Other Writers

Book Reviews, Author Interviews and more

Q&A with Joanne Harris

First of all, we must thank Joanne for agreeing to this insanity.

Joanne Harris is the acclaimed writer of Chocolat. The sequel is called The Lollipop Shoes and she has just submitted Peaches For Monsieur Le Curé, the third novel featuring some of the same characters from both and which is due for publication at the end of May 2012.

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A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M Harris

It isn’t often these days that not only do I feel compelled to immediately review the book I’ve just read, but the need to spew words out right now is so powerful that I can’t ignore it. Joanne Harris’s latest novella A Pocketful of Crows is the first book I’ve read in a single sitting for a long while. Often I’ve read them in two, or perhaps three sittings - but one is very rare. (The last one I read in one sitting was Brian and Wendy Froud’s Trolls, but that’s more a story book than a novel, and it’s short - but it socked me in the gut for similar reasons.

A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M Harris

It isn’t often these days that not only do I feel compelled to immediately review the book I’ve just read, but the need to spew words out right now is so powerful that I can’t ignore it. Joanne Harris’s latest novella A Pocketful of Crows is the first book I’ve read in a single sitting for a long while. Often I’ve read them in two, or perhaps three sittings - but one is very rare. (The last one I read in one sitting was Brian and Wendy Froud’s Trolls, but that’s more a story book than a novel, and it’s short - but it socked me in the gut for similar reasons.

'The Death House' by Sarah Pinborough

“They say it makes your eyes bleed. Almost pop out of your head and then bleed.”

This is the first line of The Death House. Cleverly, Sarah Pinborough has forced you to wonder what “it” is and why it makes your eyes bleed, and who is saying it. It’s every writer’s dream and every writer’s curse: get the first page, paragraph, hell, get the first sentence just right, so readers will want to know more.

'The Death House' by Sarah Pinborough

“They say it makes your eyes bleed. Almost pop out of your head and then bleed.”

This is the first line of The Death House. Cleverly, Sarah Pinborough has forced you to wonder what “it” is and why it makes your eyes bleed, and who is saying it. It’s every writer’s dream and every writer’s curse: get the first page, paragraph, hell, get the first sentence just right, so readers will want to know more.

'Birdy' by Jess Vallance

"Do you know, I met a family in Brazil who called every one of their children Frances. Two girls, and then Francis with an i for the three boys. 'It's our favourite name,' the parents said when we asked about it. That was all there was to it as far as they were concerned. How brilliant is that?"

'Throw Away Your Loincloth' by Michelle Jones

I haven’t really known how to start reviewing this book. I read it because I met the writer at an event at the bookshop where she’s the manager, Waterstone’s in Chichester (I refuse to delete the very necessary apostrophe), and we got talking (as you do - well, as I do, anyway). So she gave me a copy of the book and I promised to read and review it.

'Throw Away Your Loincloth' by Michelle Jones

I haven’t really known how to start reviewing this book. I read it because I met the writer at an event at the bookshop where she’s the manager, Waterstone’s in Chichester (I refuse to delete the very necessary apostrophe), and we got talking (as you do - well, as I do, anyway). So she gave me a copy of the book and I promised to read and review it.

'Labyrinth' by Kate Mosse

Perhaps I’ve been spoilt, reading so many books throughout my life that anything less than wow is just, well… meh. Or perhaps it isn’t that at all. Maybe the fact of being a writer myself means I pick novels apart, finding even minor faults in certain passages that make me think, ‘That sentence would be better if…’ or, ‘But that doesn’t make any sense!’ I don’t always do that, though it’s happening more and more all the time. Mostly, I read like a reader, not like a writer. Unless a novel is especially bad or especially good, I read and enjoy and then move on to the next one.

'Labyrinth' by Kate Mosse

Perhaps I’ve been spoilt, reading so many books throughout my life that anything less than wow is just, well… meh. Or perhaps it isn’t that at all. Maybe the fact of being a writer myself means I pick novels apart, finding even minor faults in certain passages that make me think, ‘That sentence would be better if…’ or, ‘But that doesn’t make any sense!’ I don’t always do that, though it’s happening more and more all the time. Mostly, I read like a reader, not like a writer. Unless a novel is especially bad or especially good, I read and enjoy and then move on to the next one.

'Into the End' by Jeremy Vaeni

Jeremy Vaeni does not have a Wikipedia page, so I can’t do my usual introductory thing of pointing at it and summarising the more interesting bits. He’s an obscure figure, clearly, who does not merit a page on Wikipedia; he’s just not important enough. Who the fuck is this guy, and what am I doing reading his book?

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