Sunday Salon – 22 April

We’ve had beautiful weather in south-west London this past week, which possibly explains why I did very little reading, but that’s OK.

Books read this week – NONE. Oops.

Books bought:

  • The Atrocities by Jeremy C Shipp – “a haunting gothic fantasy of a young ghost’s education”;
  • Head On by John Scalzi – the sequel to Lock In (which I loved), so there was no way I  wasn’t going to pre-order this;
  • Hydra by Matt Wesolowski – “A family massacre. A deluded murderess. Five witnesses. Six Stories. Which one is true?” This wasn’t a pre-order so in buying it I  broke my book ban, but in my defence it was only £0.98 🙂

Other stuff:

IMG_1858We had a lovely day out on Friday in ridiculously warm and sunny weather at Ham House. I may write about it separately because it’s really interesting, but the main reason for going on this occasion was a display of the reconstructed costumes from A Stitch in Time. I loved that series and it was great to see the results in real life. If you’re at all interested in fashion history you should seek out this programme.


I have high hopes for the coming reading week, but we’ll see……




Sunday Salon – 15 April

IMG_1844It’s been a very quiet reading week for me. I had a few days where I didn’t read at all as I was busy with other things and I certainly didn’t finish anything, but I have high hopes for the coming week.

Currently reading:

  • Still in the middle of The Sale of the Late King’s Goods; now that I have seen the second of the Carolingian exhibitions I want to push on with this book
  • New York 2140 – barely started but already enjoyable
  • The Girls of Slender Means – the next of my Muriel Spark reads, I might even finish this later today (though The Last Jedi is calling out for a re-watch!)

Books bought:

None. Nada. The buying ban holds, though I think I have a couple of Kindle pre-orders coming up. But temptation has been resisted 🙂

Other stuff:

We went to the Charles II exhibition in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. A wonderful selection of paintings and objects which I will write about more in a future post. It is entirely possible we had lunch in a Danish bakery in Victoria and bought some really disgustingly tasty pastries, but I can’t comment on that!

Lots happening this week and here’s to finishing a couple of books!

Sunday Salon – 8 April

Beryl Cook – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Here is my week in review; so far the book buying ban is holding. Although some books did make it into the Bride’s household this week, they were all pre-orders so in my view don’t count. 😉

I also had a very successful reading week, so all is good.

New books

  • The Tea-Master & the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • I Still Dream by James Smythe
  • Daughters of the Winter Queen by Nancy Goldstone

Books read

  • The End Specialist by Drew Magary
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  • The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrere

Other stuff

Didn’t do very much this week other than have lunch with friends, but we did go to see Isle of Dogs which I enjoyed very much. The upcoming week is also going to be quiet – more time to get reading.

Hope you all have a great week 🤗

Sunday Salon – 1st April

IMG_1832A very, very quick update because although I’ve been reading constantly this week I’ve been diving between different books so haven’t actually finished anything, but I’m close!

None of this stopped me from buying a couple of things prior to *drum roll* a book buying ban during a more general no-spend in April. The new books are:

  • Red Riding 1974 by David Peace – “It’s winter, 1974, Yorkshire, and Eddie Dunford’s got the job he wanted – crime correspondent for the Yorkshire Evening Post. He didn’t know it was going to be a season in hell.”
  • Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell – this is unlike any thriller I have ever read, apparently
  • You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames – “a new extended edition of this supremely hardboiled thriller, to tie in with the release of a major hollywood film version” – I am very tempted to see this film so thought I would read the book first
  • Adamtine by Hannah Berry – “all people could do was speculate on the fate of those who vanished – strangers; seemingly random, unconnected: all plucked from their lives and never seen again” – a graphic novel for a book club read later this year.

Other stuff this week:

  • we went to an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts on the art collection of King Charles I – beautiful pictures and statues, and I’m reading a related book as homework (there will be a separate blog post in due course)
  • after the exhibition we went shopping in the Burlington Arcade and may have bought some Laduree French macarons for Easter (they are delicious)
  • we’ve started watching old UK TV series Sapphire & Steel, starring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum. It dates back to 1979 which is the year I left school so nostalgia heavy.

Next week books will be finished. films will be watched and another exhibition will be attended. But only pre-ordered Kindle downloads will drive chez Bride.


Sunday Salon – 25 March

Just getting this post under the wire. I blame the advent of British Summer Time this morning, or possibly poor time management on my part; I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I’ve been off the grid for a little bit due to a trip to Edinburgh last weekend. We travelled by train and stayed in a very, very nice hotel which gave me the opportunity to do quite a bit of reading. I won’t go into a huge amount of detail here as I will be reviewing these over on Bride of the Book God, but the books I finished were:

  • The Ballad of Peckham Rye
  • The Bachelors
  • I’ll Be Gone In the Dark
  • Bright Young People

So basically a combination of Muriel Spark, unsolved true crime and very rich people from the 1920s.

