End of year review 2023

In previous years, I have bemoaned the year just finishing and expressed the hope for better things to come the following year. Not this time. Next year will be worse and you do not need me to tell you why. Did you know that forty countries are having elections next year, including Russia, India, the … Read more

End of year review 2022

While we have been struggling with the various problems we face such as climate change, Putin and his nasty little war, supply chain issues, inflation, SCOTUS, Trump (possibly) resurgent and, here in the UK, the disaster of Brexit and having the worst prime minister in British history replaced by an even worse prime minister, spare … Read more

End of the year review 2021

A second covid year, and undoubtedly not the last has meant, for me, much less travel and none abroad and much less going out – I cannot remember the last time I went to the cinema, theatre or a pub and while I can remember the last time I went to a football match, it … Read more

End of the Year Review 2020

You don’t need me to tell you that this has been a grim year, with Covid and Trump, Brexit and Putin and the world generally seeming to be going to the dogs. I have certainly found reading a relief, partially from the lockdown – we have essentially had three in the UK – but also … Read more

End of year review 2019

As the world seems to get worse and worse, reading books seems increasingly to be the best escape. It has been helped (for me) this year by the fact that I have read more longer, often very long books. I do enjoy a really long, good book not least because you can really get immersed … Read more

End of year review 2018

In a recent interview, Pat Barker said Contemporary fiction is going through a “so what” moment, with very few novels generating a real sense of passion in readers and fiction, or the reading of fiction, was not in good health. I very much disagree with her and imagine she has spent too much time reading … Read more

End of year review

If, twelve months ago, you had said that Donald Trump would be elected as US President, the UK would vote to leave the EU, Theresa May would become prime minister of the UK, Bob Dylan would win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Leicester City would win the English Premiership and the Chicago Cubs would win … Read more

End of year review

I have never really understand why others have their annual reviews early in December. Don’t they read any books between then and the end of the year? I certainly do. Like others, I have been browsing the end of year reviews – you can catch up with them at Large-Hearted Boy. I was surprised to … 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