7 books of 266 pages or less that will chill you to the bone

Recently, a new friend asked me what type of book I like. Any reader who flatters themselves with the word ‘eclectic’ will know that this is a question that can strike fear into the heart. In the end, though, I came up with an answer of sorts: my favourite books broadly fall into three categories….

2021: the year that books weren’t everything (reading year review)

I read 36 books in 2021 – probably the lowest yearly amount I’ve ever read, and certainly since I started using goodreads in 2013. Although there were plenty of excellent reads this year, when I look back at 2021’s list I feel a little uninspired. Near misses and minor disappointments were padded out with self-indulgent…

Oxford//eat: The Handle Bar

28-32 St Michael Street, Oxford, OX1 2EB I don’t write café reviews often, but when I do, there is a common theme: brunch done well. These three words could comfortably sum up the three café reviews currently on my blog: The Locker Café in Cambridge, Wild Café in Bath… and now The Handle Bar in…

My 2020 in books: a reading year in review

I’ve read 52 books this year – a classic number, one for every week. It is down from 85 in 2019 and 100 in 2018, though. However, with my average book length being 353 pages (thank you Goodreads), I think I had a lot of longer reads which took a couple of weeks to get…

Not haunted enough by Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts: Review

2 STARS Dolly Alderton, 2020 CONTAINS SPOILERS ‘When will this all end? I just want someone nice to go to the cinema with.’ The above line was the most heartbreakingly depressing moment in Dolly Alderton’s first novel, Ghosts. It promised ‘whip-smart observations about relationships, family, memory, and how we live now.’ What it presented –…

Film Review: Rebecca

3 STARS Ben Wheatley, 2020 CONTAINS SPOILERS “I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool.” When Armie Hammer delivered this line in a smouldering whisper, clutching Lily James’s face tenderly in both hands against the lush backdrop of an opulent bedroom which suggested sensuality just as much as James’s tilted head and open mouth…

Untimely Endings in Ali Smith’s Summer: Review

4 STARS Ali Smith, 2020 Summer isn’t just a merry tale. Because there’s no merry tale without the darkness.               It’s quite sad that this series has come to an end. The contemporary-est of contemporary novels, they have featured current events often of only a month or two before publication, mixed in with stories about…