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.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

If the title to this graphic novel makes it sound a little all over the place, then that’s appropriate because all over the place is exactly what this book is. … Continue reading

June 24, 2016 · 2 Comments

The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds

A few weeks ago, with an hour to kill before a play at the National Theatre, I did what any Bookfox would and spent it browsing in Foyles Bookshop. As … Continue reading

June 1, 2015 · 3 Comments

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

CUSTOMER: Hi, my best friend came in last weekend and bought a book, and she really loved it. Do you have another copy? BOOKSELLER: What was the title? CUSTOMER: Oh, … Continue reading

January 7, 2015 · 11 Comments

The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations – edited by Gyles Brandreth

When I was recently re-reading Dorothy L Sayers’ Have His Carcase (following a joint review of Gaudy Night, here on Vulpes), I was delighted to stumble upon the source of … Continue reading

November 1, 2013 · 4 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

Literary Competitions, Then And Now

This is comedy week, but I have a bit of a problem: already, one by one, I have brought out most of my comic favourites (Beachcomber, Flann O’Brien, The Stuffed … Continue reading

February 22, 2013 · 6 Comments

Easy Excess: the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella

Becky Bloomwood has a spending problem. Let’s get something straight right away. This is not a minor spending problem. This is not one of those cutesy-pie fictional heroines who simply … Continue reading

February 1, 2012 · 9 Comments

The Best of Myles, by Flann O’Brien

Since you ask, yes, I am reading mainly funny books at the moment – I am badly in need of fun. Is it working? Yes, I think on balance it … Continue reading

April 6, 2011 · 19 Comments

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

A while ago, I was procrastinating on work by reading the Guardian’s Life and Style section.  This was a bad case of procrastination, and I hope my supervisor does not … Continue reading

March 1, 2011 · 4 Comments

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

It’s Saturday!  And I have a day off at last.  In fact, I bet loads of you have days off today, so I expect, like me, you have a ton … Continue reading

October 9, 2010 · 3 Comments

Classic Hatchet: No Mother to Guide Her, by Anita Loos

To round off Hatchet Job Week, here’s a classic review by Vulpes founder Leena. I’m not very good at writing negative reviews: I hum and haw, clutching at straws to … Continue reading

April 10, 2010 · 7 Comments

Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks: the essential Alan Coren

…and the public yawns and goes off in search of fresh fodder, muttering about what an inconsiderate bleeder that Shakespeare was, snuffing it in his fifties and leaving us with … Continue reading

December 8, 2009 · 7 Comments

How to Live with a Neurotic Dog – Stephen Baker

How to Live with a Neurotic Dog is to dog ownership manuals what Sellars and Yeatman’s 1066 and All That is to history books. Stephen Baker’s approach is very simple. … Continue reading

April 11, 2009 · 12 Comments

The Grand Sophy & Venetia by Georgette Heyer

Like most innovators, Georgette Heyer suffers by association with her imitators, descendants and plagiarists. But to dismiss her as all bonnets and heaving bosoms is like dismissing Wodehouse because he … Continue reading

February 15, 2008 · 20 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.)