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reviews

reviews

The Conclusion of the Trilogy

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman  This is the book that concludes Philip Pullman’s epic trilogy, and it is the most complex of the three. In Northern Lights we are introduced to the recognisable but different Oxford of Lyra Belaqua’s world with a self-contained,…

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An introduction to Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman I’m going to get pilloried by the Gaimanites out there, but this book falls a little flat for me. Neil Gaiman has an authoritative voice and clearly knows the stories in and out, but this I fear…

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Growing up with Facebook

Growing up with Facebook

Friend Request by Laura Marshall  The book that is, from the title on, all about Facebook this is a psychological thriller for the FriendsReunited generation. It concerns our protagonist, Louise (I am loath to say heroine as Laura Marshall deliberately paints her…

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Part-quest, part-treasure hunt that moves between the worlds

Part-quest, part-treasure hunt that moves between the worlds

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman  This is the second book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materialstrilogy and has such it does exist in that slightly awkward middle-book-between-the-beginning-and-the-end way. It starts though, in scenes that is as vivid a beginning as it’s predecessor, Northern…

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On learning how to listen and how to feel

On learning how to listen and how to feel

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce Everyone knows the power of music to transform lives don’t they? It’s why music is so important. It’s why it’s so sad that when governments through the ages look for things to cut they cut the…

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What can imaginary friends teach us?

What can imaginary friends teach us?

Imaginary Friends by Philip Pullman This is a short volume, published both in celebration of Independent booksellers, and also as a teaser of the Dæmon Voices that is to follow later this year. A collection of essays about writing, this…

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The Pleasure of Books

The Pleasure of Books

The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane The woodcut cover of this short essay on gifting the pleasure through books hints too at the other theme of the book, that of journeys trodden on foot – a subject that Robert…

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Cosy-mystery or Comic-mystery?

Cosy-mystery or Comic-mystery?

Best Murder in Show (Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries Book 1) by Debbie Young Debbie Young’s debut novel (she is the author already of various anthologies of short stories and non-fiction) is billed as a cosy-mystery – I would suggest the…

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A traditional tale of childhood adventure

A traditional tale of childhood adventure

The Fossil Hunters by Betty Salthouse Who didn’t have a fascination for a fossils and dinosaurs as a child? This is a delightfully traditional tale of childhood adventure. Andy and Darren are two boys who dream of making a big…

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We are the same / but I am different

We are the same / but I am different

Silent Voices: A Selection of Poems Written by Those Not Always Heard by Jo Allmond (Editor), Joy Thomas (Editor) This is quite simply an outstanding anthology of poetry however you look at it. Every poem had me gripping the page…

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Spring: the beginning of things

Spring: the beginning of things

Spring: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons by Melissa Harrison (Editor) The calendar year may start in January in the depths of winter but for most, the year begins with Spring. This is the first in Melissa Harrison’s stand-out series…

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Crows: the harbingers of death

Crows: the harbingers of death

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter I confess that when I first found out about this book – struck by the cover in a bookshop window – thought it was a beautiful tale of nature writing. That,…

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