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.

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

Snappy as she does it

One of the things I like most about Nancy Mitford’s writing is her cheerful willingness to set down in print her transitory moments of vitriol. Things that you or I … Continue reading

July 19, 2013 · 3 Comments

An Exquisite Sense Of What Is Beautiful, by J David Simons

An Exquisite Sense Of What Is Beautiful is an accomplished and finely structured novel that takes a wide sweep across the world and through time, from London to Japan and … Continue reading

July 12, 2013 · 1 Comment

Beyond the German Garden

At last the world has a decent scholarly study of (some of) the novels of Elizabeth von Arnim. She has legions of fans, but no biography remains in print, and … Continue reading

July 10, 2013 · 7 Comments

May We Be Forgiven

May We Be Forgiven, A. M. Homes’s Women’s Prize for Fiction-winning sixth novel, opens with a horrific car crash, an affair, a murder, and a divorce. I won’t lie: by … Continue reading

July 5, 2013 · 9 Comments

Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi (Translated by Adriana Hunter)

‘I like songs. They say things I can’t seem to say. If I didn’t have these rotten teeth I’d sing a lot more, a lot more often, I’d sing my … Continue reading

June 5, 2013 · 6 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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