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We at The English Bookshop are very proud to announce that Helena D. of Bokhora and Dark Places fame will start blogging with us occasionally.

Helena’s 2014 summer reading list (the tentative version)


So what if the temperatures are a bit lower than what you'd like for this time of the year? So what if the shelves are a-bursting with books you haven't found the time to read (yet - always yet - hope eternally does spring after all!)? I say it is high time to start planning that favourite activity I like to call "summer reading". Which is basically reading, which is when you think about it really as everyday as, say, brushing your teeth, only way more fun.

Missing You


Harlan Coben; Missing YouTo me, spring hasn't really arrived until I have managed to get my paws on the latest Harlan Coben standalone. This has become a ritual of some ten odds years: me reading Coben while watching the White Witch slowly yet mercilessly thawing.



Neil Gaiman – The Ocean at the End of the Lane There is a quote in Neil Gaiman's latest novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane that, perhaps unwittingly

Best of 2013


As I'm writing this, 2013 is stifling a yawn and getting ready to go to sleep. Really deep – c'mon, name that lyric, you know you want to! And no, this time it is not, shockingly enough, a Morrissey lyric…

What to talk about when we talk about Morrissey: an Autobiography review of sorts


Morrissey - Autobiography

Dear reader,

Let us establish something right off the bat, just so we are clear. This is NOT going to be a conventional review of Morrissey’s Autobiography.

Reading Survey!!!!


What are you reading right now? Just finishing off Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda, the first book to be published on Dennis Lehane's new imprint. Incidentally - accidentally, I should think not... - it is rather reminiscent of Mystic River, although in a more ethnically diverse Brooklyn setting. Gritty, real, and beautifully written with a terrific sense of place.

What will you be reading next? Night Film by Marisha Pessl, finally!

Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda Mystic River by Dennis Lehane Night Film by Marisha Pessl

What Helena read in the summer of 2013 (the shortlisted version)

The Year of the Ladybird: A Ghost Story by Graham Joyce

The effortlessly genre defying Joyce's new novel takes place in the blistering summer of 1976. David, a young student, has come to the coastal town of Skegness to work at a holiday camp and, hopefully, watch his life begin.



For this month, I thought I'd try something new and post shorter reviews of some of the books I've been reading lately/am reading at the moment. All of the titles are, I daresay, ideal for the warmer season, whether you're looking for spine-tingling horror, light, fun beach reads, or simply a plain old good book. Enjoy! I will be writing all about my summer reading plans shortly, so stay tuned for that!

Helena on the Edgar Awards!

On 2 May, this year's Edgar Award winners will be announced during a big banquet in New York City (would have loved to have tickets, incidentally). I have read the seven nominees in the Best Novel category and found some real gems, made several new friends, reunited with old ones, and, in a few cases, been mildly disappointed.



With 2013 already well underway, am I correct in thinking it is high
time to focus on some of the most anticipated new books of the year?
Why yes, of course I am! This is in no way a definitive list, seeing
a) how new releases tend to keep popping up throughout the year, b)
how some of the best reads of the year will be dark horses; titles and
authors that somehow have managed to slip under my radar, and c) how
there is something to be said for spontaneity. It is, however,
somewhat consistent with my current literary cravings. So, without