The Great British Novel

I have yet to read John Lanchester’s Capital or, indeed, any of his other books, but will probably do so in the next few weeks. However, I was intrigued by the heading to the review of his novel in the Guardian. The online edition merely said Capital by John Lanchester – review. However, the print … Read more

The novels of Laos

A glance at my website will show that I am interested in reading and promoting the novels from smaller countries. I have, for example, Burundi, the Faroe Islands and Niue, as well as from other smaller countries. I have not visited Cape Verde, Burundi, the Faroe Islands or Niue and almost certainly will never do … Read more


The latest review on my website is of Sarah Quigley‘s The Conductor, set in Leningrad during the siege of that city by the Germans. Though I did not mention it in my review there was one minor annoyance with the book. The characters used plays on words in English which would not work in Russian. … Read more

Vanished Kingdoms, Small Countries

A cursory look at my website will show my interest in small countries, by which I mean not just nation-states that are small in size, such as the Caribbean and Pacific island countries, but countries that are not, for various reasons, nation-states. Many of these countries have never been nation-states in the modern sense of … Read more

Adam Mars-Jones

Private Eye wittingly refers to him as Adam Mars Bar. Whether this is just a feeble pun on his name or some reference to the alleged Mars Bar scandal, I don’t know and I don’t really care. In any case, this week Adam Mars-Jones won the Hatchet Job prize for most scathing review, a review … Read more

Kindle issues Part 2

In a previous post, I mentioned a couple of issues I had with the Kindle. On my holiday in New Zealand, I did have one issue with the Kindle. Not everyone knows that the Kindle has a web browser. When you go to settings you won’t see anything called web browser. They call it Experimental … Read more

Andrew Chubb

One the pleasures on our holiday in New Zealand was meeting lots of nice people, such as the people in the bookshops mentioned in the previous post. One other very nice person we did meet was when we visited Fox Glacier (not very good photo at right). We saw him eagerly photographing everything – plants, … Read more

New Zealand

I haven’t posted for a while as I have been on holiday to New Zealand. See obligatory pictures of Milford Sound and a kaka bird below. The purpose of the holiday was just that – a holiday to see the beauties of New Zealand which, I must say, were well worth the very long journey. … Read more