The January Man by Christopher Somerville

Reviewed by Judith Wilson It was early January when I requested Christopher Somerville’s new walking book for review. I was simultaneously intrigued by its title, The January Man, and by its sub-title, A Year of Walking Britain. On the cusp of 2017, who wouldn’t relish the prospect of a 12-month exploration of the British Isles,…

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Reviewed by Victoria Apple Tree Yard may be billed as a thriller, but like all of Louise Doughty’s novels, it’s a story with more depth than you might anticipate. Yvonne Carmichael is a successful geneticist who happens one winter day to be reporting to a Standing Committee at the House of Lords. She is fifty-two,…

The Gardens of Consolation by Parisa Reza

Reviewed by Terence Jagger Translated by Adriana Hunter To the east, bare earth as far as the eye can see. To the west, hills … then on the horizon, mountains.  And a road, traced along the length of the desert, the length of the mountains, from Isfahan to Tehran.   That is the beginning of…

Sirens by Joseph Knox

Reviewed by Annabel Literary noir, in its general sense of typifying dark, cynical and unpleasant crime novels, (as opposed to the classic hard-boiled style where the protagonist is not a detective), needs constant subdivision these days: Tartan and Emerald noir from Scotland and Ireland. Sirens, falls into an even more specific species – ‘Manc-noir’, set in…

The Olive Oil Diet by Dr Simon Poole and Judy Ridgway

Reviewed by Harriet When I was a small child my mother, who spent a lot of time in France and loved French cooking, used to have to go to the chemist to buy olive oil, which was sold in small bottles, presumably to be used for some medicinal purpose. Things have moved on a lot…

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

Reviewed by Harriet All along, from the beginning of his conscious life, the persistent feeling that the forks and parallels of the roads taken and not taken were all being travelled by the same people at the same time, the visible people and the shadow people, and that the world as it was could never…

Death Going Down by Maria Angelica Bosco

Reviewed by Gill Davies Translated by Lucy Greaves Thanks to Shiny – and the publishers – I am discovering and enjoying new crime writers. The latest one is the Argentine María Angélica Bosco who I had never heard of but whose work is well known and admired in Argentina. Death Going Down is reprinted in…

Welcome to the new style Shiny New Books

We’re back!  We have a new site design and a new way of sharing our content with our readers. We’re changing from our former ‘magazine’ format, in which we published lots of new pages in big batches every couple of months (and giving you too much to read in one sitting), to continuous posting. Each…

Fiction

As always, we have another eclectic mix of fiction for you, and hopefully not too late to add to your own Christmas lists or give. (Don’t forget our affiliate links to The Book Depository, which has (almost) worldwide free P&P as well as keen prices.) Other Languages: 33 Revolutions is a novella by Che Guevara’s…

Non-Fiction

What with Brexit, the US elections, the refugee crisis, and more besides, it’s been quite a year. If you’re feeling a bit less than positive about the current and future state of the world, we’ve got a review of a book that’s guaranteed to give you a rapid injection of optimism: Johan Norberg’s Progress: Ten…

Reprints

I’m afraid difficulties with RSI will keep this introduction short – please do explore the menu over to the right, enjoying finding surprises along the way – but I want to say what an absolute pleasure and delight it has been introducing the reprints section over the past three years. We’ve seen some truly remarkable…

BookBuzz (Issue 13)

The Eds Discuss.. Three Years of Shiny – Can you believe how fast they’ve gone? We can’t, as we look back over the past 13 editions… The Return of the Shiny Advent Quiz – You know you can’t help yourself! Interviews Q & A with Stef Penney – discussing her new novel, Under A Pole Star Q & A…

Fiction

Our Fiction section this issue may not have quite our usual number of reviews, but it’s still far-ranging, including a couple of novels new in paperback that we missed when originally published. Contemporary Life and Past Times: Paul Kingsnorth’s novel Beast is a sequel of sorts to The Wake, but set 1000 years later in…

Non-Fiction

Here at Shiny we are proud of our non-fiction section. Largely thanks to the enthusiasm of our excellent reviewers, we cover a very wide range of subject matter, including books that often get neglected on the otherwise excellent book blogs. This issue has, I think, the largest non-fiction selection ever, with no fewer than fifteen…

Reprints

As the nights are drawing in (or the opposite, depending upon which hemisphere you’re in), why not curl up with a reprint or two? In this issue, they range across the decades and even centuries, and there is plenty to entertain, surprise, and value. If you’re in the mood for something Victorian, then why not…

BookBuzz

Interview with Rowland Manthorpe and Kirstin Smith The authors of the hilarious debut novel, Confidence, talk about writing as a team and the pleasures and perils of university learning. Spotlight on Publishers: NYRB We love NYRB classics here at Shiny and couldn’t be more thrilled to discuss life at the publishing house with Editorial Director,…

FICTION

We think a good book read at the right time is the perfect read, whatever the season!  Our summer fiction list therefore features our usual blend of all kinds of novel, including plenty in translation. Contemporary and 20th C life: The suspenseful Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is set on Martha’s Vineyard. Chains of…

NON-FICTION

Welcome to the non-fiction section of Shiny 11.  As always we are covering quite a wide range of themes and topics, though a couple of categories pop up more than once. One such is psychology, into which come three books: Polly Morland, Metamorphosis: Why and How We Change Charles Fernyhough, The Voices Within. Marina Benjamin, The Middlepause:…

REPRINTS

I have to thank my housemate Kirsty – also a reviewer in this issue – for lending her bookshelves for the reprints cover photo this issue. It sets the tone for the sort of books we love in this corner of Shiny New Books: old’uns. Particularly when they’re repackaged as shiny new books that we…