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 Light Song of Light by Kei Miller

‘A light song of light believes nothing is so substantial as light, and that light is unstoppable, and that light is all.’ It started with the death of his mother, … Continue reading

June 12, 2013 · 1 Comment

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

The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon

There is a passage in The Polish Boxer in which the narrator, a Guatemalan literature professor and writer named Eduardo Halfon, tells a musician he has just met about his … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

Jon McGregor’s short stories

‘You take a breath and swim, fiercely, lunging through the water, blinking against the salt sting, heaving for air, and there’s a feeling running up and down the backs of … Continue reading

May 15, 2013 · 2 Comments

Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos (Translated by Rosalind Harvey)

‘I love three-cornered hats, because they’re mad soldiers hats. You put one on and you feel like running off all on your own to invade the nearest kingdom.’ Down the … Continue reading

July 25, 2012 · 5 Comments

Vulpes Libris’ All Time Greats: The Top Ten – Number 9.

At Number 9, from the 22nd of February 2010, is Sam’s review of the second book of ‘The Hunger Games’: CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. “If it were up to … Continue reading

July 16, 2012 · 1 Comment

The Great Night by Chris Adrian

The Great Night is one of those books I’m impossibly grateful to have found. A modern reworking of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is conceptually daring, stylistically exciting and … Continue reading

November 18, 2011 · 7 Comments

1Q84 (Book Three) by Haruki Murakami

Translated by Philip Gabriel Human beings are, by design, not objective. Everything we do, from how we view the colour of the sky to whether we like or don’t like … Continue reading

October 28, 2011 · 6 Comments

1Q84 (Book One and Book Two) by Haruki Murakami

Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin When 1Q84 was published in Japan in 2009, bookshops all but sold out within a day. More than 1 million copies were sold … Continue reading

October 18, 2011 · 11 Comments

Rain by Don Paterson

This book response is written in the form of a short story. For a discussion of why I am trailing this approach to writing about books see my review of … Continue reading

September 20, 2011 · 6 Comments

In Conversation with Robin Bayley

Sam Ruddock: First up, can you tell us a bit about The Mango Orchard? Robin Bayley: It’s a book about my journey in the footsteps of my great grandfather around … Continue reading

July 27, 2011 · 3 Comments

The Mango Orchard by Robin Bayley

I remember the first time I had the feeling that somewhere, something was waiting for me, in a land I didn’t yet know. So begins The Mango Orchard, Robin Bayley’s … Continue reading

July 25, 2011 · 5 Comments

Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor

“Ghost light. An Ancient superstition among people of the stage. One lamp must always be left burning when the theatre is dark, so the ghosts can perform their own plays.” … Continue reading

June 14, 2011 · 5 Comments

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor blinked. Then blinked again. “You’re going to tell me stories?” Indeed, the monster said “Well-” Conor looked around in disbelief “How is that a nightmare?” Stories are the wildest … Continue reading

June 8, 2011 · 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.)