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.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Dana is a twenty-six year old black woman living in California in 1976. She is married to Kevin, who is white, and who rejected his racist family to marry Dana. … Continue reading

March 6, 2017 · 2 Comments

A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray

Sometimes it feels like we are going backwards. In the introduction of her “personal selection” of the 21 women who shaped the history of Britain, Jenni Murray reminds us that … Continue reading

February 6, 2017 · 1 Comment

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Margot Lee Shetterly’s father was an engineer, defying the odds stacked against him in segregation-era America. As she says in the introduction to her book, “as late as 1970, just … Continue reading

December 5, 2016 · 2 Comments

You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams – Alan Cumming

Last year I listened to the unabridged audio version of Alan Cumming’s memoir Not My Father’s Son. It was an incredibly moving book about the abuse he suffered at the hands … Continue reading

November 23, 2016 · 2 Comments

Autumn – Ali Smith

“All across the country, people felt it was the wrong thing. All across the country, people felt it was the right thing. All across the country, people felt they’d really … Continue reading

November 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante (translated by Ann Goldstein)

I have finally got around to reading My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock, you will already know that this is the first of … Continue reading

November 2, 2016 · 2 Comments

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

“My love for my mother is like an axe. It cuts very deep.” Set on the Andalusian coast, where 25-year-old Sofia has accompanied her mother in an attempt to get … Continue reading

October 26, 2016 · 1 Comment

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet is one of the biggest surprises of this year’s literary prize season. Published by small Scottish imprint Contraband, it’s turned out to be … Continue reading

October 12, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Late Victorian London is a place in flux. It’s been two or three decades since the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and the world of scientific investigation, … Continue reading

September 12, 2016 · 2 Comments

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

First, allow me a small amount of gloating. I am usually hopeless at reading the latest releases at the time they are actually released. I’m very good at reading things … Continue reading

February 10, 2016 · 4 Comments

The Bees by Laline Paull

I’ll be honest, I had no idea how this book was going to work. It’s a novel about a bee. Set in a beehive. All the characters are bees (plus … Continue reading

January 15, 2016 · 4 Comments

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

Back in July, I wrote about Sarah Hilary’s prize-winning debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin. If you’re into crime fiction, I still strongly recommend it. It’s smart, it has a feisty-but-complicated … Continue reading

December 14, 2015 · 2 Comments

Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, however you are reading this blog post, stop and take a look around you. Look at all the ways the light gets in. Whether … Continue reading

December 2, 2015 · 2 Comments

Not My Father’s Son: A Family Memoir by Alan Cumming

I’m not usually one for celebrity autobiographies. There are so many of them, generally with very little to say. Every so often, though, one comes along that seems to sit … Continue reading

November 27, 2015 · 5 Comments

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Acknowledgment

  • (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.)