Your book reviews, please!

Tracey (T)

Full Member
Mar 2, 2020
North Yorkshire
As I mentioned in another post, I’m reading Graham Norton’s second novel A Keeper. One-third of the way through, I’m enjoying it, while wondering at the author’s ‘voice’. Norton has a gossipy, guess-what-happened-next style as if you’re sitting at the kitchen table with him as he unfolds his tale. If you know him as a chat show host, you’ll soon relax into how he teases out his characters’ stories.

For light relief, I’ve borrowed Sosuke Natsukawa’s The Cat Who Saved Books from the library. It’s an international bestseller, translated into over twenty languages. I like the cover.
I really enjoyed the keeper. I love Graham Norton's voice and he transports me back to Ireland which helps too
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Jan L

Full Member
Jun 28, 2020
San Francisco
Just picked up "We Begin At The End". As advertised, it begins at the end. :) I'm only about 10 pages into it - but loving it.
Today I finished 'Prague Fatale' by Philip Kerr. Superb! Set in the period 1939-1942 in Berlin and Prague, it's a detective story woven in to the life and death of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the architects of the Holocaust. The plot is set during Heydrich's period as the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia).

The central character is the detective Bernie Gunther (I'd come across him previously in a couple of Kerr's post-war period novels). He's very anti-Nazi and trying walk the line between doing the right thing and trying to survive. It may be hard to believe but there were plenty of LOL moments for me - his wit is sardonic. Don't be put off by the darkness of the period, it's a hugely entertaining read and was, for me, educational.

Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
After enjoying the delightful and quirky Timothy's book: notes of an English country tortoise, by Verlyn Klinkenborg, I noticed that he’d written a book on writing, so I bought a copy of Several short sentences about writing.

Several Short Sentences About Writing

Klinkenborg is a firm believer in cutting out waffle—that short pithy sentences do the job—cutting clutter is the most common advice from writing gurus and he’s an expert.

The structure of the guide is unusual, in that there are no chapters and the layout of Klinkenborg’s sentences is one of stacked, connected thoughts, rather than paragraphs, like this:

Most of the sentences you make will need to be killed.

The rest will need to be fixed.

This will be true for a long time.

The hard part now is deciding which to kill and which to fix and how to fix them.

This will get much, much easier, but the decision making will never end.

A writer’s real work is the endless winnowing of sentences,

The relentless exploration of possibilities,

The effort, over and over again, to see in what you started out to say

The possibility of saying something you didn’t know you could.

It’s a book that can be dipped into at any point for good advice; it’s unnecessary to read it from start to end.

I’ve bought about 100 writing guides in the last eight years, and Klinkenborg’s is among the best.

As the New York Journal of Books said in their review:

No other book, old or new, is as well reasoned as this, as entertaining or as wise...Best book on writing. Ever.”