User Profile

Stephanie Jane

Joined 1 year ago

Reader, #writer, wanderer, #vegan and #Gàidhlig learner.

Right now I'm collating all my book reviews, going back a decade or so, from across various sites onto #BookWyrm. (Apologies for glut posting at times!)

I've 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 my #KoFi - - 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 an #audiobook, I use (supporting the independent House Of Books & Friends). Sign up to with my link or code lfm483950 to give them a try. (If you start a monthly membership at signup I would earn a book credit.) I also have a vegan authored/themed books storefront @ Amazon UK

#CanalLife #DoctorWho

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Stephanie Jane's books

Currently Reading

Isaac Asimov: Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (1954) 4 stars

Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus is the third novel in the Lucky Starr …

The voice continued, "We do not think well of your people. They end life. They eat meat. It is bad to be intelligent and to eat meat. One who eats meat must end life to live, and an intelligent meat eater does more harm than a mindless one since he can think of more ways to end life. You have little tubes that can end the lives of many at one time." " But we do not kill V-frogs. " "You would if we let you."

Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus by  (Page 114 - 115)

An unexpected speech from 1954 in favour of vegetarianism!

Kate Vane: Brand New Friend (2018, Independently Published) 3 stars

Friend. Liar. Killer?

BBC foreign correspondent Paolo Bennett is exiled to a London desk – …

Satisfying conclusion

3 stars

Brand New Friend is the third of Kate Vane's novels that I have read and I love that all three have explored very different subjects and situations. Vane is a wonderfully versatile author! In Brand New Friend we are taken back to 1980s Leeds as seen through the eyes of then-university student Paolo. Prior to university, Paolo had just been Paul, but with his change of scene came a change of identity which he maintains to the present day. This novel begins with Paolo discovering that he wasn't the only one of his group to have lied about their identity: Mark the fervent animal rights activist was actually Mark the undercover policeman. I found Paolo's reaction to the news interesting as he begins to investigate the truth about Mark. Yet were the two men's subterfuges really as different as Paolo would like to believe?

I liked the 1980s storyline in …

Jackie Carreira: Sleeping Through War (2018, Troubador Publishing Limited) 5 stars

It is May 1968. Students are rioting, civil rights are being fought and died for, …


5 stars

When I first marked Sleeping Through War as finished on my Goodreads I rated it as four stars because I had enjoyed the read and appreciated Carreira's approach to portraying this monumental moment in history. That was a couple of days ago though and the more I have been mulling the book over for this review, the better I think it is! Consequently I've upped that star rating to a five.

Sleeping Through War has four narrative threads which are connected by their time period and subject matter, but don't actually link up. I did spend quite a bit of time wondering how the women would end up together, but that isn't how this novel works so don't distract yourself in the same way! Amalia is a single mother struggling to support herself and her young son in Lisbon; Rose is a West Indian care home nurse in London; Mrs …

Andras Forgach, Paul Olchvary: No Live Files Remain (Hardcover, 2018, Scribner) 3 stars

For readers of The Lives of Others and The Reader, and based on a true …

Essentially nonfiction

3 stars

A novel in the sense that some scenes have been fleshed out with imagined detail and dialogue, No Live Files Remain reads as a nonfiction memoir or history book through which Hungarian writer András Forgách works out his shock from discovering his mother's double life. Her meetings with her handlers are interspersed with the actual reports written by 'Mrs Papai' (Bruria), Forgách's father (also an informant and spy), and higher members of the Kadar regime. I found this switching of viewpoints quite difficult to follow at first although the use of clearly different fonts helps a lot. The writing, however, gives an atmospheric impression of Budapest at the time and of the paranoia within the family and Hungary itself. The Forgáchs are Jews, Hebrew-speaking Bruria having been born and raised in Palestine, so the regime is keen for insights in Israel and Zionism. Political and ideological clashes swirl all through …

Karolina Wojciak: Identity unknown (Paperback, 2018, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform) 3 stars

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some readers, reader discretion …

I wanted more depth

3 stars

I didn't realise until I came to write up this review that Identify Unknown is self-published. I love the cover art which is what first attracted me to the novel, and the whole publication is very professional. What let this book down for me though is, unfortunately, Wojciak's writing style. One the one hand, this is a thriller so I expected lots of action which we do get, however I also wanted at least a little description and this is almost completely absent. For example, I have no idea what most of the locations looked like. I also struggled to understand much of the main characters motivation. Identity Unknown is written from three points of view, with two of these - Krystian and Lena - taking it in turns to speak directly to us for the majority of the story. Lena is a spoilt, bratty rich teenager who frequently irritated …

Christopher Stratakis: Appointment with Yesterday (2017, Christ Stratakis) 3 stars

A poignant and compelling first novel, Appointment with Yesterday tells the story of Yanni, a …


3 stars

Appointment With Yesterday was written by Greek-born lawyer and author Christopher Stratakis who himself emigrated to America and this novel draws heavily on the author's own life for its essential narrative. I found this realism to be a double-edged sword - good in that the events depicted have a strong sense of authenticity about them, but I was disappointed by the book's structure which sees too many happenings crammed in one after another so, for me, the American chapters especially felt more like diary notes than a fully realised novel.

I did enjoy reading about Yanni's childhood in Greece. Island life is nicely evoked in its frugal simplicity and I thought Stratakis captured the characters of Yanni and his grandmother well. The horrors of the wartime years were difficult to read about and obviously harrowing to the villagers and islanders themselves. I hadn't previously known much about Greece during World …