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.

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

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith

The Book Festival is over! *sob* And I am bereft. Two weeks of running around, hanging out, meeting old friends and new, hugging and high fiving and gossiping and drinking … Continue reading

August 30, 2014 · 1 Comment

Vulpes Revisited: Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey

(Originally published 22nd April 2008) Sylvanus Now is a fisherman, living in Newfoundland in the 1950s, ‘poor at book learning’, but who knows and loves this savage sea and land. … Continue reading

July 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Anna Cheska – a necessary chaser between grim books

Imogen’s marriage has hardly been an exciting affair but when her husband dies, she’s alarmed to discover that Edward hadn’t been nearly as predictable as she’d always thought … She’s … Continue reading

November 1, 2012 · 5 Comments

If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black: a literary and rather grim collection

From the blind girl who sees more than her parents can, to the portrait artist who sees more than her clients might wish, Robin Black illuminates secret fears, hidden desires, … Continue reading

October 25, 2012 · 5 Comments

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo – seeing Austen as you’ve (probably) never seen her before

After Jane Austen’s death, nearly three thousand of her letters were supposedly destroyed, taking with them the secrets of Jane’s life. But what did they hide? Austen scholar Emma Grant … Continue reading

September 13, 2012 · 14 Comments

Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham: a holiday to remember

Chloe needs a holiday. She’s sick of making wedding dresses and her partner is having trouble at work. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa … Continue reading

May 10, 2012 · 7 Comments

Heart of Tango by Elia Barcelo: where I am swept off my feet by an almost perfect passion

It is the 1920s in Buenos Aires. A young woman is to be married to a sailor much older than herself. Everything seems lost for Natalia, but then she meets … Continue reading

March 8, 2012 · 5 Comments

31 Dream Street by Lisa Jewell: a story and indeed a street with heart

Reclusive landlord Toby Dobbs has a houseful of long-term tenants – lost and lonely souls to whom he’s happy to offer sanctuary. He knows little about them, until the day … Continue reading

February 2, 2012 · 6 Comments

A Proper Family Christmas by Jane Gordon-Cumming: a rollercoaster of a celebration with a great deal of chat

William really isn’t into Christmas – all that jingly tinselly presenty stuff makes him feel queasy. He’d like to spend it alone in his vast old house with his cat. … Continue reading

January 19, 2012 · 7 Comments

The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons

At this time of year, I like to suggest books that you might enjoy snuggled up by the fire, with a mug of hot chocolate and hand-knitted socks. This is … Continue reading

December 5, 2011 · 7 Comments

The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley

What I love about The Camomile Lawn is how it challenges our perceptions. When we look back at the 1940s, we make certain assumptions about the way people behaved and … Continue reading

October 3, 2011 · 4 Comments

The Commitment by Dan Savage – everything you want to know about love, sex, marriage and family, and possibly some things you might not …

Dan Savage’s mother wants him to get married. His boyfriend, Terry, says “no thanks” because he doesn’t want to act like a straight person. Their six-year-old son, D.J., says his … Continue reading

September 22, 2011 · 7 Comments

To Marry a Prince by Sophie Page – a novel I just couldn’t resist …

Bella Greenwood isn’t a fairytale girl. If pushed, she’d probably tell you that her perfect wedding would involve a handful of close friends and family. But as she’s never met … Continue reading

September 8, 2011 · 14 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.)