Tag Archives: Reading

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Reservoir 13 Jon McGregor‘Reservoir 13’ by Jon McGregor begins with the disappearance of Rebecca Shaw, a thirteen-year-old girl who goes missing while on holiday with her family in the Peak District in the early 2000s. In the years that pass following her disappearance, the various residents of the small rural village get on with their lives, but the mystery of what happened to Rebecca continues to have an impact on the tight-knit community. Continue reading

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Women Who Blow on Knots by Ece Temelkuran

Women Who Blow On Knots Ece TemelkuranTranslated from the Turkish by Alexander Dawe, ‘Women Who Blow on Knots’ by Ece Temelkuran won the Edinburgh First Book Award earlier this year and I bought my copy during my visit to the city last summer. It tells the story of four women embarking on a road trip across North Africa from Tunisia to Lebanon during the Arab Spring. They are Tunisian activist and dancer Amira, Egyptian academic Maryam who is obsessed with Dido, Queen of Carthage, an unnamed Turkish journalist who narrates the story and the mysterious elderly Madam Lilla who has connections with the Russian mafia and intelligence agencies. It is Madam Lilla who invites the three women to accompany her on the trip although her real intentions for travelling to Lebanon only become clear much later. Continue reading

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The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2017: Shadow Panel Winner and a Giveaway

And the shadow panel winner is…

The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico!

Young Writer of the Year Award Shadow Panel Winner

The overall shortlist was very strong indeed and I enjoyed reading all of the books by five very talented writers. However, we were particularly impressed with the exceptional skill and creativity Pachico demonstrated in her ambitious debut collection of interlinked short stories. The Lucky Ones is a worthy shadow panel winner but we’ll have to wait until Thursday 7th December to see who will win the overall prize. Continue reading

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Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman by Minoo Dinshaw

Outlandish Knight Minoo DinshawThe first non-fiction title to be shortlisted since the 2015 relaunch of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award is ‘Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman’ by Minoo Dinshaw. Runciman was an English historian and author who wrote several books about the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades and is still regarded as one of the most influential voices on the subject in academic circles and beyond. Continue reading

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The End of the Day by Claire North

The End of the Day Claire NorthThe Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award isn’t just about literary debuts – occasionally, young writers can be prolific and I am pleased that there has been some recognition on this year’s shortlist for Claire North, a pseudonym for Catherine Webb. Webb/North has somehow found the time to publish several science fiction and fantasy novels under her own name and two pseudonyms, writing her first book when she was just 14 and is best known for ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’. Her latest novel ‘The End of the Day’ begins with an intriguing premise in which Charlie is the Harbinger of Death, living in Dulwich and answering to his boss, Death, at head office in Milton Keynes, travelling around the world usually to meet people before their lives end: “sometimes he is sent as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning”. However, the demands of the job begin to take their toll on Charlie and put a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend Emmi. Continue reading

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The Lauras by Sara Taylor

The Lauras Sara TaylorFollowing her debut ‘The Shore’ which was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in 2015, Sara Taylor has been nominated again for the same prize with her second novel ‘The Lauras’. I read it several months ago before the shortlist was announced but didn’t have enough time to review it, so I have revisited it this week ahead of our shadow panel meeting on Friday when we will choose our winner. ‘The Lauras’ is a road trip novel in which Ma and thirteen-year-old Alex leave their home and Alex’s father behind in Virginia and travel across North America visiting five places which all hold some significance in Ma’s past. Ma attempts to track down a friend from each of these places, all of whom are called Laura and were an important part of Ma’s life at the time. Continue reading

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The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico

The Lucky Ones Julianne Pachico‘The Lucky Ones’ by Julianne Pachico is described as a novel by its US publishers whereas it has been billed as a collection of interlinked short stories in the UK where it has recently been shortlisted for this year’s Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. I approached ‘The Lucky Ones’ as a collection of short stories when reading it for the shadow panel discussions earlier this month but I think it can be read and enjoyed equally as a novel too, albeit a relatively fragmented one. Continue reading

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