Six Degrees of Separation – from The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to The Mill on the Floss


I’m sitting in a freezing cold departure area (I can’t dignify it by calling it a lounge) at Dublin Airport, waiting for my connecting flight home. The café, which is more of a hot beverage kiosk, is closed. There is a pillar that invites travellers to use three smiley face buttons to express your satisfaction with the facilities. I might warm myself up by hammering on the red sad face button later.

Meanwhile, to pass the time, I thought I’d do this month’s Six Degrees of Separation. Continue reading


Random Thoughts: new faces of fiction for 2018 in the Observer New Review

Image copied from the Observer website

I’m not supposed to be buying books again this year. I’ve already bought three. We’re not quite halfway through January. The bodings are heading in the wrong direction.

Today, the Observer newspaper has published its list of debut novelists to look out for. I’m excited by a few of them. Continue reading

Winter: a chat with Weezelle


Read 07/12/2017-12/12/2017

Rating: 4 stars

When I read and commented on Weezelle’s review of Autumn, and mentioned that I had both Autumn and Winter next in line for reading, Weezelle suggested that we wrote a joint review of the second book in the sequence. So here we are.

We live on opposite sides of the globe (don’t you love the internet? Please, America, don’t end Net Neutrality), and had to negotiate an 11 hour time difference, as well as Weezelle moving house. Through the magic of Twitter DMs and cut & paste, we had a wonderful, wide ranging discussion. Continue reading


Six Degrees of Separation – from It to The True Deceiver


December’s Six Degrees, hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite And Best, starts with It by Stephen King.

Continue reading


Reblog: thoughts by Miri on The Age of American Unreason

I’m doing something that I rarely do. I’m reblogging something I’ve just read that is an excellent analysis of why US politics and, in many ways, western democracy in general is in the state it currently is.

The Age of American Unreason, by Susan Jacoby

Miri explores interesting non-fiction and writes thoughtful and thought-provoking analyses of what she’s read. If you’re anything like me and enraged by a gamut of injustices, chances are you’re also something like Miri and should subscribe to her blog.

I’m currently reading Laurie Penny’s Bitch Doctrine (review coming soon), and a lot of the ground Miri covers in this blog post chimes with the things Penny says in her essays.

Let’s hear it for the women who use their reason to question the world around them.


Random Thoughts: from Mrs Gaskell’s Manchester to digital fiction

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Today’s random thoughts are brought to you courtesy of the Manchester Literature Festival and the Manchester Science Festival. Continue reading


Six Degrees of Separation – from Like Water for Chocolate to Possession

I enjoy reading the responses to Kate’s Six Degrees of Separation challenge over on Books are my Favourite and Best, but I’ve never done one myself. That is, until now. Continue reading