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Five Star Reads? Choosing a book by its ratings

Not so long ago choosing a new book to read, particularly by a new or little known author, was pot luck. You might get a good one or you might get a real dud. Even established, popular or critically acclaimed authors are no guarantee you won’t get an absolute howler. […]

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What do you look for in a book?

As any keen reader will know, far more than other mediums such as film or TV, books are a highly personal, subjective thing. Why does your best friend love a book, and you think it is a worthless piece of trash? How can one of you get it so wrong? […]

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Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson

Title: Neither Here Nor There Author: Bill Bryson Genre: Travel literature   ‘Neither Here Nor There’ is an account of Bill Bryson’s travels in mainland Europe. He mainly travelled by train and bus, and visited many places – mainly cities – in both Western and Eastern Europe. It took me […]

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Title: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Author: Yuval Noah Harari Genre: History, science Pages: 443 Sapiens is exactly what it says on the cover – a brief history of the human race. The scope is bigger than any other book of it’s kind, stretching from pre-history when humans (and […]

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Human Universe by Brian Cox

Title: Human Universe Author: Brian Cox Genre: Popular Science Pages: 288   This is the latest in a series of popular science books by physicist Brian Cox, based on the tv series of the same name. In previous books/series, he looked at the solar system, the physical universe and the […]

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How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Title: How to Stop Time Author: Matt Haig Genre: Contemporary, some elements of Sci-fi Release Date: 2017 Format: Hardcover Pages: 325 Tom Hazard has what you might call a medical condition, though not really an illness. He doesn’t age like other people do. He only ages a year for every […]

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My Antonia by Willa Cather

Title: My Antonia Series: Plains Trilogy Author: Willa Cather Genre: Fiction / classic Release Date: 1918 Pages: 175 ‘My Antonia’ by Willa Cather is a story set in the early years of the 20th century in the prairie plains of Nebraska. The book is notionally the third in the author’s […]

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The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson

Title: The Lost Continent Author: Bill Bryson Genre: Travel literature Release Date: 1989 Iowan native Bill Bryson had been living in England for ten years, before being lured back to his home country for an extended visit. He travelled round America to see what had changed since he grew up […]

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About The Site

This is site includes writing on various topics. Check out the books section for book related articles, author guides and book reviews. The Retro Files is a fun look at Games, Music, Films, TV & Books from yesteryear. I’m starting in 1970 and working my way forward year by year. The Fascinating World section collects together various writings about different countries and places across the world. Then there’s the Misc section, which has everything else!