August Round-Up – The Books I Read In August 2015

In August I read eight books – seven fiction and one non-fiction: The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (John Murray) – perhaps my favourite of all the books I read this month, a brilliant, gritty debut. A murder with an unlikely culprit has consequences for a group of flawed characters making up an Irish ‘underworld’. …

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The Zoo by Jamie Mollart

‘In the dark I can sense The Zoo. I can’t see it, but I know it is there. In the black its blacker and I can imagine the outlines of The Figurines and The Animals: all spikes and claws and weapons and sharp edges. I can hear it too.’ I was gripped from the very …

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The Chimes by Anna Smaill

Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, The Chimes is an inventive take on the dystopian novel. Our protagonist is Simon Wythern, an orphan who arrives in London into a totalitarian society where everyone is controlled by music, and memory is forbidden. Admittedly, this was a book that took me a while to get into. …

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The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

It is very rare that I read non-fiction, but when I heard of the true story of a teacher who adopts a penguin, I was eager to read The Penguin Lessons, Tom Michell’s memoir. Back in the 1970’s, Tom was given a post as a teacher in South America. Returning to his apartment whilst in …

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Early One Morning by Virginia Baily

There has been a lot of excitement surrounding Early One Morning, Virginia Baily’s second novel. Hailed as a summer must-read and chosen as one of Waterstones books of the month, I had high expectations of this book, and I wasn’t disappointed. The novel begins in Rome in 1943, when an event occurs which changes the …

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Landfalls by Naomi Williams

I have read many historical fiction novels of which some are amongst my all time favourites. With this in mind I was looking forward to reading Naomi Williams exciting debut, Landfalls. In 1785, French Navy officer Lapérouse was appointed by Louis XVI to lead an expedition around the world in command of two ships, Astrolabe …

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Francis Plug, How To Be A Public Author by Paul Ewen

I wasn’t familiar with Francis Plug, the troubled comic creation of Paul Ewen, until I came across an amusing board in my local Waterstones set up in his honour. ‘The funniest book you will read this summer...’ it read along with a quite unusual guarantee.... Picture courtesy of @WaterstonesNG twitter feed Fortunately, after finishing reading …

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