Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

A Palladian Wreath of Hide and Seek

Elizabeth Taylor is one of my very favourite writers. Having undertaken to write about her for VL, I tried to find some way to explain the extraordinary nature of her work … Continue reading

May 15, 2014 · 15 Comments


Inclinations is a strange little tale about the charming Mabel Collins, who bewitches Miss Geraldine O’Brookomore, the noted biographer and aesthete. With Mrs Collins’s agreement they are to go to … Continue reading

May 12, 2014 · 3 Comments

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

It is years since I read Cat’s Eye. It was the second Atwood novel I read, in the summer of 1999, between high school and university. Looking back, it was the … Continue reading

April 7, 2014 · 4 Comments

Irish short stories

Disclaimer: I know nothing about Irish fiction as a taught subject. This is the first time I’ve read any, apart from a bit of James Joyce and Molly Keane.  So I’m … Continue reading

March 25, 2014 · 1 Comment

Moss Witch and Other Stories

This is a collection of short stories that draw on science to create their plots. Or, this is a collection of interesting scientific possibilities illustrated by fiction. Whichever way you … Continue reading

January 29, 2014 · 1 Comment

Strange Italian worlds

Frisch & Co, a German publisher specialising in e-books in English translation, has an eye for quirky novelists writing in languages that anglophones rarely explore. I read two of their … Continue reading

January 8, 2014 · 5 Comments

Favorite Books of 2013 (last half)

Our Christmas break seemed to sneak up on me, so I didn’t get a chance to share my favorite books from the latter part of the year. So in the … Continue reading

January 6, 2014 · 2 Comments

A Vulpes Random on Voices from the Past

(It’s such a trite title, but it’s meaningful. Stay with me.) You know how it is: you get caught by an idealistic buying urge, plus a very reasonable sale price, … Continue reading

December 7, 2013 · 1 Comment

Dear Life by Alice Munro

I first became aware of Alice Munro in the first year of my undergraduate English Literature degree. One of her collections, Open Secrets, was on our set text list and her … Continue reading

November 26, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Friday Gospels, by Jenn Ashworth

Since this is my final review of 2013, and I’ve spent most of the year reviewing children’s books, I’m taking this opportunity to talk about an adult novel. It’s a … Continue reading

November 20, 2013 · 6 Comments

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: Symbols, Associations and Chinua Achebe’s famous critique: Part One

I have been wrestling with this piece for a couple of weeks now – and my deadline was today. As it approaches three in the afternoon, my post has grown … Continue reading

November 15, 2013 · 6 Comments

Not So Quiet by Helen Zenna Smith

Not So Quiet purports to be the diary of Helen Zenna Smith, a young woman who becomes one of “England’s Splendid Daughters”, an volunteer ambulance driver at the French front … Continue reading

November 14, 2013 · 12 Comments

Belong To Me by Marisa de los Santos

It’s a cliché for a reader to say they wish a book wouldn’t end, but sometimes cliches are true, as in this case with this novel. Most of the characters … Continue reading

September 24, 2013 · 2 Comments

What Lies Within by Tom Vowler

We all lie, whether we admit it or not. We lie to ourselves in self preservation or self-justification, we lie by omission – choosing to stay silent rather than speak … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · 9 Comments



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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