Book news, reviews and reading highlights.

All books mentioned in this blog have been read and carefully curated by Bookmark.


As a change from the scheduled programme, a bookish quiz for the summer holidays.

More than half of workers say they want to change their job following a holiday. Perhaps that’s what happened to this list of authors. Link the author to the job they did before turning to writing fiction. So, if you think Maya Angelou was a professional bullfighter, your answer will be 6B. (Answers at the foot of the page)

  1. Taste-tester for Cadbury’s
  2. Invented a prototype of the bra-strap
  3. Advertising exec. who coined the slogans ‘Naughty but Nice’ (Milk Marketing Board campaign for fresh cream cakes) and ‘Irresistibubble’ (Aero chocolate)
  4. Streetcar conductor
  5. Caretaker on a chicken ranch
  6. Professional bullfighter

A. Salman Rushdie

B. Maya Angelou

C. Ernest Hemingway

D. Tennessee Williams

E. Roald Dahl

F. Mark Twain


Click on book titles for full review.

Ginger & Me ⭐⭐⭐ Elissa Soave (Release date: 21 July). Naive, nineteen and alone in the world, Wendy’s life takes a turn when she meets Ginger. General fiction.

Hothouse Earth ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Bill McGuire (Release date: 4 August). An accessible, yet alarming (not alarmist) overview of the effects of climate change. Non-fiction.

Femina ⭐⭐⭐⭐Janina Ramirez (Release date: 21 July). Medieval history with women written back in. Non-fiction.

Reading Highlights

Click on book titles for full description.

The Lucky Ones ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (2017) Julianne Pacheco. Gorgeously vibrant interconnected short stories, set in Colombia. Literary fiction.

Will & Testament ⭐⭐⭐ (2019) Vigdis Hjorth (transl. Charlotte Barslund). A middle-aged woman becomes embroiled in an inheritance dispute, drawing her back to the family she fled years ago. The author’s real-life family accused her of being too close to the bone. Literary fiction.

Swimming Lessons ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (2017) Claire Fuller. Ingrid writes letters to her husband, leaving them between the pages of his library. When she has written her final letter, she disappears. Twelve years’ later, daughter Flora tries to unravel the mystery. Literary fiction.

Book Club Reading

The Burton Book Club is currently reading The Glass House (2020) by Eve Chase.

This book will be discussed at our meeting on 15 August at 5pm, venue tbc.

Until next time, happy reading!

Answers to Bookmark Quiz

1E: Roald Dahl – Taste-tester for Cadbury’s

2F: Mark Twain – Invented a prototype of the bra-strap

3A: Salman Rushdie – Advertising executive who coined the advertising slogans: ‘Naughty but Nice’ (Milk Marketing Board campaign for fresh cream cakes) and ‘Irresistibubble’ (Aero chocolate).

4B: Maya Angelou – Streetcar conductor

5D: Tennessee Williams – Caretaker on a chicken ranch

6C: Ernest Hemingway – Professional bullfighter


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