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Joined 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Reader, writer, wanderer, vegan and Gàidhlig learner.

At the moment I'm collating all my book reviews from across various sites onto BookWyrm, going back a decade or so.

I have been been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I love discovering new authors from all around the world and am happiest when engrossed in a compelling novel with tea and cake to hand.

I also sporadically review books on Stephanie Jane - - it's a vegan-themed hub with book and product reviews, badly photographed recipes, and my little Veganuary memoir, Finally a Vegan, for sale in the shop. You can also find me

If you like audiobooks, I use for mine supporting the independent House Of Books & Friends bookshop at the same time. Sign up to with my link or code lfm483950 to give them a try. (If you opt to start a monthly membership at signup I would earn an audiobook credit.)

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Sìne's books

To Read (View all 9)

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2023 Reading Goal

80% complete! Sìne has read 97 of 120 books.

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So has told the Torygraph that Thatcher 'set loose our natural entrepreneurialism' was a PM who effected meaningful change to the UK.

I guess this is a pretty clear pitch to voters, but if he really believes this, the cost in support may not have been worth it.

From privatisation to , Thatcher's 'meaningful change' laid the foundations for the crises we now confront.

If he cannot see this, then those who've been warning about him are being proved right!

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@TheNational "Keir Starmer's praise of Margaret Thatcher an 'insult' to Scotland," says Humza Yousaf."

"SNP MP John Nicolson added: "Thatcher destroyed Scotland’s key industries, sold off our public housing stock, gave away our national utilities in an orgy of price hiking privatisations, and siphoned off our oil riches.

"Norway grew wealthy as Scotland was despoiled. This is who Sir Keir lauds? No!".

I Remember Abbu (Paperback, 2019, Amazon Crossing) 5 stars

A touching story of war, family, innocence, and memory from one of the top Bengali …

This story should be a modern classic of war fiction

5 stars

At first I wasn't sure how well I would get on with a novel, well, a novella really, which is predominantly narrated by such a young protagonist. As it turned out, I felt that the concept worked brilliantly well with the child's obvious naivete about what was really happening in the world around them being such a powerful contrast to the encroaching war. Through their eyes, Dhaka is a magical place of brightly coloured flowers, butterflies and fairies, but for older readers such as myself, the excitement of many hundreds of people marching with their brand new nation's flag is tinged with the expectation of imminent violence.

Set in 1971, I Remember Abbu is a poignant rendition of Bangladesh's fight for independence from Pakistan. A conflict born of Britain's failure to understand what we were unleashing with our ill-thought-out Partition of India, Azad shows how the war was long in …

The Young Woman and the Sea (EBook, 2021, Europe Comics) 4 stars

Catherine Meurisse once again draws upon her memories. Her stay in a far-off, strange-yet-familiar land, …


4 stars

The Young Woman And The Sea is a graphic novel on a very different emotional scale to the previous one by Catherine Meurisse, Lightness, that I read. That work was driven by grief whereas The Young Woman And The Sea focuses on artistic discovery and has a lovely gentle humour to its narrative. Inspired and partially based on Meurisse's own sojourn in Japan, I loved her recollections of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, and the beautiful way in which she portrays Japanese landscapes. The cartoon-style depictions of human characters - which I now know to be typical of Meurisse - contrast so effectively with her gorgeous natural scenes. In fact, there are several single page images which would be stunning if framed and hung on a wall. I was amazed to find them within a graphic novel!

There is a kind of artistic coming of age story in The Young Woman …

French rhapsody (2016) 3 stars

Antoine Laurain's new novel combines his trademark charm with a satirical take on modern France. …

Not as good as I had hoped

3 stars

On spotting French Rhapsody at a campsite book exchange I remembered how much I had enjoyed reading Antoine Laurain's previous novel, The Red Notebook, so eagerly picked it out. Unfortunately French Rhapsody didn't appeal to me anywhere near as much, actually leaving me more feeling like I did after reading A Long Blue Monday by Erhard von Buren. There are similarities to The Red Notebook in that Laurain explores ideas of what might have been and the narrative is again driven by a lost object, but Laurain didn't seem to employ the same light whimsy touch that I previously appreciated. There are humorous moments, but also a lot of slow scenes where aging men bemoan how the success they achieved isn't the success they wanted. I could have done without several pages of a far right extremist's speech as well. Initially Laurain seems to ridicule this character's bigotry, but by …

The Art of Traveling Strangers (Paperback, Subplot Publishing) 4 stars

It’s the 1980s, and art historian Claire Markham reels from a series of heartbreaking losses. …

A wonderfully rewarding novel

4 stars

The Art of Traveling Strangers was a wonderfully rewarding novel to read and I am delighted to have had this opportunity to review a copy. Leading character, Claire, has such an infectious enthusiasm for the historic artworks that she and Viv go to see that I frequently found myself wishing that I could follow in their footsteps, together with such a knowledgeable guide. I hadn't considered myself a Renaissance or Medieval art fan prior to reading The Art of Traveling Strangers, but now I think I just never had the right teacher!

I loved both Claire and Viv as characters to spend time with. Neither is actually particularly likeable as a person, but the complexity and depth that Disigny gives to each one made them feel convincingly authentic and I really appreciated being able to watch how each helped the other to overcome their personal demons. This novel is set …

Return to Blackwater House (2022, Hodder & Stoughton) 4 stars

You can run from your past, but you can't hide forever...

Rebecca Bray has moved …

Psychological thriller

4 stars

Return To Blackwater House is the fourth of Vikki Patis' books that I have enjoyed. It features a minor character, Kate, from her earlier thriller novel, The Diary, now in a significant role as the Family Liason Officer assigned to Ava's case when the teenager mysteriously disappears from a New Year's sleepover. Other than this link, however, the two novels are standalone stories. I'd highly recommend reading them both!

While I didn't feel that Return to Blackwater House had quite the same degree of tension as The Diary, it is still a cracking good read with an original and convincingly plausible plotline. We see most of the story from Rebecca's perspective with Kate taking over narrating for some chapters. I loved being inside Rebecca's thoughts because she is somewhat of an unreliable narrator and carries a lot of demons from her neglected childhood. Patis deeply explores how our formative experiences …

The visitors (2015, Charnwood) 4 stars

Born in late Victorian England on her father's hop farm, Adeliza Golding lost her hearing …

A rewarding and historically interesting read

4 stars

I've followed Rebecca Mascull's Facebook page - where she is wickedly funny - for ages, but have only just now gotten around to reading one of her novels, her first in fact, The Visitors. It is a genre-defying blend of historical fiction, ghost story and mystery tale which I found to be wonderfully evocative of its era and a strongly compelling read.

The first half of the book where Liza recalls her childhood from its earliest years through to meeting Lottie and her subsequent discovery of her full potential was my favourite part. Liza is a fascinating narrator and I was in awe of Mascull's talent in vividly portraying her world to me. I felt as though Liza was actually speaking directly to me, rather than me 'just' reading a book! This immediacy seemed somewhat muted once The Visitors location shifts to Boer War South Africa, however this was possibly …

Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day (EBook, Titan) 4 stars

Jump on board the TARDIS with FOUR all-new short tales of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh …

Fun quartet of stories

4 stars

This second in the Free Comic Book Day series contains four short stories, each one featuring the ninth, tenth, eleventh of twelfth Doctors. The stories are each only a few pages long so no great depth to them, but I liked how the storytellers and artists have captured the Doctors' essential personalities.