest Author – Wendy Wallace on Setting a historical novel in a foreign country

When Wendy Wallace appeared on the Literary Sofa in June 2012 as my first ever Guest Author, it was a great start to what has since become one of the most popular regular features on the blog. Wendy and I now know each other in real life too, so I am doubly pleased to welcome … Continue reading

Sex Scenes in Fiction

This is the 100th post on the Literary Sofa and the subject of sex hasn’t come up much beyond the occasional mention in a review. Last week’s piece on gender issues in the book world attracted a lot of interest and leads neatly onto a brief look at sex in (mainstream literary and commercial) fiction. By sheer … Continue reading

Let’s all talk about GONE GIRL

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl isn’t the kind of book I read very often, and this isn’t going to be one of the reviews which take me six hours to write.  I thought I’d write a blogpost because each of the three times I mentioned the novel on Twitter, there was a flood of replies from people dying to … Continue reading

Book Review – All That Is by James Salter

NOTE:  This article makes reference to sexually explicit material. In the run-up to publication of James Salter’s sixth novel, All That Is – and no doubt long before – he was hailed as one of the great American novelists, unknown to me, perhaps because he hadn’t published a novel in 30 years.   I read All … Continue reading

Lionel Shriver at The Society Club

I’ve attended many author events and have been lucky to hear/meet some of the big name novelists who’ve inspired me:  Alan Hollinghurst, Linda Grant, Richard Ford, Marilynne Robinson.  There’s a new addition to that list: Lionel Shriver, who read at an intimate salon at the Society Club on Saturday.  I’ve never written up an author … Continue reading

Guest Author – Mary Beth Keane on Fictionalising a Historical Figure

Most writers say they learn from every book they read and I’d agree with that.  Whilst it’s very valuable to observe how others handle a similar theme, style or genre, for me there’s a particular fascination, often mixed with admiration, to reading something I wouldn’t attempt myself,  and that includes the fictional portrayal of a historical … Continue reading

Guest Author – Karl Taro Greenfeld on his 10 Favourite Novels-in-Stories

Any novel set in New York City, whether historical or contemporary, stands a good chance of catching my eye but two things in particular attracted me to Karl Taro Greenfeld’s first novel Triburbia: the chance to discover Tribeca, a neighbourhood I know only very superficially, and an interest in novels which tell the same events … Continue reading

Book Review – Wise Men by Stuart Nadler

The buzz and excitement surrounding debut author Stuart Nadler in the United States has gone global.  To call it hype would suggest that it’s not justified and believe me, it is.  Nadler is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (alma mater of no fewer than 17 Pulitzer Prize winners), has held teaching posts both … Continue reading

My Novel – Now out in paperback