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.

Flâneuse, by Lauren Elkin

As soon as I saw this book I knew that reading it was a must, as a companion to Edmund White’s masterly Flâneur, and it absolutely did not disappoint. Lauren … Continue reading

October 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

Why I’m reading all 13 volumes of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage

This began as a replacement Christmas present. The Fitbit-type gadget I got for Christmas failed to sync with my phone, contra its advertising. After much struggle we got the money back and … Continue reading

May 18, 2016 · 3 Comments

Hawksmoor, by Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor (1985) doesn’t really need another review, having been around and acclaimed for 30 years. This is more of a personal reflection on reading the book for the … Continue reading

January 7, 2016 · 3 Comments

High Rise, by J G Ballard

If ever Vulpes Libris has a theme week on novels with arresting openings (and I think we should) I’ll already have expended my favourite candidate in High Rise. It really … Continue reading

November 6, 2015 · 2 Comments

Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London: Body Work

Body Work is an interstitial series of comics in the muted superhero tradition. It fits between and around books two and three in Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series, a very … Continue reading

September 17, 2015 · 4 Comments

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

Cormoran Strike mysteries by Robert Galbraith

Unlike most people, I haven’t read the Harry Potter books, so when my local book group did The Cuckoo’s Calling last year, I went into it with an open mind. … Continue reading

February 13, 2015 · 2 Comments

Night Haunts by Sukhdev Sandhu

A Journey through the London Night “Nobody knows we’re here. Nobody. The Port of London sent a river pilot to assess my competence. I’ve been on the Thames for fifty … Continue reading

October 23, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf

Shelf of Shame Week 2 I find I can relate somewhat to Bookfox Moira’s experience here, except that the person most strongly nagging me to read Mrs Dalloway was my … Continue reading

August 29, 2014 · 9 Comments

The Old Curiosity Shop

Charles Dickens’ novel about ‘Little Nell’ (hardly ever called ‘Little’ in the story, just ‘the child’) has been on my Shelf of Shame for ever, because I was totally put … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · 6 Comments

The Spirit of London, by Paul Cohen-Portheim

This book was first published in 1935, and has been re-published in its lovely Batsford Brian Cook dust-wrapper. I’ve had it for over a year now; it was a welcome … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · 4 Comments

Coming up on Vulpes Libris

Spring has sprung (at least, it has here in Germany).  The grass is riz (ditto).  I wonder where the Foxes is? Oh look, there they are. On Monday, Kate thinks cautiously … Continue reading

March 9, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mr. Selfridge

Last month, Americans finished watching the first season of Mr. Selfridge, another British import series featured on the PBS ‘Masterpiece’ program. Even though many in the UK deride their offerings … Continue reading

June 19, 2013 · 6 Comments

Never Coming Home by Evonne Wareham

Imagine, if you will, an unlikely collaboration between Katie Fforde and Lee Child: a novel in which a  garden designer with a fabulous figure and two gold medals from the … Continue reading

March 14, 2013 · 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.)