RaveThe Times (UK)... shocking ... As in a fairytale, Springora lets the narrative unfold with horrid inevitability. It is compellingly awful to read through modern eyes. How can the lamb be allowed to wander off with the ogre? ... I confess to laughing aloud in places: Springora can be darkly hilarious ... rapier-sharp, written with restraint, elegance and brevity — and beautifully translated — has done what it set out to do. I hope it helped her to write it.
PositiveThe Times (UK)Lyman is impressive on skin psychology ... If skin is the house that contains us, then within this clever, optimistic book there are many floors. Lyman ranges impressively from Didier Anzieu, the psychoanalyst who talked about the concept of the skin-ego, the surface of the body as integral to the functions of the mind, to the bold but rather less cerebral 19th-century Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
Alyson J. McGregor
MixedThe Times (UK)The unconscious sex bias in medical knowledge...is fairly jaw-dropping stuff ... McGregor is kickass; a respected crusader. If you’re a woman, she’s definitely the doctor you’d want to see in an emergency or to install as head of medical education, but it’s fair to say she’s not the greatest writer. Her book is unashamedly activist; a how-to guide for obtaining better treatment. Certainly for a British audience, it suffers from stridency and repetition, and McGregor is not personally modest. But skip over the hype and the core content is hair-raising and potentially life-saving.
RaveThe Times (UK)What makes this such an unusual work, far removed from conventional biography, is that it’s as much Shapland’s personal story as it is McCullers’. In the process of recasting McCullers, Shapland also finds her own identity, interweaving the two stories ... impeccably young, modern and fresh, an assertion of lesbian liberation ... Political and at times polemical, it’s a call to arms to reappraise past lives ... beautifully and sparsely written.
MixedThe Times (UK)There’s a timely, positive, thought-provoking message here. It’s just a shame the book is hopelessly overwritten: 100 pages shorter, it would have had real punch. Little is bewilderingly prolix in her scene setting ... It’s bad enough, to be honest, to drive me to vegan baby food.
Caroline Criado Perez
RaveThe Times...a damning indictment of the institutional ignorance about women that is built into all aspects of life, and the unintentional discrimination it causes. Invisible Women is a game-changer; an uncompromising blitz of facts, sad, mad, bad and funny, making an unanswerable case and doing so brilliantly ... The most powerful part of her book focuses on the male bias of Silicon Valley, where our futures are designed ... I’m happy to report Criado Perez dodges those traditional feminist staples of worthiness and humourlessness. Despite grappling with a barrage of evidence — there are 100 pages of endnotes — she largely manages to avoid bludgeoning the reader ... the ambition and scope — and sheer originality — of Invisible Women is huge ... It should be on every policymaker, politician and manager’s shelves.
MixedThe Times (UK)This is [Hannah\'s] first venture into nonfiction, and is — though she will inevitably bear me a grudge for saying so — an odd thing: a concept stretched to its limits, three quarters jolly, chatty self-help jargon and one quarter a personal story straining to escape. I wish she’d just written a memoir instead ... Stripped down, it’s standard pop psychology to empower and protect sensitive people from hurt. To turn pain into strength ... Is it, though, a deft psychological exercise pretending to be superficial? Or just light life-coaching for her many Twitter followers, whose grudges she sought online and used as case studies? I don’t know. I found the format too irritating, the examples of petty slights and fall-outs as tedious as TV soap opera.
RaveThe TimesLucy Inglis’s fabulous book Milk of Paradise is the history of civilization as shaped by opium ... Milk of Paradise coolly exposes some of today’s global business brands as yesterday’s drug lords ... in her restrained, lucid prose ... Milk of Paradise is a triumph, epic in scale and full of humanity.
PositiveThe Times (UK)A funny, raw account of being at the receiving end. It’s an enjoyable romp with real hurt at its core, page-turning, gassy and sometimes impenetrably American ... But Ellin’s achievement is to lay bare the abuse of the duper, the \'mindf***\' . How does anyone recover from that scale of emotional betrayal?
PositiveThe Times (UK)A terrific book — even-handed and entertaining ... richly human and intellectually lucid, uncontaminated by cheap psychology. She lays bare Greer’s personal flaws, cruelties and venomous tongue, but her quiet triumph is to balance them with the majestic achievements. Kleinhenz comes to the conclusion that Greer is a genius: unique, prescient, with an extraordinary intellect and energy. And if she’s a bit mad, well, that too is a hallmark of genius. Best of all, Kleinhenz suggests, she showed women how to escape the curse of being nice.
Patrick Radden Keefe
RaveThe Sunday TimesPatrick Radden Keefe’s great achievement is to tell Northern Ireland’s 50 years of conflict through personal stories—a gripping and profoundly human explanation for a past that still denies and defines the future ... Only an outsider could have written a book this good. Irish or British writers are tainted by provenance ... [the book] handles the minefield scrupulously, dodges loaded vocabulary and allows people to condemn themselves by their actions ... Humanity shines through in the small anecdotes ... I can’t praise this book enough: it’s erudite, accessible, compelling, enlightening. I thought I was bored by Northern Ireland’s past until I read it.
PositiveThe Times UKAdrian Tinniswood, a respected chronicler of the country house, is back with a study of the domestic staff who stage-manage royal lives, from washing their bed linen to grooming their horses ... from a fun, elegant narrative, Tinniswood rather freezes as he moves into modern times. It’s a shame, for there are many resonances. Elizabeth II has about 1,200 employees, the same as Charles II in the 1660s, but an increase of one third on Victoria. The royal household may do different things — writing embarrassing memoirs, for one — but characters such as Bobo, the Queen’s dresser, Paul Burrell, Diana’s butler, and Charles’s former valet Michael Fawcett were cast centuries ago. Sadly, Tinniswood chooses not to go there.
RaveThe Times (UK)\"One of the wonders, reading this desperately sad but beautifully written book, is how Lisa Brennan-Jobs managed to survive at all ... The sum of such memories might have been maudlin, but Brennan-Jobs is rescued by unsentimental honesty, wry humour and literary grace. Her description of growing up strung between separated parents, who struggled to cope within their personal limitations, would be powerful on its own merits ... Unintentionally or otherwise, her book feels like an act of revenge. Brennan-Jobs may have sought merely to assert ownership of her father, good and bad, and claim her place on his stage. But that’s the trouble with memoirs: intimacies you find merit in, others misinterpret.\
PositiveThe TimesNo one can say Robb is not brave ... The border lands were my home for a while; he catches their introversion beautifully ... I am inclined to indulge him his kite flying about the wretched Celts. He has earned the romance. His skill as a writer is to understand, without being fey, the fourth dimension: peeling back the modern landscape to find buried stories and forgotten paths, metaphors for life. He has the ability to bring alive quirk and coincidence—although sometimes too much—in the resonance of place and time.