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.

Two Journeys, Memoirs by Gabourey Sidibe and Rosamund Burton

Recently I read two books that were quite different; one was a memoir, the other a travel book and I was struck at how they each were accounts of a … Continue reading

August 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman

In a 1937 letter to Stanley Unwin, J R R Tolkien said he felt a certain distaste for Celtic myths ‘largely for their fundamental unreason. They have bright colour, but … Continue reading

June 26, 2017 · 4 Comments

Frank O’Connor: An Only Child & My Father’s Son

I started reading this pair of autobiographies by the Irish short story writer and giant among modern Irish literature, Frank O’Connor, without really knowing much about him. I’d read some … Continue reading

May 29, 2017 · 3 Comments

Coming Up on Vulpes Libris

Foxes’ tails come in all shapes and sizes, and very few more beautiful than this gorgeous seed-head of Foxtail grass. It has been a week of plant-consciousness, what with the … Continue reading

May 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Line Made By Walking, by Sara Baume

This is the second novel in my 2017 challenge to read a work of literary fiction every month by a novelist new to me; this one is a little late, … Continue reading

March 15, 2017 · 2 Comments

Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice

Due to circumstances entirely beyond her control, Kirsty has had to postpone her piece on the discoveries in the Qumran Caves until another day. So we’ve had a delve in … Continue reading

October 5, 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

adventures around the globe: recent nonfiction

Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod This is the book that Eat, Pray, Love wanted to be, filled with adventure, romance and wisdom. The author scrimps and saves at her high … Continue reading

March 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Broken Harbour by Tana French

This is the fourth novel by Tana French, an Irish crime writer who has done much since her first book, In The Woods, to establish herself as a practitioner of … Continue reading

November 13, 2012 · 6 Comments

Vodka in the jar

Michael Collins, the “outstanding organiser who brought Lenin himself to Ireland to see how the National Loan worked.” Vladimir Lenin, the Russian revolutionary, spoke with a Dublin accent. Do you … Continue reading

October 12, 2012 · 4 Comments

Five Bells by Gail Jones

This is a novel which starts out slowly, but grows on you. It takes place in modern day Australia, mostly at Circular Quay in Sydney. There are four main characters, … Continue reading

September 3, 2012 · 6 Comments

Ancient Light, by John Banville

This is the first novel I have read by John Banville. (*Pauses to let shocked gasps subside*). It might not have been the best choice to read his latest novel … Continue reading

July 13, 2012 · 10 Comments

My Favorite Books of 2012, so far

Every year I keep a list of the books I read, titles carefully penned on blue-lined notebook paper. Next to a select few I place stars, indicating a book I … Continue reading

June 4, 2012 · 5 Comments

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

Those who know me and who are familiar with the books I love and review favourably will not be shocked to discover that I loved this book. I love baggy … Continue reading

January 9, 2012 · 2 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.)