the literary lounge

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      Dr Cassandra Coburn is an impressive character. A scientist, editor and now author of her first book, Enough: How Your Food Choices Will Save the Planet, she has a doctorate in genetics and is associated with The Lancet; all great credentials. The danger though that sometimes occurs when academics write books on … Continue readings

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      The wonderful game of chess is getting its moment in the sun, quite rightly in our humble opinion as we adore it, and it’s not just through beautifully executed series like The Queen’s Gambit but also through books like Paolo Maurensig’s Game of the Gods. Translated into English by Anne Milano Appel, … Continue readings

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    Eating was as close to heaven as my mother ever came … And almost as heavenly as the eating was the making – how she gloried in it. Every last body on this earth has a particular notion of paradise, and this was hers, standing in the murderously hot back kitchen of her … Continue readings

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    She was lying on her front, fully clothed, her head turned sideways towards me, pale blue eyes staring blankly into space. I’d never seen a corpse before, but straight away I knew the woman in front of me was dead. But the thing was, it wasn’t Kate.”   Simon Kernick’s latest novel, Kill … Continue readings

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    We’re great fans of Icelandic noir. And great fans of Orenda Books, particularly those novels in translation, as we’ve waxed lyrical about on several occasions. We’re thus delighted that Ragnar Jónasson’s Winterfall, the final installment of the author’s hugely successful Dark Iceland series, doesn’t disappoint. It’s a chilling (in all senses), claustrophobic and … Continue readings

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  Tolo glanced at his watch. ‘You said business was fairly slack, so I’m really hoping you’ll come on board with this case? Gaspar and the team have enough to deal with while I’m away and we could do with your lateral thinking again.’ ‘Is that supposed to be a compliment?’ Isabel teased. ‘Take your … Continue readings

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  Say ‘Baghdad Central’ and people will immediately begin to talk about the highly acclaimed Channel 4 co-produced TV series, loosely based on Elliott Colla’s far better novel of the same name. Colla’s book is an intelligent, tightly plotted piece of writing, set in post-war Iraq and written from the viewpoint of the Iraqis. Colla, … Continue readings

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    Lev Parikian’s Music To Eat Cake By is an utter delight. A dip in-dip out collection of essays, covering all manner of subjects – from music and bird watching to sandwiches and cricket – it’s a deeply satisfying, highly amusing read, a joy for those with curious minds. The premise of the book … Continue readings

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    We’ve great fans of Karen Sullivan’s Orenda list, partly because of the inclusion of so many very fine books published in translation.We first came across the writing of acclaimed French-Canadian author Roxanne Bouchard in 2018, when Orenda published the lyrical We Were the Salt of the Sea in English. We adored it. It’s … Continue readings

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    The first form of love was the Goddess. Like love always is, we could not see her, but simply feel that she was there. We will call her the Devi, the self, the eternal. She is the mother to the universe and everything that comes next. … The Devi smiles at the three … Continue readings

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    We’re huge Michael Connelly fans’ and came to him via The Concrete Blonde, oh so many years ago, in Murder One. It’s thus with complete delight we read his new book, The Law of Innocence, the latest outing for wildly popular protagonist Mickey Haller. From the first pages we’re thrown into the action, … Continue readings

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    One of my favourite things to do is travel. As a child, I read pretty much any and every travel book I could lay my hands on, had a bucket list of places I was desperate to visit and spent hours whiling away the time, nose in tome, imagining myself walking with the … Continue readings

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  When I was asked if I wanted to review The Archers: Ambridge at War, penned by novelist Catherine Miller, it was a no-brainer. Like so many, growing up, Sunday mornings were given over to listening to The Archers’ omnibus on Radio 4. As soon as the iconic music came on, everyone would fall silent: … Continue readings

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  If there’s a time to read chilling literature (or catch up with Hammer/giallo classics on Netflix), it’s now. October is the month when the unnatural are really out and about, jumping up and down and waving their hands at us, shouting, ‘We’re here!’. So, it’s with pleasure we delved into CJ Cooke’s The Nesting, … Continue readings

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  We know and very much admire Anita Nair’s literary fiction and yet, despite being huge crime-fiction lovers, we hadn’t read any of her writing in the genre. Until now. And it’s astounding. Beautifully realised, authentic, truly great crime. Just pleasing in every way. A Cut-Like Wound introduces fallen hero Borei Gowda, a police inspector … Continue readings

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