‘Home is where the books are.’
Richard Burton.

The best books are the ones that you don’t just read. They are the ones that you live through. I find it impossible to part with those books. It’s as if a bit of me is embedded in them. As a result, my Husband has spent two decades building shelves for me. He has promised to arrange a tiny wee shelf on my gravestone.

My dream come true.

You can read The Story of My Shelves, here.

Some of these links are to straight forward book reviews. Some others might be described as gut reaction to a book I’ve read.  Sometimes a book will release a knot that has been tied up inside me. That happened with Joseph O’Connor’s The Thrill Of It All. Other books provoke a wave of nostalgia. Jane Austen’s The Beautiful Cassandra, caught me by surprise that way. The best books of all resonate to the very core. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway left me feeling battered and bruised. Chris Cleave gave me a huge thrill when he wrote and thanked me for my review of Everyone Brave Is Forgiven.

Most of these links are to Sultanabun blog posts, some link to my book reviews for and some to my Cooking The Books column.

Come in. Sit down. Let’s talk about books.

What’s your all-time favourite book?

Do have a fictional hero crush? I have several.

What’s on your to-be-read list? Mine will take three lifetimes.

Let me know.



The Power. Naomi Alderman.
When Will There Be Good News. Kate Atkinson.
Started Early, Took My Dog. Kate Atkinson.
A God in Ruins. Kate Atkinson (with bonus recipe for Far Breton!).
The Beautifull Cassandra. Jane Austen
Gourmet Rhapsody. Muriel Barbery.
Days Without End. Sebastian Barry.
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death. M.C. Beaton. With a recipe for quiche.
Fahrenheit 451.
Ray Bradbury.
The Miniaturist.
Jessie Burton.
Everyone Brave Is Forgiven. Chris Cleave.
All The Light We Cannot See. Anthony Doerr.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Choderlos de LaClos. With a recipe for Coeurs à la crème.
Middlemarch. George Eliot.
A Possible Life. Sebastian Faulks.
Belgravia. Julian Fellowes.
The Lost Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Love this. With a recipe for a mean Gin Rickey.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Karen Joy Fowler.
Career Of Evil. Robert Galbraith.
Cranford. Elizabeth Gaskell.
Ross Poldark. Winston Graham.
The Poldark Series. Winston Graham.
Uncommon Type. Tom Hanks.
The Humans. Matt Haig.
How to Stop Time. Matt Haig.
Conclave. Robert Harris.
The Girl On The Train. Paula Hawkins.
Elizabeth is Missing. Emma Healey.
The Sisters Chase. Sarah Healy.
A Farewell To Arms. Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway V’s Fitzgerald.
The Old Man And The Sea. Ernest Hemingway.
A Moveable Feast. Ernest Hemingway. With a recipe for Crabe Mexicaine.
The Island.
Victoria Hislop.
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared.
Jonas Jonasson.
The Debt to Pleasure. John Lanchester. With a recipe for Queen of Puddings.
To Kill A Mockingbird.
Harper Lee.
The Food Of Love. Prue Leith. With a recipe for Mozzarella in Carozza.
The Giver. Lois Lowry.
Station Eleven. Emily St.John Mandel.
Hame. Annalena McAfee.
Nutshell. Ian McEwan.
Tulip Fever.
Deborah Moggach.
Me Before You. Jojo Moyes.
Refuge. Dina Nayeri. With a recipe for irresistible Persian mezze.
David Nicholls.
Holding. Graham Norton.
Lying in Wait. Liz Nugent.
The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August.
Claire North.
Fish for Friday. Frank O’Connor. With bonus recipe for a Friday fish supper.
The Thrill Of It All.  Joseph O’Connor.
Postcards. E. Annie Proulx.
The Improbability Of Love.
Hannah Rothschild. With a recipe for mouth-watering poached pears.
The God Of Small Things. Arundhati Roy.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Arundhati Roy.
Mister Memory. Marcus Sedgewick.
The Longbourne Letters. Rose Servitova.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Betty Smith. With a recipe for sugar buns.
East of Eden. John Steinbeck.
The Martian. Andy Weir.
The House of Mirth. Edith Wharton.
An article on my favourite independent publisher: Persephone Books.

Books For Young Adults.

The Giver. Lois Lowry.
This Song Will Save Your Life.
Leila Sales.
Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell.
eleanor & park. Rainbow Rowell.
The Knife of Never letting Go. Patrick Ness and the Chaos Walking series.

Books For Children.

A Boy Called Christmas. Matt Haig.
Goodnight, My Angel. Billy Joel.
An Eagle In The Snow. Michael Morpurgo.
Listen To The Moon. Michael Morpurgo.
Wonder. R.J. Palacio
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. JK Rowling.
The Midnight Gang. David Walliams.
Little House On The Prairie. Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Hetty Feather. Jacqueline Wilson. (reblog from my eleven-year-old daughter)
Clover Moon. Jacqueline Wilson.


Food For Living. Rachel Allen. I cooked the whole book, and Rachel very kindly gave me a gold star.
Italian Food
Elizabeth David.
Heartburn. Nora Ephron.
Veneto. Valeria Necchio. Tried and tested for
Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook. Drooled over it, cooked it, reviewed it…on the January diet now.
Cook Well. Eat Well. Rory O’Connell. Very stylish food.
Ripailles. Traditional French Cuisine. Stephane Reynaud.
The Christmas Chronicles. Nigel Slater. Best mincepies ever.
A Feast of Pure Imagination: A Bookwitty article about the fictional food you read about and longed to eat.
Bake Me a Story. Nadiya Hussein. The Small Girl is obsessed with this book.


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Neil de Grasse Tyson.
The Thrifty Forager. Alys Fowler.
84 Charing Cross Road. Helen Hanff.
The Rituals of Dinner. Margaret Visser.
The Course of Love. Alain de Botton. Yes, it’s sort of fiction but fits better, I think, as non-fiction.



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