April Picks

Johnson, Stephanie (2021) Everything Changes. Vintage. Buying a rundown motel and tearooms to establish an off-grid retreat, in Northland's Brynderwyn Hills, seems like a chance to start again for Collette, husband Davie, pregnant daughter Liv, and their disreputable dog Muzza. As this dysfunctional family starts to renovate their new home, with the help of Choir,… Continue reading April Picks

March Picks

Gardner, Lisa (2020) Before She Disappeared. Century. Itinerant recovering alcoholic, Frankie Elkin, makes it her life's mission to find missing people once the police have given up. Her new case brings her to Mattapan in Boston where she begins searching for a lost Haitian teenager. Frankie’s search puts her in danger as she encounters gangs,… Continue reading March Picks

February Picks

Haig, Matt (2020) The Midnight Library. Canongate. Nora's life is full of misery and regret.  She decides she wants to die. But between life and death there is a library - the Midnight Library. Nora finds herself in the Midnight Library where she is presented with numerous books to try out other lives - to… Continue reading February Picks

January Picks

Case, Anne & Angus Deaton (2020) Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism. Princeton UP. In the US in the past two decades deaths of despair from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism have risen, especially amongst those who lack bachelor’s degrees. Case and Deaton shed some light on the economic and social forces that… Continue reading January Picks

December Picks

Eriksson, Kjell (2020) The Night of the Fire. Minotaur Books. Veteran detective, Ann Lindell, has retired from the Violent Crimes Unit and is now making artisan cheeses in a small town in Uppland, Sweden. When someone sets fire to the former village school, and later a bomb explodes in a Stockholm suburb, Ann's well-honed investigative… Continue reading December Picks

Best Picks 2020

Stories have been at the heart of my Covid year. Stories have kept me sane and cheerful in a world that has changed, maybe forever. When choosing my top reading picks for 2020 I have chosen memorable books that have challenged my thinking and put me in my happy reading place. Enjoy! Kassabova, Kapka (2020)… Continue reading Best Picks 2020

November Picks

Hammer, Chris (2020) Trust. Allen & Unwin. Martin Scarsden and his partner Mandalay Blonde's idyllic family life is shattered when Mandy's past comes back to haunt her. Her troubles start when she is kidnapped but it is when the body of her former fiancé is found that the story really kicks off, unfolding in contemporary… Continue reading November Picks

October Picks

Flynn, James R (2020) A Book Too Risky to Publish: Free Speech and the University. Academica Press. Generally our society believes that a university's role is to promote free inquiry and teach intellectual expression. Open debate is essential to the development of critical thought, but on university campuses today free speech is increasingly restricted for fear… Continue reading October Picks

July Picks

Kay, Elizabeth (2020) Seven Lies. Sphere. Jane and Marnie are best friends. They have been simpatico since they were eleven years old. They both fall in love and get married, but Jane's marriage ends in tragedy, whilst Marnie is happily married to a man Jane hates. Charles is loud and obnoxious but when Jane gets… Continue reading July Picks

June Picks

Jenner, Natalie (2020) The Jane Austen Society. Orion Books.  A few months after the end of WW2 Jane Austen's cherished home in Chawton, Hampshire, comes under threat. A disparate group of village Janeites come together to form a society to preserve Jane's home and legacy, each with their own story of loss and trauma. As new friendships… Continue reading June Picks