The Top 50 from the Best Books of 2019 List of Lists

This is my annual community service to book-bloggers – a list of the books that appear most frequently on the 56 lists that I listed on Best Books of 2019 – A List of Lists. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts


1. I think we should all take a moment to appreciate the effort that has gone into this world map (and it’s interactive… I know! An interactive world cookie map! Genius).

2. Of course the “…second only to Tim Tams…” part of this article is bullshit but the rest is tops (because the Mint Slice rules). Continue reading

‘Then Came You’ by Jennifer Weiner

I mentioned on Twitter that I needed some ‘well-written fluff’. I also mentioned that I’d picked out Then Came You by @jenniferweiner – I sincerely hope Weiner wasn’t offended by the ‘fluff’ bit of my tweet because when it comes to chick-lit (she probably hates that label too), I reckon she’s the ants pants.

Here’s the thing that I like about Weiner – her stories don’t follow the chick-lit formula. Yes, they get to the Hollywood-happy-ending by the finish but the route they take is different. The women aren’t all skinny and aren’t all shoe-obsessed. In fact, some are perfectly ordinary. Continue reading

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E. L. James

I love a bandwagon. So I jumped on Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James without hesitation.

There’s a few reasons people are getting in a tizz over this book and I’ve done my best to sum them up –

Firstly, FSoG started as fanfiction. Fanfiction is broadly defined as stories about characters or settings written by fans of an original piece of work. Works of fan fiction are rarely authorized by the original work’s author or publisher. They are also almost never published. Which is why the publishing world is getting their knickers in a twist over FSoG. Continue reading

Authors that tweet

I recently came across an interesting article in the New York Times about why, or why not, authors tweet.

I unashamedly love Twitter. It’s my only foray into social media and I enjoy the pithiness, punchiness and bite-sized style of information. I follow a handful of authors – Jonathan Tropper, Judy Blume, Bret Easton Ellis, children’s author Oliver Jeffers, Jennifer Weiner, Maggie Alderson and a few more.

What do I expect out of following authors? Honestly, not that much! I like their insights and commentary on everyday and topical stuff – Maggie Alderson’s thoughts on ‘denim on denim’, Jennifer Weiner’s blow-by-blow descriptions of The Bachelor, Easton Ellis’s bizarre rantings and Judy Blume’s little snippets about life in Key West.

So I was interested to read why Jeffrey Eugenides, author of the recently released The Marriage Plot, was not a fan of social media –

“In “A Note From Jeffrey Eugenides to Readers,” he described his joy at meeting them, but concluded by saying he doesn’t know when or if he’ll post on the (Facebook) page again: “It’s better, I think, for readers not to communicate too directly with an author because the author is, strangely enough, beside the point.””

In contrast, author Mat Johnson’s take on Twitter is this –

“Twitter lets me hijack the promotion plane, sidestep the literary establishment and connect directly to my current and potential audience. . . . It’s a meritocracy; if you’re interesting, you get followed.”

Nice. I ought to start following you Mr Johnson.

Looking for authors to follow? Find lists of Twitter handles here, here and here.