I’ve been adding a few new features on the site recently, and thought I’d highlight them for you.

First, I’ve added a list of all the books I’ve reviewed on the site. You’ll see that it’s listed A-Z by author, and that I have a few gaps. If you have a recommendations of a good book to read by an author whose surname begins with N, Q, U, X, Y or Z, please let me know!

There’s also an archive page now – I’ve been blogging since the beginning of 2008, and have written around 400 posts, so wanted to provide an easier way for you to explore the older ones if you feel so inclined.

For writers, I added a Resources page, which lists a few of the books and websites I’ve found particularly useful in my development as a writer.

And finally I gathered together some of the reviews of my novelΒ On the Holloway Road into a single page, What People are Saying. I’ll add reviews of my second novel, A Virtual Love, when it comes out in the spring.

I’m still working on a few more pages to add, but that’s it for now!


  1. Whispering Gums 6 September 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Site looking good Andrew.

    Now, for some author suggestions.

    Two good Zs, both Australian, are Arnold Zable (a lovely writer on immigrants and dislocation/belonging) and Marcus Zusak (whose The book thief is the favourite of many – he tells a serious Holocaust story with a touch of humour and it works. For Y, there is always Banana Yoshimoto.

    I don’t have a lot of Ns … my only indexed N book at present is a biography by Niall.

    My Q, U and X are likewise blank though I know there are some authors out there,

    1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 6 September 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks WG – some good recommendations. I didn’t realise Marcus Zusak was Australian. I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Book Thief, so since you recommend it as well I’ll give it a try. And of course, Banana Yoshimoto – again, heard a lot but never read anything by her, so she’d be a good fit for Y.

      Arnold Zable is a new name to me, so thanks for mentioning him. I like the look of Cafe Scheherazade – is that a good place to start, or do you have another recommendation?

      1. Whispering Gums 8 September 2012 at 9:18 am

        Yes, I think Cafe Scheherezade would be a great place to start. It’s a long time since I’ve read it but I think it’s a lovely book … Strong stories, good writing.

        BTW Is there any way your blog can remember commenters so we don’t have to retune our details in every time we comment?

        1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 8 September 2012 at 12:20 pm

          Thanks, I’ll check it out. I thought the blog already did remember commenters’ details, so I’m sorry to hear you have to re-enter them every time.

          I’ve now added a sign-up option in the sidebar – scroll down to the last element on the right, below the archives. That lets you register on the site and create a profile, which should stick each time you come back, so that you don’t have to re-enter your details. Let me know if that works OK for you.

          I’d be interested to hear if anyone else is having to re-enter Name, Email etc each time – want to make it easy for people to comment!

          1. Whispering Gums 9 September 2012 at 4:55 am

            Thanks Andrew. You know, I think the issue might be the iPad and self-hosted WordPress blogs. Next time I’ll try on my laptop. I think it will work there.

            1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 9 September 2012 at 12:08 pm

              No problem! I’m always happy to know about anything that’s not working on the site – gives me a chance to fix it. Hope it works OK for you now!

              1. Whispering Gums 10 September 2012 at 1:55 am

                Testing! Seems to work … but I’m on my laptop. The proof will be whether it will work on my iPad. I have a feeling it won’t!

                1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 10 September 2012 at 7:48 pm

                  Ah, that’s good. Fingers crossed for the iPad, but if it doesn’t work, you’ll just have to sell the thing πŸ˜‰

  2. geosi 7 September 2012 at 5:25 am

    For surname beginning with N, please look for Nwaubani, Tricia Adaobi – I Do Not Come to You by Chance. Great new additions. Makes it more easier for all to access your past posts.

    1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 8 September 2012 at 12:21 pm

      That’s great, Geosi – thanks very much. A new name for me, and I’m always excited to discover new authors and debut novels. I like the sound of it.

