the literary lounge

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  ‘There are people who think they understand a book just because they know how to read. I already told you that books are like mirrors: every person finds in them what they have in their own head. The problem is that you only discover what you have inside you when you read the right … Continue readings

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  Perhaps Richard was right. Perhaps this was a mistake. Not a starting over, nor a moving on, after all. He had called it a pilgrimage. More a hopeless, poisonous return, than a soul-saving reclamation. Like that elephant revisiting my loss until it overwhelms me, saps the life and energy from me.… The elephant returns … Continue readings

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  Have you heard of kintsugi? Sydney says. Ila shakes her head. It’s the old Japanese art of repairing broken or chipped pottery. They use layers of lacquer, often with powdered gold. Instead of hiding the damage, it’s embraced. It’s treated as part of an object’s ongoing beauty. I love that, Ila says.”   Rachel … Continue readings

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  A fast-paced psychological thriller, Gone marks Leona Deakin’s thriller debut and introduces Dr Augusta Bloom and Marcus Jameson to audiences.   People are disappearing and, in each case, a birthday card is left behind stating: ‘YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME. CARE TO PLAY’ – posing the question are the victims really victims or have … Continue readings

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    ‘Very ancient buildings have a way of talking to you … So many secrets waiting to be uncovered.’ ‘I’ve always thought that, too,’ I say. ‘Actually, I’ve always talked to Ponden since I was little; it seems impolite not to.’ ” – Tru Heaton Jones discussing Ponden Hall with Marcus Ellis   Rowan … Continue readings

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  Erin Kinsley’s Found centres on every parent’s nightmare, the abduction of an eleven-year-old boy from a bus stop on his way back home from school. The book details the devastating impact on Evan’s immediate family and the best friend who had just been with him and the reality of an over-subscribed police force, crying … Continue readings

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  We’re great lovers of reading books with strong locations. London has particular resonance for us as it’s our home, and so we probably would have liked Phoebe Locke’s The July Girls for its setting alone. The city informs the book, the locations – Brixton, north London or elsewhere – used to frame the plot. … Continue readings

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  Performance room, featuring Marcelle van Caillie’s work © Morokoth Fournier de Carots   The arts are littered with beautiful works based on lost love letters. The House of Marcelle, Explore the Arch’s latest offering, joins them, drawing on the missives of Marcelle van Caillie and lover-later-husband Henry Sanford. A multi-sensory work, it brings the … Continue readings

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    We’re utterly delighted to welcome wonderful Welsh–Canadian romantic-historical fiction writer Mary Balogh to The Literary Lounge. Described as the ‘superstar heir’ to the legacy of late, great Georgette Heyer, Mary is the recipient of numerous awards and has graced the New York Times bestseller list thirty-six times in her career thus far. Her … Continue readings

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  There’s a point early on in Paul Burston’s The Closer I Get when protagonist Tom goes to the police to report that he’s being harassed. The female detective who interviews him is astonished to hear that he’s been stalked for about a year and not reported it. Why?, she asks. I was embarrassed, he … Continue readings

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  Early on in Is Monogamy Dead?, comedian Rosie Wilby explains that ‘monogamy’ originates from the Greek words monos gamos, meaning ‘one marriage for life’. The book that follows is an honest, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant exploration of a concept which, for many, seems outdated, if not unworkable in a twenty-first century framework. Aged 40, … Continue readings

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  Drawing on the letters and diaries of her parents, Debbie Rix’s new novel, The Secret Letter, follows English Imogen and German Magda as they deal with the heartache and terror of living in countries impacted by the Second World War. Early in the war, Imogen is evacuated to the Lake District away from her … Continue readings

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  I love it when I’m introduced to writers I’ve never read before, especially when I know they’re going to be new friends. That’s the case with Joseph Knox. The Sleepwalker, which is published this month by Doubleday, is the third outing for Detective Aidan Waits and yet it’s my introduction to him. I really … Continue readings

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    Longlisted for the Women’s Prize 2019, Yvonne Battle-Felton’s novel Remembered is a book of many stories. In 1910 Philadelphia, central character Spring sits by the hospital bed of her dying son. Edmund is accused of driving a streetcar into a ‘no coloreds’ department store. As Spring watches him, the ghost of her dead … Continue readings

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  Today, we’re delighted to have wonderful Louise Voss with us in The Literary Lounge, talking all things music and writerly. Louise is the author of 13 books, including The Old You (2018), published by indie press Orenda Books to huge critical acclaim. We loved, loved, loved, loved it and so, of course, are beside … Continue readings