This tag is associated with 14 posts

Guest Author – Sarah Butler Ten Things I’ve learnt whilst writing about Cities

Despite growing up in the country I’ve become a real city person as an adult and have lived in London (south then north) for over half my life.  In any city, I’m particularly drawn to the everyday and what often goes unnoticed. It was Sarah Butler’s ability to observe and capture the real essence of London which made … Continue reading

Fiction Hot Picks for 2013

2012 has been an incredible first full year for the Literary Sofa and after months of research, tip-offs and an intense reading marathon, it’s time to unveil my Fiction Hot Picks for 2013.  It’s very rewarding when people tell me my blog is where they go to find out about the best new fiction, and compiling these listings is one … Continue reading

Book Review – Hawthorn & Child by Keith Ridgway

I need to tell you something right up front – I don’t think any review can really do this book justice.  It’s the impossibility of the task that makes me even willing to attempt it, and if that makes no sense, welcome to the strange world of North London detectives Hawthorn & Child. Keith Ridgway … Continue reading

Book Review – NW by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s fourth novel NW has taken seven years to appear.  Only elite novelists can get away with a gap that long, which sounds like a creative luxury but comes with the added pressure caused by a build-up of expectation.  I was looking forward to it having really enjoyed her previous novel On Beauty (2005). It turns … Continue reading

Things I Love and Hate about the London Underground

Life’s a bit hectic with my new manuscript at the moment (up to chapter 6 already!) – no time for features, hence this week’s non-bookish offering.   After my last writers’ workshop on 9 July, things will quieten down a bit – for me – just as everything starts to hot up for the London Olympics.  It’s … Continue reading

A Summer’s Afternoon in Marylebone

It says something about this year’s so-called ‘summer’ in the UK that an afternoon out in my home city without getting soaked merits a blog post, but this, in pictures and words, is the tale of a lovely outing yesterday with my husband and 10 year old son. The London district of Marylebone is one of the … Continue reading

A World Away – Geographical Settings in Fiction

Every time I write a new piece for my blog I end up with ideas for two or three more!  I’m now compiling my Top 10 Summer Reads listing (coming 18 May) and I’m aiming to include a wide variety of settings from Australia to England; coastal, city, country.  This got me thinking about how important … Continue reading

Book Titles – (Don’t) Call It What You Like

Since writing about the importance of titles in Being Selective – How do you choose which books to read?  I’ve given this subject a lot more thought and I’m delighted that bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah has shared her experience of creating great titles with me for this piece. What makes a good book title? A good … Continue reading

Book Review – The English Monster by Lloyd Shepherd

I’ve never been drawn to historical fiction, probably because I hated history at school and gave it up at the earliest opportunity.  But in fact, some of the novels I love definitely fall into this category:  anything by Sarah Waters; John Harding’s Florence & Giles set in Victorian era New England which was one of … Continue reading

Being Selective – How do you choose which books to read?

Those who follow my blog won’t be surprised to hear that my favourite kind of conversation goes something like this: Friend: Read anything good lately, Isabel? Me: Oh, I’ve just read this amazing book set in……about….   What have you been reading? Repeat ad infinitum. I’ve read so many excellent novels in the last few months … Continue reading