I have been slack about posting up the book reviews I’ve written in newspapers and magazines here, so here’s a wee round up of ones I’ve missed of late. I’ve written a lot more Big Issue reviews, but they’re slow at appearing online, so I’ve just linked to what’s there for now.
First up is The Serpent’s Promise by Steve Jones, which I reviewed for the Independent on Sunday. This was ‘the bible retold as science’, which I thought was a pretty stupid idea and made for an annoying book. Sorry.
Next is Frans de Waal’s The Bonobo and the Atheist, again in Indy on Sun, which was a fascinating look at the evolutionary roots of morality. I cockily began the review ‘As an atheist…’, as if anyone gives a fuck. Good book, though.
Fobbit by David Abrams next – an Iraq war satire, but one I didn’t really think worked – too broad, too kindly, not cutting enough. But what the hell do I know?
I really wanted to love Frank Bill’s Donnybrook, as I thought his debut story collection was amazing. I’m afraid I didn’t think the novel worked so well, as I felt it went over the top into cartoonishness. Ach.
Over at The Big Issue, I loved Emma Brockes’ She Left Me the Gun and Pippa Goldschmidt’s The Falling Sky – one a great memoir with the feel of a thriller, the other a thoughtful novel about love, loss and astronomy.
And finally, at The Herald, I really enjoyed Neil Shubin’s The Universe Within, a good piece of pop-science writing rounding up, you know, how we’re all made of stardust and that, man.