Book review: All the Lonely People

I so enjoyed reading my first Mike Gayle novel, Half A World Away, earlier this year that I decided to also read his newest, All the Lonely People. It didn’t disappoint. This story opens as we observe a grumpy, old man, Hubert Bird, speaking from his London home with his daughter who works in Australia.…

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A good writer should be able to fool his readers

“What is important is to invent a story and to make the spectators believe it.” —Tahar Ben Jelloun I like this quote from contemporary Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun. This is exactly how an author creates a successful novel – by creating characters, a story and an environment that draws us in immediately and has…

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Author Mark Tedesco’s love affair with Rome

As an unabashed Italophile myself, one who is lucky enough to have called Rome home for over 20 years, I was bound to be fascinated by a newly released book entitled She Seduced Me: A Love Affair with Rome, written by American author Mark Tedesco. Here’s a bit of background about the book: “I resisted,…

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Book review: Half a World Away

Loved, loved, loved this book. So pleased it was my first novel of 2021, and that I discovered author Mike Gayle through this highly enjoyable tale. The cover blurb says it best : Same city. Different streets. Same mother. Different lives. The story of Kerry Hayes and Noah Martineau is the story of fate, the…

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Another year, another Goodreads Challenge

In 2020, I truly took my Goodreads Reading Challenge down to the wire – only reaching my goal of the 45 novels I’d set out for myself in a more optimistic January of 2020 on the next-to-last-day of 2020. Even so, it was still a nice feeling to have met my goal. I love the…

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A 2020 in books

I usually finish my annual Goodreads Reading Challenge with plenty of breathing room, but 2020 has been anything but a usual year. So I’m still uncertain if I’ll meet my annual goal as the year rapidly comes to a close. Chances are – with yet another government-mandated shutdown (because science), I will. Nevertheless, I’ve read…

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Book review: Miss Iceland

I picked this novel up in a bookstore this past summer. I liked the cover and the book blurb, and I liked that it was translated from Icelandic. I’m always eager to discover good translated literature. Luckily, this was a great discovery. Miss Iceland is the sixth novel by Icelandic novelist Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir. Miss…

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Enjoying a book in the mountains before Lockdown II

It’s starting again. Back in the spring, Italy had its big Corona virus lockdown. Now that cases are ticking up again, there’s been talk of a repeat. We have a little place in the mountains of Abruzzo we often visit in the autumn for hiking and biking escapes. The threat of another lockdown, and the…

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Book review: Critical Incidents

I discovered UK author Lucie Whitehouse with her first novel, and have since read all the novels she’s published. I always enjoy her writing, although the qualty of the novels has varied, and at times I’ve felt it diffcult to really get into the mindset of her protagonists or to fully suspend disbelief for some…

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