Review: C S Lewis: A Life – Alister McGrath

When I first saw this book, C. S. Lewis: a Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet I wondered why anyone would want to write another biography of C S Lewis. After all, George Sayer, A N Wilson, Roger Lancelyn Green, Walter Hooper have all published biographies of Lewis. Most Lewis fans will also be familiar with […]

Review: Such Stuff as Dreams – Keith Oatley

Keith Oatley is a novelist and professor of cognitive psychology at the Univeristy of Toronto. He has some remakable things to say about the act of reading. His book, Such Stuff as Dreams suggests that when we read, our brains interpret social interactions in a work of fiction as the real thing – as far […]

Review: The Possessed – Elif Batuman

Elif Batuman’s book of essays, The Possessed, loosely based on the joys of reading classic Russian literature, turns out to be a bit of a hodge-podge of travel-writing, literary criticism and a personal reading history, enlivened by a butterfly mind that flutters from one subject to another without really landing for too long on any […]

Review: Love, Sex, Death and Words – John Sutherland and Stephen Fender

This is a review of a book I was sent by Icon Books, but at my request – I would have purchased it anyway, especially after having read it, so thanks to Icon.

I have been looking forward to reading Love, Sex, Death and Words for some time, having enjoyed John Sutherland’s earlier books like […]

Review: Excavating Kafka – James Hawes

I started to read the books of Franz Kafka as a young man and found them remarkably relevant to me at the time, describing as they do a sense of alienation from mainstream society which so fitted in with 1960/70s counter-culture.

Working in my first boring office job, the thought of waking up as a […]

Review: Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoire – Rick Gekoski

I suppose one of the quickest way to get an idea about someone is to look at their bookcase, or even better, to talk to them about books which have inspired them and guided them through life. Quite a few writers have been tempted to write about their life in books – I’m thinking about […]

Review: Introducing Kafka – Mairowitz and Crumb

I’ve seen Icon Books Introducing series in the bookshops but it was only when confronted by a long train journey with my current novel finished that I finally dived in and bought one. I don’t think I’ve read a graphic book before and I was suprised by how much I enjoyed reading Introducing Kafka with […]

Review: Death and the Author – David Ellis

The Oxford University Press website helpfully gives a list of potential readers of their books and in the case of Death and the Author, the expectation is as follows:

a. Anyone with a interest in D. H. Lawrence; b. anyone interested in exploring what it is like to have a disease for which there is […]

Review: Making an Elephant – Graham Swift

Making an Elephant is one of those books which I thoroughly enjoyed from the moment it arrived through the post – a nicely designed and substantial book with plenty of interesting content (including quite a few well-chosen photographs). And from a favourite author, providing considerable insight into the writer’s life, with illustrations and stories […]

Review: Hitler’s Private Library – Timothy W Ryback

I am always interested in the way reading affects people, and also in the psychology of the German people in the build-up to the Second World War. Timothy Ryback has studied the remnants of Hitler’s private library, some 1200 books, which occupy shelf-space in the rare book division of the Library of Congress in Washington. […]