Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Book review: Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley



You guys, I felt so incredibly fortunate that I was able to pick up an advance copy of the gorgeous Wickham Hall paperback at Transworld's recent showcase of upcoming novels! I'm a huge fan of Cathy Bramley's books and after Conditional Love, Ivy Lane and Appleby Farm, I do believe that this latest release is her best one yet.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Book review: Twenty Questions for Gloria by Martyn Bedford



I had the pleasure of attending Walker Books' January-June 2016 Showcase last year and while there were many exciting titles revealed during the event (including Hour of the Bees, Goldfish (now rebranded as Fish Out of Water) and The Dark Days Club), it was the proof of Twenty Questions for Gloria by Martyn Bedford that made its way to the top of my TBR pile first, and what a fantastic book to start with!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Book review: Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit



I had the joy of attending the Penguin Random House Christmas Party last December and I picked up a selection of exciting new titles at the event, including Anna and the Swallow Man, which was pitched as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas meets The Book Thief. The former is one of my all-time favourite books but I didn't read more than a few chapters of the latter (blasphemy, I know!) so I was intrigued by this comparison and keen to discover in which camp it would fall for me. With an atmospheric and melancholy backdrop to what was at times a surprisingly wondrous and whimsical story, Anna's journey pulled me in from the very first page. This is an astonishing novel and one that no doubt will become a classic. 

Friday, 22 January 2016

Guest post: J. Paul Henderson talks about writing The Last of the Bowmans



If you've ever been on my blog or Twitter before you will have heard me shout about a brilliantly quirky and interesting book called The Last Bus to Coffeeville, which was a treasure I had the joy to review with my Woman's World hat on back in 2014. And so I was thrilled when No Exit Press reached out to me asking whether I'd like to be a part of the blog tour for the author's latest release: The Last of the Bowmans. The answer was of course, 'hell yes'. While I haven't read the book just yet to be able to publish a review (I will do so in the next few weeks) I'm excited to be sharing with you a guest post from J. Paul Henderson on the origins of the story and characters in his new novel.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Guest post: Amanda Brooke‏ on an author's best friend



In 2013 I read Amanda Brooke's Another Way to Fall, which is still one of the most moving books I've ever had the fortune to read. And so I'm delighted to be a part of the blog tour for her latest novel, The Child's Secret (review to follow)! To celebrate the release of the book, some of my favourite bloggers are posting their reviews and other great content, and I have the pleasure of sharing with you a guest post by Amanda on an author's best friend.

Monday, 18 January 2016

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop at the Tate Modern



Pop art is one of my favourite styles of art; with its bold colours, mixture of techniques, and elements of popular culture woven in, pieces created in this style not only provide visualisation of political protests and thought-provoking social commentary on the age of consumerism but, let's be honest here, they also looks very cool. However, it took The EY Exhibition: The World Goes the Pop at the Tate Modern for me to realise that mostly all pop art I've seen in my life was produced in the UK or US by the likes of Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton and Roy Lichtenstein. And that is a shame, as there are beautifully bold and fascinating pieces from all corners of the world that were created during this movement in the 1960s and 1970s, some of which I had the pleasure to see on display last week.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Book review: The Widow by Fiona Barton



2016 is turning out to be such an exciting year for debut novels. After Look at Me, The Trouble With Goats and Sheep and Shtum (review to follow), The Widow is yet another stellar piece of writing that lucky readers get to enjoy early on this year. I was fortunate enough to receive a proof of this thrilling debut a little while before the general public, so my review could go live on publication day to celebrate what I'm sure will be another triumph for Transworld in the psychological thriller space after The Girl on the Train and Disclaimer.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Grey Gardens at Southwark Playhouse



Jenna Russell and Sheila Hancock. Photo credit: Scott Rylander

Happy New Year everyone! It has been a hectic first week back at work (after being in the Netherlands to visit my family for over two weeks) so I'm a bit behind on my blogging, but I've got some very exciting posts planned for you guys in the next few weeks around books and theatre (of course) as well London-based events and exhibitions, the latter of which I'll be focusing much more prominently this year. But first things first, I had my first theatre outing of 2016 last week, which was Grey Gardens at Southwark Playhouse.