Reviews Of Other Books
One of the biggest benefits of writing your own stuff is that it makes you realise just how much better everyone else's writing is than yours. I wish I could write crime fiction, which I really enjoy reading myself. I wish I could write flowing literary prose, like Kazuo Ishiguro, Annie Prioux or Ian McEwan, to pluck just three out of nowhere. But I can't. Instead I write tongue-in-cheek, comedic prose, at least in my novels.
Perhaps I'm afraid to try. Perhaps the secret is to throw myself into the book and expose my inner self to the reader. But I'm a poor swimmer and I was always too scared to jump into the deep end. I've actually got a bit of a problem with heights.
But being an inadequate writer leaves me in awe of those who can do the very things I can't. So I read a range of things – old, new, long, short and a whole lot of crime fiction. This page gives you an idea of my personal taste. And if you want to join me in appreciating good writing, please connect on Goodreads, Twitter or at the very least just get back to me somehow. Reading is writing without the effort. No wonder we read in bed so much.
The remarkable collage above right is actually a very clever little Goodreads widget. Click on any of the little images in it and you'll be taken directly to my review of the book in question. Alternatively, you can see the most recent five listed below. Clever, huh?
by Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks can write, no doubt of that. The man has a 'voice', the same quite, wry voice heard so often in his movies or interviews. I was really looking forward to reading Uncommon Type, and I'd actually been keeping it back as a treat t...
It's hard for me to understand why anyone would criticise this book, which is both beautifully written and accessible. The story's not a complex one. An older couple are on a brief weekend break in Amsterdam, and in no time at all it's c...
by Ali Smith
I read this collection of short stories over the course of three afternoons at someone else's house. Ali Smith is not the most accessible of authors, so short stories are a nice taster. And I like these, although even here a couple are a...
by Ian Simpson
The late Ian Simpson was a friend of a friend and this was passed on to me for interest. It was OK. I hadn't read the other Hector Drummond mystery but it didn't matter at all. The story centres on the 1930 Amateur Golf Championship at ...
by Olga Wojtas
This book is utterly bonkers. The basic premise is that Shona Ferguson, a librarian in her mid-fifties in Edinburgh's Morningside, is sent back in time to some point in 19th-century Russia by Miss Marcia Blaine founder of the Marcia Blai...