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Category Archives: Books


Girls, eat your hearts out

Middle class hipsters, conceptual artists and third-wave feminists have long been easy targets for mockery, so I admit that I wasn’t expecting anything too groundbreaking when I picked up Zoe Pilger’s Eat My Heart Out, a satirical romp through contemporary London that reads like a surreal mash-up of Broad City, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Less Than Zero. Read more »

Houston, we have a fabrication

As someone who doesn’t have children, I’m no less resistant than any of my book-loving friends-with-kids to the charm of a beautiful picture book. So when I spotted Laika: Astronaut Dog by writer and illustrator Owen Davey, with its charming retro-style artwork Read more »

WASPiration: David Gilbert’s & Sons

As someone who’s always secretly aspired to being a WASP (before you mercilessly judge me for this, I should clarify that my desire has less to do with attaining elevated social and financial status than with being able to dress like a character in The Great Gatsby Read more »

The pseudonymous critic

Last Saturday saw the debut of the aptly named The Saturday Paper, a new publication from Schwartz Publishing (the same folks who bring us the Monthly and Quarterly Essay). With an emphasis on long-form journalism, the first serious print newspaper to be Read more »

Behind you! Return of the zombie apocalypse in MR Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts

  ‘The most heartbreaking, mind-bending thriller of 2014!’ declares my review copy of MR Carey’s blockbuster thriller The Girl with All the Gifts. ‘Just 2014?’ my partner declared with a raised eyebrow upon seeing this glowing recommendation. ‘Not very confident, are they?’ Breathless hype over a book … Read more »

Click trick: the blog-to-book phenomenon

Back in the early 2000s, a twenty-something New Yorker with a soul-crushing secretarial job suddenly started living every blogger’s dream: she scored a publishing deal to turn her popular food blog, The Julie/Julia Project, into a book. The result, 2005’s Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, … Read more »

Going by the book in 2014

As January draws to a close, I suppose it’s finally time to accept that the holiday period is well and truly over (it takes some of us a little longer than others to acknowledge the rude and sudden resumption of Real Life). For booksellers, the reality generally … Read more »

Of seadogs and fisherwomen: Sarah Drummond’s Salt Story

I have been fangirling at A WineDark Sea for a while now—it is, hands down, the best blog I have had the luck to read. Its author, Sarah Drummond, was a commercial fisherwoman when I first happened on it, and she blogged about the south-west of Western … Read more »

‘The concentrated stench of so much life’: Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland

Best known for her highly lauded short story collections and novel The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri has again emerged with a skilful examination of the highly distinct religious, social and ideological differences between India and America in her latest work The Lowland. The Lowland begins in South Kolkata … Read more »

MUBAs and Shakers: The 2013 Most Underrated Book Award

The Small Press Network hosted the Most Underrated Book Awards of 2013 last Friday night. From the start, the equivocal nature of ‘underrated’ was under the microscope. As ebullient MC Mary Masters put it, the award could be interpreted as the literary equivalent of ‘that shirt is divine … Read more »