  3. Charlie 7 September 2012 at 10:40 am

    I’ve wondered if there should be a suggestions box for us bloggers who order by surname, those gaps can make a blog feel unfinished. How about Irene Nemirovsky for N? I’ve not read her books yet but they seem incredibly popular and I think she’d fit the bill as far as your own blog goes. I second the Marcus Zusak recommendation, awesome book.

    1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 8 September 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Ah yes, good idea! I’ve also heard great things about her, and have Suite Francaise marked as “to read”. I guess I’ll accelerate her. Good to know you liked The Book Thief as well. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. Delia @ Postcards from Asia 9 September 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I keep hearing good things about The Book Thief but I never see it anywhere! Must be a good time to get that Kindle now. πŸ™‚
    It’s good to see the review list, and to my pleasant surprise I discovered you read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which is on my TBR pile.
    I’ve had no trouble with the comments section so far.

    1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 10 September 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Delia

      Maybe so – although there is something nice about the serendipity of relying on what you can find in bookshops. It’ll be so great when you come across a tattered copy of The Book Thief in some second-hand store one day. Buying it on the Kindle is efficient, but a little too easy πŸ™‚

      Anyway, yes, I read Oscar Wao and, well, I guess you read my review so there’s no point reiterating it here. Will be interested in reading your review when you get to it! Thanks for letting me know about the comments.

      1. Delia @ Postcards from Asia 10 September 2012 at 10:24 pm

        Ah, you are so right…there’s a certain…magic when you browse through a bookstore and find a book you’ve been looking for for a long time. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t want a Kindle.

        I hope to read that book this year.

        1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 13 September 2012 at 4:07 pm

          Yeah, downloading an ebook is a lot of things, but magic it ain’t. To me it’s a bit like trying to unearth a troublesome fact in the old days by going to libraries and calling friends and leafing through encyclopedias, vs typing it into Google today. Easier, more efficient but less satisfying. Modern life, eh?

          1. Delia @ Postcards from Asia 14 September 2012 at 12:02 pm

            You’re spot on with that comparison, but there are books I can’t get here, like your novel for example. I went to see a friend the other day and she let me play with her Kindle, I searched for your book and BINGO! It was there! I was one click away. Life’s not fair. πŸ™‚

            1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 14 September 2012 at 1:55 pm

              Oh yeah, on second thoughts, definitely buy a Kindle! The things authors’ll do for royalties…

          2. Whispering Gums 14 September 2012 at 7:59 pm

            Ah, now I don’t think it’s one or the other. I love the way new technologies add to our pleasures (though, unfortunately, also squeezes our time to enjoy them all.) The challenge is working out how to make the most of them. I love the one-click amazon purchase for some things … But I also love to browse bookshops and libraries. As I get older though and less mobile (way off yet but I can see it in the distance), I’m thrilled to think that I’ll be able to control my reading choices way more than I ever could have in the past!

            1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 15 September 2012 at 12:40 pm

              That’s a great point about lack of mobility – hadn’t thought of that. Ebooks are a definite advantage in that sense. There were always programmes like mobile libraries to help people access books, but they had limited stock and only covered certain areas of certain countries. With eBooks, you can have a massive selection of books, all accessible from home. A good prospect for old age, as long as the pension can cover it πŸ™‚

              1. Whispering Gums 15 September 2012 at 8:15 pm

                Ah, but there are always the free classics … Which just means of course affording the reader itself. Their prices though are coming down … I think the basic kindle I way under $100 now. But let’s not talk technological obsolescence, eh!

                1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 15 September 2012 at 8:54 pm

                  The free classics are great – I remember years ago when Project Gutenberg first came out and I got all excited, then realised how difficult it was to read Middlemarch on a web page! The e-readers make it a lot easier.

                  I think they’ll continue to come down in price as long as Amazon or whoever else feels that they can lock you in as a customer after that. Might even make sense for them to give Kindles away free, knowing you’ll spend so much on the Amazon store to fill them up. Could be a good deal for those who stick to free classics. Mind you, I’m sure things will have changed again dramatically by the time we hit old age!


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