Reviews

‘Christine Poulson’s wonderful sense of place brings Cambridge to life. Cassie overcomes the problems facing her with wit and guile aplenty and ensures the reader’s empathy from first word to last . . . an enthralling and engaging read that underlines Christine’s burgeoning reputation as a crime novelist to watch.’ [Stage Fright]

- SHOTS MAGAZINE

Gender-specific books? No thanks . . .

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 in Biggles. Capt W. E. Johns, Superman | 2 Comments

The Independent on Sunday has declared its intention not to review any children’s books that are marketed in such a way as to exclude either gender. My feeling too is that children’s books should be available to whoever wants to read them. This chimes in with a comment on my previous post from Moira at […]

The First Book I Ever Bought

It was The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Though perhaps I ought to amend that and say that it is the first book I remember chosing for myself in a bookshop. My grandparents – I think – actually paid for it. My memory is hazy. I am sure it was W. H. Smith’s in Redcar, but […]

Another Early Love

Few of the books that I read as a child have survived all the house moves over the years. Looking on my shelves just now I found only What Katy Did at School, Anne of Avonlea, The Count of Monte Cristo, an abridged Alice in Wonderland (given to my mother by Chesterfield Congregational Sunday School) […]

The first book that you remember?

One of the pleasures of parenthood is the excuse to buy children’s books. There are wonderful picture books for children these days, and I loved reading and looking at them with my daughter. It’s strange, looking back, that I don’t remember any picture books from my own childhood. Of course there were far fewer books […]

Homer nods, but copy-editors should be ever vigilant

We readers will swallow virtually anything. Talking animals? Fine, and not just in children’s books: what about Animal Farm and Watership Down? Ghosts, monsters, stories set far in the future or on other planets, novels set in the unknowable past such as Golding’s The Inheritors? Fine, fine, fine. Of course they won’t be to everyone’s […]

A Proustian moment

Not long ago, with time to spare before a Eurotunnel crossing my daughter and I wandered into the perfume section of the duty-free shop. And what a stroll down memory lane it turned out to be. The story of my life was there. The first perfume that I associate with my mother is Estée Lauder’s […]

Too much information?

The producers of the old Columbo series took a risk when they launched a show that began by showing not only the murder but also revealing the murderer. They got rid of the most obvious source of suspense: not only do we know whodunit, but really we know too that Columbo will uncover the truth. […]

Where do you get your ideas?

To be honest, getting ideas isn’t really a problem. I’ve just been reading Penelope Lively’s very enjoyable Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time, partly a memoir, partly reflections on old age, partly about writing. She says at one point that her stories have often been inspired by places and I’ve found that too. […]

The Time of my Life

I don’t want to read Catcher in the Rye again – or Salinger’s short stories – though I was impressed by them when I was around twenty. Nor am I tempted to reread Wuthering Heights (though Jane Eyre is another matter). I won’t be returning to The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings or Mervyn […]