Reviewers find Paul's Self-Portrait picture perfect
2nd December 2019
Critics have painted the town red over Celia Paul's Self-Portrait (Jonathan Cape), declaring it "fascinating", a "myth about the misuse of fame and the male ego", and "pitilessly honest"
"Her views, both intimate and yet more distant and independent, enable her to recall hidden aspects of Freud’s life..."
— The Guardian
3.8 out of 5
"Watson’s splendid book combines great evocative power (and flashes of sharp humour) with the ethical authority of the best history writing...."
4.5 out of 5
"this archival critique and collection of interviews is one of the most profound deconstructions of UK immigration policy that exists..."
The Eighth Life
Nino Haratischvili, Charlotte Collins, Ruth Martin
"Astonishing... a landmark epic..."
Yours, for Probably Always
"Curated with valuable context by Janet Somerville, a literature teacher in Toronto, it’s her own love letter of sorts to a woman she calls “a wonder”...."
— The Observer
"Marcus’s book is impressively reported, highly insightful and a rollicking good read..."
— The New York Times
"(a) darkly transcendent novel filled with phantasmagoric visions, body horror and tortured beings traversing a blasted desert hellscape..."
They Will Have to Die Now
"Verini’s front-line reporting is exhilarating..."
— The Daily Telegraph
4 out of 5
Now We Have Your Attention
"The author’s passion – and the defiance of his subjects – is infectious..."
Fuck Yeah, Video Games
"Now and again a joke lands – but these jokes are saturation-bombed in the manner of a boss-fight in Ikaruga...."
"The strength of O’Brien’s work, apart from lyricism, has always been its reliable specificity...."
— London Review of Books
4.48 out of 5
"This devastatingly scrupulous account of Jack the Ripper’s victims exposes the misogyny at the heart of the myth..."
4.22 out of 5
The DIvers' Game
"Here really is a world, thrillingly imagined and under the surface entirely like our own..."
— The Sunday Telegraph
The Letters of Cole Porter
Cole Porter, Cliff Eisen, Dominic McHugh
"offers disappointingly few glimpses of the gaiety and charm so abundantly evident in the songs..."
2.6 out of 5
Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies
Leif Garrett, Chris Epting
"The book is packed with offbeat, startling anecdotes...."
— The Independent
The Captain and the Glory
"The pot-shots are bitingly funny. ..."
F**k No!: How to stop saying yes, when y...
"This self-help guide is full of puns..."
Hitler: A Life
Peter Longerich (Former Professor of Modern German History, Royal Holloway, University of London)
"Longerich’s imposing volume (first published in German in 2015) is the third but perhaps not final step in a prodigious project in the prosopography of Nazi power. ..."
— Times Literary Supplement
2.75 out of 5
The Topeka School
Ben Lerner (Y)
"There are many things in The Topeka School that are more eloquent than words..."
4.28 out of 5
"feels at once more real – because less cartoony – and more sentimental than her earlier books..."
4.27 out of 5
"As with her previous novels, Vickers has a keen ear for dialogue and there are moments of wry humour..."
3.38 out of 5
"Tehran Children tackles the difficulties of recounting history from the perspective of today’s fluctuating political orthodoxy...."
Crime in Progress
Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch
"A weary, regretful deja vu pervades Crime in Progress..."
Anne Cathrine Bomann, Caroline Waight
" a shrewd, skilful tale of loneliness, the search for meaning and a place in the world, and the problems of truly relating to another human being..."
Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front
"If Forgotten Bastards makes me very queasy, it’s because, 70 years on, everyone is still squaring up to each other...."
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister
"Chang uses a gripping and emotional personal story to draw Western readers into the history of China..."
4.17 out of 5
Make It Scream, Make It Burn
"these essays can only be defined by what they lack..."
— The Spectator
3.5 out of 5
Me: Elton John Official Autobiography
"Me ends up, in every sense, fabulous..."
4.37 out of 5
Erika Fatland, Kari Dickson
"This engaging book describes the Norwegian author’s travels round the five Central Asian Stans..."
The God Child
Nana Oforiatta Ayim
"Intriguing debut about life as a Ghanaian immigrant..."
— Irish Times
A. D. Miller
"I was a big fan of Miller's debut, the Booker-shortlisted Snowdrops. This, his second novel, is set in Ukraine at the time of the Orange Revolution, and in the present day..."
— The Bookseller
The Water Dancer
My Dark Vanessa
Kate Elizabeth Russell
"Russell's debut stood out for me in an extremely strong month for debut fiction..."
"when her beloved father received a terminal diagnosis, she had to relive all her training in the most personal way possible...."
"An outstanding debut—Vintage's lead for 2020—and not to be missed...."
"Spotlight Books is a new initiative from Myriad Books, Creative Future and New Writing South to discover talented new writers who might otherwise be under-represented..."
Aalfred and Aalbert
"this is the quirky tale of a blossoming relationship from one of my favourite contemporary picture book creators..."
"This is what this utterly riveting, often darkly comic, and astonishingly honest debut memoir ..."
