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Harriet Devine's Blog · 19h ago

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

There can be few greater causes for rejoicing in the world of books to beat the publication of a new addition to a series you love. And how I do love Elly Griffiths' Dr Ruth Galloway novels,...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 2d ago

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

I've spent my life, or a large part of it anyway, thinking one day I must read a novel by Isabel Allende. Why didn't I? No idea. Anyway, now I have, and I absolutely loved it. I believe this...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 4d ago

Woman with Book

This is called Dolce Far Niente (Sweet to do Nothing) by Auguste Toulemouche (1829-1890). He liked to paint society women in beautiful dresses - Emile Zola apparently described them as 'Toul...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 6d ago

A Widow for One Year by John Irving

I wonder if anybody reads John Irving any more? He had a huge success if the 1970s (I think) with The World According to Garp, and followed this up with several highly praised novels. I reme...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 1W ago

A couple of Shiny reviews

I've recently reviewed a couple of excellent books for Shiny New Books and thought you might like to have the links in case you haven't been over to visit the new-look Shiny. I absolutely lo...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 1W ago

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Audible)

The publication of Homegoing last month could not have come at a better time for me. I recently became fascinated by the life histories of African Americans, first through stumbling on a ser...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 1W ago

Girl with Book

All I have managed to discover about this lovely portrait is that it's by a Russian artist by the name of Nikolay Chernyshev (1885-1973). He's clearly not the 19th century Russian revolution...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 1W ago

Maigret Goes to School by Georges Simenon

Who doesn't love Maigret? How could anyone not? I've only read a handful of his vast output, and I've not encountered a dud yet. I rescued this one from a terrible fate the other day - it wa...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 2W ago

Woman Reading

This is apparently called The Parisians. Painted by Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931), who was Italian but lived in Paris for most of his life. Wikipedia tells me he was called 'The Master of Swi...
Harriet Devine's Blog · 3W ago

New Look Shiny

Today's the day when we are launching the new format of Shiny New Books. Here's what we say on the front page: We’re back! We have a new site design and a new way of sharing our content with...