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Harvest
Harvest
by Jim Crace
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Harvest (Paperback)
I rarely write a review but the brilliance of this, meant I wanted to encourage others to read it. This book was everything I wanted and more. Jim Crace is a master of lyrical beauty. His prose is breath taking and how an author can weave such a delicious and controlled story inspired by a drive past the Watford Gap, defeats me but hey....he's Jim Crace, IMHO our greatest living English novelist. In short, I loved it.


Elijah's Mermaid
Elijah's Mermaid
by Essie Fox
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.20

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse yourself with Elijah's Mermaid, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: Elijah's Mermaid (Paperback)
This is a wonderfully evocative and very richly imagined novel and I loved it. The descriptions of stickleback fishing, glimmering rock pools and glistening, gleaming rivulets took my breath away. Essie Fox delivers a dizzy ride for the reader with her highly visual, swirling narrative which explores the underbelly of Victorian London. There's an underlying sensual thrum throughout the story. What I loved most however, was the writer's bell clear and highly original voice. Strongy recommended.


The English Monster
The English Monster
by Lloyd Shepherd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Monster Hit, 14 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The English Monster (Hardcover)
Oooh. You can practically lick the sea salt off these pages. What an exuberant, daring, swashbuckling, deftly written, savagely delivered (epecially towards the end) story. Love the gothic, Frankensteinesque twist but I'm saying no more. Reminded me a bit of David Mitchel in parts. Patrick O'Brian, too. Shepherds not afraid to take a few risks, like Mitchel when it comes to pushing the envelope prose-wise and I like that in a writer. Lots of thematic ideas here, bursting at the seams to get your historical teeth into. My favourite bits were the descriptions of the Thames and shipping, which surprised me but then I loved "Master and Commander", too


Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania
Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania
by Sarah Whittingham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 28.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help...I've caught fern fever!, 27 Mar 2012
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This book is one to read, and read again. To dip in and savour. A complete joy but I fear I am now afflicted with the terrible disease of pteridomania. That's right, I've gone fern crazy. I'm off to the garden centre this weekend to stock up on these delights and add them to my already overcrowded garden. The Victorians were nuts about ferns and would risk life and limb to acquire the rarer species, according to the author, Sarah Whittingham. And I can see why. I relished all the author's fabulous detail in this book, her painstaking research and quirky tales of human and fern endeavours. A jammed packed read AND a glossy, beautiful coffee table book - what's not to love?


Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain
by Samuel J. M. M. Alberti
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 61.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Captivating, 29 Feb 2012
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This is a first rate book and I strongly recommend anyone interested in anatomy, pathology or indeed, morbid curiosities to read this. The scholarship and erudition is top drawer and I was completely captivated by it. I learnt so much and am indebted to the author for writing such a concise and wonderful book. Fab illustrations to boot, and I will never look at any eyeball in quite the same way, again.


The Somnambulist
The Somnambulist
by Essie Fox
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Somnambulist, 3 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Somnambulist (Paperback)
I LOVED this book. The characters leapt off the page and it has a wonderful dynamic verve about it. I raced through this novel in just a few days and some of the most powerful scenes - I'm not giving anything away in what is a deftly handled, complex plot - will stay with me a long long time. Shocking family revelations. Dark and light. Sequins on alabaster skin. Nom Nom descriptive writing, here. Lots of laughs and also some incredibly touching moments demonstrating this writer is here to stay and I can't wait to read her next book. Bring it on Essie. And if you haven't been on her fab blog and love the Victorians, I urge you to have a look. Essie knows this period well, but she wears her erudition so lightly. This book is a page turning treat. Check it out and meantime have a look at her blog. You won't be disappointed: [...]


The Hollow Man
The Hollow Man
by Oliver Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.10

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban Noir, 11 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Hollow Man (Paperback)
This was a great read. I know nothing about the author and it was a random selection but the writing was really really good. Smooth as silk prose, some lovely descriptive pieces, some great one liners and I thought the whole play on hollowness - the corrupt cops, the seedy images of London, the lead detective's hollowed out complacency and gambling debts etc was spot on, zeitgeist stuff. Oliver Harris is going to go on to big things, is my guess, if he keeps up this standard. Only slightly quibble, slightly lost my attetnion in the last chunk of the book, as the author tried to wrap it all up and stay within those pesky genre parametres but hey, the first 3/4's I read in one sitting and that's a rare thing as I often have the attention of gnat.


The Killer of Little Shepherds: The Case of the French Ripper and the Birth of Forensic Science
The Killer of Little Shepherds: The Case of the French Ripper and the Birth of Forensic Science
by Douglas Starr
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killer Read, 26 April 2011
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Fantastic all round. Brilliant weaving of the history of forensics and the search for a serial killer in Nienteenth Century France. Reads like a crime novel - a really good one! Stuffed with wonderful detail and conveys the nuances of the time beautifully. It also has a creeping, mournful tone, which becomes almost an elegy on violence and death, towards the end of the book, which literally gave me goosebumps. Can't recommend this strongly enough for anyone interested in true crime or the history of science and forensics.


Meals in Heels: Do-Ahead Dishes for the Dinner Party Diva
Meals in Heels: Do-Ahead Dishes for the Dinner Party Diva
by Jennifer Joyce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Gift for Christmas, 21 Nov 2010
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Meals in Heels is the perfect cook book for Christmas and hurrah - no celebrities! Just really interesting ingredients which makes you think about food a little differently and gets you excited about cooking again. I rustled up an amazing dinner for six, cooking Chinese style chicken and ginger lentils (delicious) followed by a pudding I've always been too nervous to try - panna cotta with honey, mint and blood orange. Sounded quite daunting but Jennifer Joyce's friendly, simple and to the point instructions made the whole thing a total breeze. I've already ordered a stack to give to my girlfriends for Christmas and future b/d presents. Way more fun than another scented candle! The book is gorgeous to look at, as well as to cook from, and her posh shepards pie is already establishing itself as a firm family favourite. I urge you to give it a go! You won't be disappointed.


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