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.

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

Books to Distract Us

The appalling U.S. election and some sad events in our personal lives have left the Book Foxes looking for diversions and of course, our main method would involve books. We … Continue reading

November 21, 2016 · 6 Comments

Sandlands by Rosy Thornton

When Book Foxes Hilary and Moira discovered that each of them, separately, had intended to review their friend Rosy Thornton’s newly-published collection of short stories, Sandlands, there was a brief … Continue reading

July 29, 2016 · 3 Comments

Where Was Wych Street? A Vulpes Libris Random

My life is governed by coincidence. About a week ago I was due to go to the theatre in London (The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess – hilariously … Continue reading

May 20, 2016 · 8 Comments

How We Went to Mars by Arthur C. Clarke

When I was perusing titles from 1938, in preparation for our latest theme week, I stumbled across this amusing short story and couldn’t resist reviewing it, though I don’t read … Continue reading

April 11, 2016 · 4 Comments

Ernest Bramah’s Max Carrados stories

The Max Carrados stories are a perfect storm of geekiness for my inner research ferret, since they embrace Edwardian magazine stories, disability in fiction, detectives and social history. They were … Continue reading

February 3, 2016 · 5 Comments

Death Sentences: stories of Deathly Books, Murderous Booksellers & Lethal Literature, edited by Otto Penzler with an introduction by Ian Rankin

Death Sentences is, I discover, a continuing project. The collection that I am reviewing contains 15 short stories and was published in 2014; but the idea has taken hold, and … Continue reading

October 23, 2015 · 3 Comments

Something Childish by Katherine Mansfield

This post is part of the 1924 Club, which I’m co-organising over at my blog Stuck in a Book – along with Karen, I’m asking people to read books published … Continue reading

October 22, 2015 · 6 Comments

Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is pretty much my favourite author. She has been since I was recommended The Handmaid’s Tale by my English teacher when I was 16. Since then I’ve read … Continue reading

October 21, 2015 · 3 Comments

The love of weird in Karen Russell’s short stories

Karen Russell is a North American novelist and short storyist whose two published collections – St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (2006), and Vampires in the Lemon Grove … Continue reading

October 19, 2015 · 6 Comments

Get A Grip by Kathy Flann

Self upon self, a pile of selves I stand says Norman McCaig in the poem Summer Farm and his shrewd observation that we consist not just of the person we … Continue reading

October 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Victorian Fairy Tales – edited by Michael Newton

Fairy tales have been under a presumed threat of extinction for at least a couple of centuries. Each successive generation mourns the modern pressures and loss of innocence that they … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth

“The Legend of the Holy Drinker is Joseph Roth’s last work of fiction, quite deliberately so. Like Andreas’s repayment of the two hundred francs, it was his last detail. Again, … Continue reading

June 11, 2015 · 5 Comments

In Conversation with: Steven Berkoff

Actor, author, playwright and theatre director Steven Berkoff was born in London in 1937. After studying Drama in London and Paris he performed with repertory companies before forming the London … Continue reading

May 26, 2015 · 1 Comment



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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.)