You're Not Listening
"(a) powerful and potentially life-changing book—a Vintage lead title for 2020—the US journalist author argues that in this age of technology and political division, actually just listening is more important than ever..."
"a powerful read..."
"In this accomplished group biography Wade beautifully evokes the emotional texture of their lives as she relates how each of these women sought a space where they could live, love and work independently..."
People Like Us
" this bracing book... combines memoir with hard-hitting analysis..."
Last Stop Auschwitz
Eddy de Wind
"an extraordinary account of his life as a prisoner, and a near real-time record of his daily struggle to survive..."
How To Break Up With Fast Fashion
"A fun, non-preachy guide to changing the way you shop..."
One Of Us Is Next
"McManus is a true master of plot and intrigue, with an ensemble cast of complicated, relatable teenagers...."
Such a Fun Age
"A sharply observed and well-crafted debut that explores race, class and privilege in contemporary Philadelphia..."
The Boy Who Fooled the World
"Thompson's writing is full of heart, warmth and humour but she's not afraid to address thought-provoking questions about the illusion of wealth and what it means to be happy..."
Come a Little Closer
"keeps the reader guessing..."
— The Sunday Times
"The overall effect is of being in the unpleasantly insistent confidences of someone who, erroneously, fancies himself a tremendously slick yarn-spinner...."
— Daily Mail
"The narrator of Suncatcher comes of age in Colombo in 1964, against a backdrop of political chaos and whispers of revolution..."
Joseph J Ellis
"his book is necessary, and part of the tragedy is that those who need it most are less likely to read it, or to learn from it if they do...."
The Beast of Buckingham Palace:
David Walliams, Tony Ross
The Siberian Dilemma
Martin Cruz Smith
"Cruz Smith at his best: ace storytelling with dry, laconic dialogue and a crumpled but courageous hero...."
— Financial Times
3.88 out of 5
Christmas in Austin
"This is up there with the best contemporary Christmas novels ..."
3.83 out of 5
"a handy, amusing and, thankfully, light-touch precis, tracking the musician’s high modernist influences..."
3.64 out of 5
"Despite the novel’s wit and sharpness, there is a fundamentally serious point to it, and not just about body dysmorphia and unrealistic expectations..."
— The Scotsman
3 out of 5
4.64 out of 5
4.56 out of 5
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
3.33 out of 5
On Chapel Sands
4.52 out of 5
3.94 out of 5
The Making of Poetry
4.18 out of 5
Diary of a Somebody
3.36 out of 5
Asha and the Spirit Bird
The Confessions of Frannie Langton
3.77 out of 5
4.3 out of 5
J. O. Morgan
The Cut Out Girl
Bart van Es
4.67 out of 5
To Throw Away Unopened
4.6 out of 5
Meet Me at the Museum
An Unremarkable Body
Pieces of Me
Francesca Cartier Brickell
"the story of the family’s rise from simple artisans to originators, creators, super salesmen and friends to the rich and famous is extraordinary..."
Mutual Admiration Society
"paint(s) a rich portrait of the enduring friendship between four of them...."
Hitler: Only the World Was Enough
"Simms is mesmerized by his own reading of Hitler’s ideology..."
2.8 out of 5
Think, Write, Speak
Vladimir Nabokov, Brian Boyd, Anastasia Tolstoy
"The writer’s genius for nailing a subject in a sentence lives on in his stinging reviews and defensive interviews..."
Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy
A. N. Wilson (Author)
"Wilson, however, argues persuasively that Albert's many talents helped reshape the monarchy..."
"You can dip into this book anywhere and will find delights: all football fans aged from nine to 90 will love it...."
My Life and Rugby
"His gifts of leadership and organisation are clearly remarkable: this is a man you would follow into the jungle. Or anywhere . . ...."
In Case of Any News
"Read this book, which is wise, brave and often funny..."
"This is a novel that demands much of its readers, and gives much in return...."
— New Statesman
"a well-worth-struggling-for drugalogue..."
2.64 out of 5
"Buy it as a Christmas present to inspire nieces and nephews with an ambition to be a force for good in a world that is still ripe with adventure...."
Plagued by Fire
"painstakingly researched, hugely digressive, wildly overwritten but ultimately moving..."
2.44 out of 5
Lady in Waiting
"a record, funny and sometimes dazzling, of a way of life now almost disappeared..."
The Windrush Betrayal
"Her reporting proves why an independent free press is so vital for democracy..."
The Cost of These Dreams
"the writing is so sharp it doesn’t matter much that we may be unfamiliar with many of the baseball, American football and basketball stars under Thompson’s microscope..."
— The Times
"full of passion and candour and takes the reader right into the dressing room..."
In Sunshine or Shadow
"a worthwhile addition to the pugilistic library...."
Commander in Cheat
"hilarious and shocking... I thought my opinion of the 45th president could not get any lower. I was wrong. ..."
Philippe Lancon, Steven Rendall
"More than an account of a semi-recovery, it is also a magnificent tribute. Not just to Lançon’s murdered journalistic colleagues, but to the whole threatened tribe..."
"why heed the counsel, however urgent, of someone who is not prepared to reveal who they are?..."