Currently reading:

  • The Nightmare Stacks
  • The Sale of the Late King’s Goods
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

New books – far too many to mention here. Seriously, a book buying ban will be in place from 1 April because I have over-indulged.

Other stuff:

The visit to Edinburgh was specifically to see the national Library exhibition about Muriel Spark. It was amazing. Dame Muriel seems to have kept every piece of paper that she created or received. There was a fantastic clip from a late 1970s adaptation of Jean Brodie which I remember watching at the time and has led to us buying the full series on DVD. My favourite item was the handwritten letter from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis seeking world-wide rights for Dame Muriel’s memoirs. (She said no, but the way.)

We also went to a fascinating exhibition at the Queen’s gallery attached to Holyrood which covered Edward VII’s visit to India in the 1870s and the astonishingly opportunity gifts he received. Didn’t buy the catalogue; at least, not yet….

How was your week?



The Sunday Salon – 11 March

sunday-salon-2Not a huge amount of reading done this week; not entirely sure why but just seem to have been busy on other things. However, I did manage to finish The Devotion of Suspect X and my fascination with Japanese crime novels is now well established. Loved the book and will review it soon, but if you haven’t read do go and seek it out.

New books this week:

  • The Hunger by Alma Katsu – based on the true story of the Donner Party with which I have long been fascinated, this is a pre-order from last year and sounds like it’s going to be a cracker;
  • Lullaby by Leila Slimani – also based (or at least inspired by) a real case in New York, I’ll be honest and admit that I bought this out of curiosity for that very reason;
  • The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath – I have quite a few books by Patrick McGrath in my collection and couldn’t resist getting this once I saw a review by another blogger (sorry, can’t remember whom); I love the tone of his novels, they are so creepy;
  • Money in the Morgue by Stella Duffy (& Ngaio Marsh) – my obsession with Golden Age detective fiction continues; this is the return of Roderick Alleyn “in this unique crime novel begun by Ngaio Marsh during the Second World War and now completed by Stella Duffy”.
  • The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji – I refer you to what I said about Japanese crime fiction above;
  • The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams – I’m one of Jen’s supporters on Patreon so there was no way I wasn’t going to buy this, unphysical form no less (which is relatively rare these days); sadly I had to miss the book launch so it remains unsigned (for now);
  • The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher – all the Gothic stuff I love, but in space!

Currently reading:

  1. The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross – I started this last year but set it aside for I’m sure what seemed to be a good reason at the time; now ripe for reading before I get too far behind in the Laundry series
  2. About to start the next book in #ReadingMuriel2018 – The Ballad of Peckham Rye beckons
  3. Still plugging on with Bright Young People.

Other stuff:

Two articles caught my eye this week; one was about whether Korean crime fiction was going to be the Next Big Thing (you can find the article in The Guardian here) which may or may not have led me to pre-order something.

The other was on Gothic Space Opera and led me to the Adam Christopher book; of the others listed I have read 1, own another two, seen 1 in a movie adaptation and have the other on my wishlist – happy to share which is which if you’re interested 😀

Next week I’ll be off to Edinburgh so plenty of reading time during the train journey. Hope you all have a fabulous week.

Sunday Salon – March so far

It may not have looked like this where I live, but it definitely felt like it!

I haven’t finished reading any books so far in March, though to be fair it’s only been four days and life has as usual intruded, this time  via the medium of major plumbing problems that required 24 hours, two men, a very long ladder, replacement piping and a large hole in our exterior wall for a chunk of Friday. All of this work took place in the throes of The Beast from the East; high winds and actual snow! Can’t remember the last time we had actual snow that lasted more than a day, so irrationally excited.


I still managed to buy a few things to add to the growing virtual TBR:

  • Bookworm by Lucy Mangan – a memoir of childhood reading
  • Iris Murdoch & Muriel Spark by Michael Giffin – subtitled Freedom & Constraint in The Bell and Robinson, this is a very short piece which caught my eye because of the Reading Muriel Spark project I’m currently involved in and fond memories of the Murdoch book, which I will of course have to re-read
  • Hidden City by Alan Baxter – I found this on John Scalzi’s blog as part of the Big Idea feature; sounded fascinating

Currently reading:

  • The Devotion of Suspect X – Japanese crime fiction which I hope to finish in the next couple of days
  • Bright Young People – my non-fiction read which has stalled slightly as I’ve been distracted by other things, but plan to make inroads again this week

Other than that all has been quiet. Phase two of the Muriel project is underway so looking forward to some major re-reading.