I’m a reader first, blogger second. When reading takes precedence, I don’t write timeous reviews. That’s happened quite frequently this year and, so, I’m approaching the end of the year with a stack of unreviewed reads. 

I began to tweet this year.  Couldn’t see the point of it for ages, but, having got stuck in that Scottish transportation meltdown a couple of weeks ago, I am a convert.  If I’d have known the extent of the gridlock in Lanarkshire,  I would never have attempted that journey home …..It would have saved me many, many hours.

A missed opportunity maybe but now tweeting can help me to save time and catchup before the year is through with some reviews of 140 characters (give or take a few characters.)


May Day – F S Fitzgerald Unlike Gatsby, boy gets girl. Lives to regret it. ****

Bonsai – Alejandro Zambra Boy gets then loses girl. Regrettable. ***

Faustine – Emma Tennant Middle-aged woman sells soul to the god of cosmetic surgery. Everyone (bar the Devil) regrets it. ****

Beside The Sea – Veronique Olmi Believe every eulogy you’ve ever read. I regret not having time to do it justice. **** (Probably ***** when I reread it.)


Gentlemen and Players -Joanne Harris Pupil with a grudge takes revenge on privileged school whilst the German department wreaks havoc on the Latin! ***

All Men Are Liars – Alberto ManguelReal author tells lies about himself during the investigation into the death of his fictional author. Proving that it’s very difficult to get to the truth and you can’t always believe what you told. ***

A Fair Maiden – Joyce Carol Oates Creepy old man primes fair maiden for nefarious purposes. Not what you are thinking! ****

Unwritten Secrets – Ronald Frame Professional envy between teacher and pupil. Set in Vienna within the musical world of German lieder. Intriguing tale sabotaged by gratuitous pornography. ***
The Lantern Bearers – Ronald Frame Saltire winning retelling of a Stevenson classic. Coming-of-age tale in which Frame keeps his lascivious side in check. ***


The Unbearable Lightness of Scones – Alexander McCall Smith There are no better companions than the residents of 44 Scotland Street. And you can’t go wrong with their choice of refreshments either! ***