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Alice by Judith Hermann (transl. Margot Bettauer Dembo): Small but perfectly formed

I hope that all went well for the many booksellers working their socks off yesterday selling Dan Brown’s new novel but I can’t help feeling sad that so much depends upon a handful of authors to keep the book trade afloat. So many excellent books sink without trace or leave little impression. I haven’t read …

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The second novel conundrum

I’ve been circling warily around Andrew Miller’s Costa Prize winning Pure for some time now. Miller’s first novel, Ingenious Pain, is one of my favourite books. Set in the 18th century, its main protagonist, James Dyer, is conceived on an icy night as a result of an adulterous coupling with a stranger. James cannot feel …

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A tip top reading month

I’m half-way through Jane Feaver’s An Inventory of Heaven, due out in paperback next month. It’s far from a bad book, although it does explore the rather well trodden territory of childhood and dark secrets, but I’ve been keeping company with Haruki Murakami and Kate Atkinson for most of this month and so perhaps have …

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Hello World

As anyone who’s started a WordPress blog knows, the first dummy post is generated for you headed ‘Hello World’. Given that this is a blog about books and that I’ve just finished reading design critic Alice Rawsthorn’s fascinating book, Hello World, it seemed appropriate to let the heading stand. Rawsthorn knocks designers off the pedestal …

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