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Shiny New Books

Shiny New Books is a newly published book recommendations website run by a group of four wonderful book bloggers, Victoria, Harriet, Simon and Annabel.

I was really honoured to be asked to write some reviews for them!

I was given a choice of which paperback fiction review I wanted to do and I reached unhesitatingly for Almost English.  I love Charlotte Mendelson.  Daughters of Jerusalem is one of my favourite books.  She specialises in the heart rending bordering on ridiculous zone where teenage adolescent angst lives, with the added benefit of understanding how life looks when you are an immigrant/outsider.

For full review click here


In non-fiction, I was assigned Music Night at the Apollo, a book I had never heard of  by an author I had never heard of, but which I soon discovered to be extraordinary.  The blurb is rather low-key – struggling writer/journalist drops out for a year and struggles with personal issues while living on a run down house boat.

This is also a book about an outsider, but this time an outsider who has moved between social classes and finds it difficult to work out where her place is.  It’s intelligent and original.  I haven’t read another book like it and I’d highly recommend it.

For full review click here

Please go and take a look at the new Summer Issue of Shiny New Books, where there are loads of fresh ideas as to what you should read next.



  1. Sounds like a great website! The only problem being that, if I get hooked into a good review I’ll be tortured because I don’t have the time to pick up anything much at this point in life! I’m intrigued by your mini review of Night Music at the Apollo – I’m now wondering which classes the author has moved between…

    • It gets worse – when my kids were young and I didn’t have the time to follow all the current cultural trends, I was oblivious.  Now I have enough time to know that there are far too many brilliant things being produced for me ever to absorb!

      The author of Music Night was originally from the working class.  Then she found that she could write.  But when she tried to fit in at a lower end paper, it was too coarse for her intellectually and when she was a junior at The TLS she felt intimidated by the confidence and sense of entitlement of the middle class staff there.

      It’s weird when you look at a writer’s glowing biography and achievements and have no idea of the insecurities that lie beneath.


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