Sam Taylor

Cover image for V for Victory by Lissa Evans

Books of the Year 2020: Part Four

The last quarter of the year brought both increasing hopes of a vaccine to liberate us all from Covid’s grip plus the somewhat nervous excitement of an American presidential election together with six more bookish delights for me. September proved to be my best reading month with three treats all from authors whose previous novels …

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Cover image for The Invisible Land by Hubert Mingarelli

The Invisible Land by Hubert Mingarelli (transl. Sam Taylor): The devastation of war

Hubert Mingarelli’s The Invisible Land comes billed as the final part of a trilogy linked by the theme of war. I’ve read and reviewed both A Meal in Winter and Four Soldiers, struck by Mingarelli’s exquisite writing, not a description I’d expect to spring to mind when reading about the grimmest of subjects. This third, …

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A Hundred Million Years and a Day by Jean-Baptiste Andrea (transl. Sam Taylor): The folly of a dream

I’m not entirely sure I would have read Jean-Baptiste Andrea’s novella with its rather wordy title had it not been for the enthusiasm of the small indie publisher who approached me to review it which would have been a shame. A Hundred Million Years and a Day was a huge literary hit in France last …

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The Mystery of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos (transl. Sam Taylor): Tailor made

David Foekinos’ The Mystery of Henri Pick marks the beginning of a collaboration between publishers Pushkin Press and Channel 4’s Walter Presents, a streaming service which provides a good deal of my TV entertainment with its subtitled European drama. Even without that, I’d have been interested in this book whose blurb promised a novel about …

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Books to Look Out For in May 2020

Spare a thought for poor publishers who’ve been wrestling with the nightmare of rejigging their schedules to give their books the best possible exposure now that bookshops are shut thanks to the corona virus. Poor authors, too, left in limbo with all that nervous excitement at the prospect of the longed-for publication day now delayed. …

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Books of the Year 2018: Part Four

October and early November were spent reading for my shadow judging stint for the Young Writer of the Year Award, a thoroughly enjoyable experience not least because it meant I met several bloggers who’ve I’ve exchanged views with over the years. The judges plumped for Adam Weymouth’s proper piece of travel writing, Kings of the …

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