Guardian and Observer book reviews (without Amazon lookup)

see blog post for more information

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Review by Lucy Scholes - from The Observer

This early feminist classic is also an enchanting tale, writes Lucy Scholes

Full review

Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding

Review by Anthony Cummins - from The Observer

A mute man sets off in search of a childhood friend in a sweeping tale set in 40s Romania, writes Anthony Cummins

Full review

Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being by Paul Durcan

Review by Kate Kellaway - from The Observer

From the ephemera of romance to suicidal tendencies, Durcan's 22nd collection blends melody, horror and wry humour, says Kate Kellaway

Full review

Hitler: A Short Biography by AN Wilson

Review by Nick Cohen - from The Observer

AN Wilson illuminates Hitler's personal problems but is poor on the roots of nazism, writes Nick Cohen

Full review

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Review by Miranda Sawyer and Sara Maitland - from The Observer

Susan Cain is worried that society is too keen to promote outgoing personalities. Miranda Sawyer and Sara Maitland take issue with her new book

Full review

Smut: Two Unseemly Stories by Alan Bennett

Review by JS Tennant - from The Observer

Though as funny as ever, Alan Bennett never quite breaks out of his trademark cosiness, says JS Tennant

Full review

The Blue Door by Lise Kristensen

Review by Kristen Treen - from The Observer

Lise Kristensen bears witness and finds closure in this unflinching account of her family's time in a Japanese PoW camp, writes Kristen Treen

Full review

Disappearing Home by Deborah Morgan

Review by Sophia Martelli - from The Observer

Deborah Morgan's colourful tale of a neglected 11-year-old is a better class of misery lit, writes Sophia Martelli

Full review

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Review by Patrick Ness - from The Guardian

Patrick Ness on an American Narnia

Full review

The Cove by Ron Rash

Review by Ursula K Le Guin - from The Guardian

A remote Carolina village during the first world war is a lonely place to be.
By Ursula K Le Guin

Full review

Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor by Charles Allen

Review by Samanth Subramanian - from The Guardian

Samanth Subramanian on the Buddhist emperor who united India

Full review

The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood

Review by Samantha Harvey - from The Guardian

Samantha Harvey on a novel of ideas

Full review

The Great Divide: History and Human Nature in the Old World and the New by Peter Watson

Review by Tom Holland - from The Guardian

Tom Holland on why civilisation is split between shepherds and shamans

Full review

Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird by Tim Birkhead

Review by David Wheatley - from The Guardian

The mysteries of the avian world entrance David Wheatley

Full review

Merckx: Half-Man, Half-Bike by William Fotheringham

Review by Graham Robb - from The Guardian

Graham Robb is swept up by the story of the 'greatest cyclist in the world'

Full review

Luck: What It Means and Why It Matters by Ed Smith

Review by Tim Lewis - from The Observer

The ex-cricketer challenges the self-help evangelists who argue that we can always control our destiny. It's a fair knock, says Tim Lewis

Full review

Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of the World's Most Mysterious Continent by Gabrielle Walker

Review by Peter Forbes - from The Guardian

Peter Forbes on a continent that is much more than ice and penguins

Full review

Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship by Richard Aldous

Review by John Kampfner - from The Observer

The Thatcher-Reagan double act was far from being the love-in of myth, discovers John Kampfner

Full review

Language: The Cultural Tool by Daniel Everett

Review by Tim Radford - from The Guardian

Tim Radford on the bitter arguments about a language instinct

Full review