Mari’s Book Club

If you're looking for something extra to read (as well as Baby, Baby and The Labyrinth Year, which we hope you’ve bought and read!) some reviews of others you may enjoy, from Mari Howard… 

Mari HowardJanuary 2, 2020

Where are the Grown ups? and Unsettled
by Ruth Badley, and by Barbara Kingsolver

Inglebooks and Faber & Faber, both published 2019

Paperback: £7.99 (Where are...) £8.99 (Unsheltered)

This review tries to cover the latest two books I’ve read recently: Where are the Grown-ups and Unsettled. They’re very much not a pair, so don’t expect one to cover both memoir and the challenges of change… Interestingly, I love both these books – which are very different– but disagreed with a great deal of… Read More

Mari HowardNovember 28, 2019

Self Portrait
by Celia Paul

Jonathan Cape, 2019

Hardback: £20.00

I love this book, and began reading it avidly the day it arrived. Celia Paul is an artist, a painter, and, as the book documents, we learn what it can be like when creativity is the driver in your life.  “You need to give yourself completely, while at the same time seeing things from a… Read More

Mari HowardSeptember 16, 2019

An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

One World , 2019

Paperback: £8.99 paperback

It’s a really personal choice: why we read, what we read, and when… Reading the Amazon reviews, I was struck by the number of readers who  said they ‘couldn’t engage with the characters’  Or that ‘the characters all do far too much overthinking,’  or ‘talk too much the same’ or ‘are too articulate about their… Read More

Mari HowardSeptember 12, 2019

Secrets at St Bride's
by Debbie Young

Hawkesbury Press, 2019

Paperback: £7.99
Ebook: £1.99

Here’s a relaxing read for any of us who have enjoyed school stories or even wondered how, if not given to the National trust, a stately home can occupy its retirement years. Debbie Young (Author of the Sophie Sayers cosy mysteries) has now created a girls’ private boarding school just a mile or two down… Read More

Mari HowardJune 13, 2019

Shadow Doctor: the Past Awaits
by Adrian Plass

Hodder & Stoughton, 2019

Hardback: £16.99
Paperback: £9.99 (Amazon)
Ebook: £9.99 (Amazon)

When I met Adrian Plass recently, I had to restrain myself from calling him Doc. Of course, Adrian hasn’t taken up a bachelor existence in the middle of a Sussex wood, nor does he go out intermittently on mysterious errands of mercy. No, this side of the Shadow Doctor more resembles a famous sleuth who… Read More

Mari HowardJune 12, 2019

Out of Silence
by Annie Try

Instant Apostle, 2017

Paperback: £8.99

I have enjoyed this warmly told story about a struggling psychologist’s journey towards his own healing through taking on the case of a ‘selective mute’ migrant. Each of the two main characters, Dr Mike Lewis and ‘Johnny Two’ have problems of fear and denial reactions to traumatic events, and we follow their parallel journeys towards… Read More

Mari HowardMay 23, 2019

Destiny's Revenge & Destiny's Ruin
by Philip S. Davies

Books to Treasure, 2018

Paperback: £8.99

by Philip S. Davies Books to Treasure (2018) Paperbacks £8.99 I’ve just completed reading this author’s Destiny series of novels for Young Adults, featuring Katelin, the reluctant and somewhat rebellious young Queen of Anestra. These second two books, very different from one another, complete the story of how Katelin, having succeeded to the throne on… Read More

Mari HowardMay 9, 2019

by Rachel Held Evans

Thomas Nelson, 2018, printed & published in the U.S.A.

Paperback: £7.91 (Amazon, U.K.)
Ebook: £6.99 (Kindle, U.K.)

This is a long overdue review of a fantastic book by an inspirational author. Rachel Held Evans, born into Southern U.S. evangelicalism, began questioning the ‘givens’ of Biblical faith and lifestyle as she grew into a young adult. Rather than giving in to those in her community who sidelined or justified her concerns about faith… Read More

Mari HowardJanuary 15, 2019

In the Blink of an Eye
by Ali Bacon

Linen Press, 2018

Paperback: £9.99
Ebook: £4.79 (Kindle)

About the author: Ali Bacon lives near Bristol, where she’s actively involved with the local writing community. She has read her short stories at many literary festivals. I met Ali when we were both reading from our work at the first Hawkesbury Literary Festival (in 2015) and we both hope to be there again this year, reading and… Read More

Mari HowardNovember 27, 2018

Girl with Dove: A life built by books
by Sally Bayley

William Collins

Hardback: £14.99

About the author: Sally Bayley now teaches English at several Oxford colleges … but she grew up in a dreary, dilapidated house on England’s south coast, in a strange dysfunctional family. In this literary memoir, she attributes her  successful escape to the books she read – each of them a ‘classic’ of  its time and… Read More

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