This tag is associated with 9 posts

Guest Author – Isabel Losada: Sex – Let’s be honest

I’ve resisted using this line for more than six years but this week’s extended post really is Sex on the Literary Sofa, discussed in very frank terms by two women called Isabel.  This is the moment where I might say ‘click away if you don’t like the sound of that’ – except that I really … Continue reading

Book Review – The Engagement by Chloe Hooper

When compiling my two main listings of the year I always like to include fiction from different parts of the world.  The vivid sense of both urban and rural Australia in Chloe Hooper’s novel The Engagement  is one of many qualities which earned it a place in my Fiction Hot Picks for 2013.  Unlike most of … Continue reading

Book Review – Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt

Last week in 2012 – My Year in Books I revealed my six personal favourites.  Today, for my final review of the year I’ve chosen one of the most memorable books I’ve read, Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods, which took an entire decade to find a publisher before being released by New Directions in the USA … Continue reading

Guest Author – Susanna Quinn on The Secrets of Plotting a Novel

I’m very pleased to welcome to my Literary Sofa Glass Geishas author Susanna Quinn, who has generously decided to reveal the plot secrets that helped her get published. I follow on with a few thoughts on plot and a mini-review of her book, which is one of my Top 10 Summer Reads 2012.  Over to Susanna… … Continue reading

Taking No Prisoners – My View of Fifty Shades of Grey

Warning:  This article makes reference to sexually explicit material. By the time I finished the first chapter of E L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, two things were clear:  everything I’d heard about the writing was true, and it wasn’t going to be a long read.  One of these was regrettable, the other a blessed relief.  I’m not … Continue reading

Book Review – Arcadia by Lauren Groff

The question of what literary fiction is, or isn’t, is one that both frustrates and fascinates me.  I’ve read many novels designated literary and not understood what distinguishes them from really well-written commercial fiction (now sometimes referred to as upmarket commercial).  One criterion common to the various definitions of literary fiction is that the writing itself, the … Continue reading

Book Review – The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn

When a review copy of Judith Kinghorn’s debut The Last Summer found its way to me just before Christmas, I had only recently published my Fiction Hot Picks for 2012 and immediately felt it should have been included, given the current mania for all things World War I.   If you are a fan of British TV … Continue reading

Book Review: The Devil’s Music by Jane Rusbridge

I recently spent some time on the coast in Dorset, but I’ve been thinking about the sea for weeks, since reading The Devil’s Music by Jane Rusbridge.  When you read a lot (and I’m up to 46 novels so far this year), even good books fade and blur in the memory, but a month after … Continue reading

Book Review: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Repellent characters, foul language, horrible sex… More than three years after it was published, The Slap continues to reverberate, not least in its native Australia where the TV series is currently being broadcast. This book has quite a reputation.  When it came out in the UK in 2010 (and made the Booker longlist) a book group in … Continue reading