Can You Ever Forgive Me? by Lee Israel

Who isn’t intrigued by a literary scandal? As I type, a few pop to mind – Helen Demidenko, James Frey, and whether Harper Lee ever wanted Go Set a Watchman to be published. But I’d never heard of Lee Israel – best-selling author and ‘literary forger’. She fesses up to her criminal activity in her memoir, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (and yes, let’s park the fact that she profited from writing a memoir about her crime).

I had never known anything but ‘up’ in my career, had never received even one of those formatted no-thank-you slips that successful writers look back upon with triumphant jocularity. Continue reading

A Year of Sample Saturdays 2017

I’ve read 99 Kindle samples this year – downloading sample chapters is better than impulse buying books… I think. Of the 99 I’ve read, I’ve said ‘yes’ to 53. Of those that I’ve said yes to, a bunch I’ve now read (or have in the TBR pile), thanks to the library, ARCs and two purchases (I was at the author talks – it would have been rude not to!).

However, if I buy the remaining 47 books, it kind of destroys the small gains I’ve made on reducing the TBR stack this year. So, I’ve narrowed it down to 12 that I’m busting to read. Continue reading

Quick! I need to read a whole book.

Sometimes a very, very short book is just the ticket – reading slump, testing a new genre, choosing something for your book group (because you know they don’t have the stamina for anything over 200 pages), a long train ride…

Here’s a list of my favourite very short books. Continue reading

Memoir fans – remember to put these books on your reading list

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time and the topic this week is ‘Ten Books Every X Should Read’. In my case, the X is for memoir fans.

The first five are those type of memoirs that are so horrifying that you have to keep checking whether they are not, in actual fact, fiction. The next bunch are not misery-memoirs at all – quite the opposite – they made me laugh. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Burial Rites to The Art of Fielding

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What’s not to love about a new meme? Check out the rules (actually, there’s not really any rules) and join in Six Degrees of Separation here.

We begin with Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites. It’s set in Iceland. I’m not a fan of cold weather (at all) and yet I really, really, really want to go to Iceland. Continue reading

Foodies Read Challenge – Wrap-up

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Despite being focused on food, the Foodies Read Challenge provided quite a bit of diversity. I read books that included cannibalism, a book that was a thinly disguised memoir, and stories that hinged around death. Some of these books made me hungry. Others, not at all (pickled wolf’s heart anyone?). Continue reading

What’s in a Name Challenge Wrap-up

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It’s that time of year when the reading challenge wrap-up posts begin. I’m starting with the What’s in a Name challenge.

The challenge was simple – read one book that fits each of the six ‘categories’ – Continue reading

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday – What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin

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Why did it take me so long to discover the (written) wisdom of Nora Ephron? Who knows but I loved Heartburn  when I read it earlier this year. Linda Yellin must also love Nora Ephron because she’s based her latest book, What Nora Knew, around all the romantic advice that can be gleaned from Ephron’s romantic comedies – sort of like what Julie and Julia was to cooking.

Although it’s not released until January 2014, I’ve managed to get my hands on an ARC and thought it would be a good one to share for Bibliophile by the Sea’s First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday. It begins – Continue reading