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

Owen Archer mysteries by Candace Robb

One of the periods I like to read about most is the Middle Ages. No, not that time in your forties when you’re no longer young, but don’t yet qualify … Continue reading

March 3, 2017 · 2 Comments

The House on the Strand (or: my struggle with historical fiction)

Oh dear. It seems that I always volunteer myself as the contrary voice for Vulpes theme weeks – or, at least, that’s what I did back when I was just a … Continue reading

February 28, 2017 · 14 Comments

The gentle joy of R.C. Sherriff

I recently read two novels by R.C. Sherriff in fairly quick succession – The Fortnight in September (1931) and Greengates (1936) – having never read anything by him before; they were the … Continue reading

February 15, 2017 · 10 Comments

The Weatherhouse by Nan Shepherd and The Hills is Lonely by Lillian Beckwith

I picked up Nan Shepherd’s The Weatherhouse as I walked through Waterstones in Glasgow, attracted by its striking cover and intrigued by the opening sentence of its blurb – “The … Continue reading

February 12, 2017 · 4 Comments

Giovanni’s Room

I took part in a book pyramid scheme recently. It was a send-it-back, upside-down-tree-connections thing, running through Facebook. My friend D recruited me, so I sent a book to her … Continue reading

February 3, 2017 · 6 Comments

Five “Claudine” novels by Colette

When I was fifteen, I was Claudine. Why not? I was rebellious and had chestnut curls. I read and reread my literary auntie’s lovely copy of Colette’s Claudine at School … Continue reading

February 1, 2017 · 3 Comments

What Makes Us Laugh

In these cloudy days of winter and gloomy current events, sometimes we need not just lighter fare, but something that sends us over the top into glee. The Foxes have … Continue reading

January 30, 2017 · 9 Comments

Closely Observed Trains by Bohumil Hrabal

What a curious little book. I got Closely Observed Trains by Bohumil Hrabal a couple of Christmases ago, from my parents, after I added to my Amazon wishlist. And I added … Continue reading

January 25, 2017 · 9 Comments

Arnold Bennett’s A Man from the North

Arnold Bennett wrote A Man from the North, his first novel, in 1896, finishing it shortly before his 29th birthday. Bennett, like its central character Richard Larch, had travelled south … Continue reading

January 8, 2017 · 3 Comments

Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Probably O. Henry’s best known work, this perennial holiday story doesn’t contain any cute little reindeer or snow people. It’s about a young couple who are trying to find the … Continue reading

December 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Nine St Andrew’s Night Novels

St Andrew’s Night is the lesser-known Scottish cultural festival. The big one is, of course, Burns’ Night, on 25 January, and is usually a feast, with poetry and music. St … Continue reading

November 30, 2016 · 8 Comments

The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski

I recently re-read The Victorian Chaise-Longue for a podcast I recorded on the topic (shameless plug for it – check out ‘Tea or Books?’ if you want to hear it compared … Continue reading

November 25, 2016 · 2 Comments

Coming Up This Week

As I write this, the temperature is dropping outside and our first snow of the season is forecast for my area. Just in time for all the people traveling to … Continue reading

November 20, 2016 · 1 Comment

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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.)