‘The War That Saved My Life’ by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

It’s World War two but nine-year-old Ada has never been allowed to leave their one-room flat because her mother is embarrassed by her daughter’s clubfoot. But when Ada’s younger brother Jamie is evacuated from London, Ada sneaks away to join him. They arrive in a country village and meet Susan Smith who looks after them…

‘THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS’ by John Buchan

Fine japes, what? Bally Jerry picking a bunfight, Yankee spook rumbles the game and tells our man. Seppo ends up tits-up pearside with a dagger in his gusset; framed! Chap ends up jollying orf to Jockland chased by the rozzers. Mmeeeooooowww! What?! That’s not the RAF! Bally Jerries again! Escape! Gent pops orf home for tea…

‘BETWEEN THEM’ by Richard Ford

Ford often ascribes his slowness of reading to dyslexia, but I don’t believe him; there must be 48 hours in his day to our 24. He also claims to be a slow writer, and likewise his books should be read slowly. To which I add, Richard Ford books must be held, savoured, and not listened…

‘BAKING WITH KAFKA: Comics’ by Tom Gauld

If you like reading, have been giving writing a go, hold mild opinions/attitudes about politics, or are bemused about modern (online) life, you need this book not to feel alone in this world, to know your sentiments/reactions/feelings are shared by many. Whether the tiny book is filled with gentle humour or LOL moments will depend…

“GENERAL RELATIVITY FOR BABIES” by Chris Ferrie

A simple, concise explanation for an oft-over-complicated theory, this is a lovely introduction to the study of physics for babies living with bewildered, perplexed, or mystified grownups, particularly those in need of explanation with pictures. Light-weight board, rounded corners, and wipeable pages make this volume human-friendly.

‘VAN GOGH’S EAR: The true story’, by Bernadette Murphy

Whether Vincent van Gogh cut off his entire ear or only the lobe is the central theme of the book, but the investigative approach was what made this book different from other van Gogh biographies, which usually rely on anecdotes, letters, psychological/medical opinions or scientific analysis of paints and brush strokes. The book could have…