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.

American Housewife by Helen Ellis

How can you not like a book containing the line “I fix myself a hot chocolate because it is a gateway drug to reading” ? And that’s just in the … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn

This is the first Colm Tóibín novel I’ve read. I’ve been circling around his books for some years, after hearing (and liking very much) his readings aloud on radio and … Continue reading

May 4, 2016 · 5 Comments

Ayisha Malik’s Sofia Khan is NOT Obliged

This is a lightly edited reblog from last September, when this splendid rom com was but an ebook and I read it on holiday and was completely bowled over. Now, … Continue reading

February 15, 2016 · 2 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

Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen’s columns used to be reprinted in my local newspaper each week and I always enjoyed them, so when she broadened out into the longer forms of novels and … Continue reading

October 4, 2015 · 3 Comments

Nan Shepherd’s The Quarry Wood

Nan Shepherd’s three novels – The Quarry Wood (1928), The Weatherhouse (1930 and A Pass in the Grampians (1933) – were reprinted by Canongate in the 1990s with her memoir … Continue reading

August 14, 2015 · 1 Comment

Princess Bari, by Hwang Sok-yong

Princess Bari (2014) by the respected Korean author Hwang Sok-yong mixes magical realism with the history of North Korea’s famine, with people trafficking and forced labour in present-day London, and … Continue reading

June 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Convert by Elizabeth Robins, ed. by Emelyne Godfrey

Vida Levering is a society beauty who finds herself at dinner party after social function where one of the hot topics of conversation is the rise of the Suffragettes. Perhaps … Continue reading

May 19, 2015 · 3 Comments

Under a Cornish Sky by Liz Fenwick

You always know what you’re going to get with a romantic novel, don’t you? – a great location, a feisty heroine, an interesting and hunky hero, difficulties to be overcome, … Continue reading

May 6, 2015 · 4 Comments

In conversation with The Book View Café

The Book View Café is a cooperative publishing house, founded by a group of authors who wanted to take control of how their writing was published, and to get them past the … Continue reading

April 24, 2015 · 7 Comments

Marisa Hayworth: a romantic experiment

Three women decided to work together to build inventory on Kindle. Here’s how it works. By one-third of Marisa Hayworth.  Self-publishing is tough. It relies on a reasonably high standard … Continue reading

April 23, 2015 · 3 Comments

Todd McCaffrey’s Dragonholder

I wanted to read Todd McCaffrey’s memoir of Anne McCaffrey because I was captivated by her novels when I was a teenager. But the last time I reread one, I was … Continue reading

March 2, 2015 · 5 Comments

Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares’s Family Heirlooms

First, let us admire the magnificent name of this famous Brazilian novelist: Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares. It’s like her prose: elaborate, decorative, exotic, elegant. She is an award-winning author in Brazil … Continue reading

January 28, 2015 · 5 Comments

Margaret Atwood

I once read The Handmaid’s Tale, probably at the wrong age, and it freaked me out so much I didn’t want to go near a Margaret Atwood novel again. This … Continue reading

December 3, 2014 · 5 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.)