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.

Birds Art Life by Kyo Maclear

This is a book which almost defies description. It’s a memoir, yes, but that’s only a part of it.There’s lists, anecdotes, quotes from books and movies(but not the usual ones) … Continue reading

October 9, 2017 · 1 Comment

You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams – Alan Cumming

Last year I listened to the unabridged audio version of Alan Cumming’s memoir Not My Father’s Son. It was an incredibly moving book about the abuse he suffered at the hands … Continue reading

November 23, 2016 · 2 Comments

The Origins of the Universe and What it All Means by Carole Firstman

We humans are good at figuring things out. We’ve figured out why apples fall down instead of up. We’ve figured out that objects are made up of tiny particles, bound … Continue reading

June 17, 2016 · 4 Comments

Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, however you are reading this blog post, stop and take a look around you. Look at all the ways the light gets in. Whether … Continue reading

December 2, 2015 · 2 Comments

Not My Father’s Son: A Family Memoir by Alan Cumming

I’m not usually one for celebrity autobiographies. There are so many of them, generally with very little to say. Every so often, though, one comes along that seems to sit … Continue reading

November 27, 2015 · 5 Comments

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

A few weeks before the birth of my daughter, I had a particularly bad patch of depression and anxiety. Lots of panic attacks, lots of hours too scared to get … Continue reading

May 25, 2015 · 8 Comments

Coming up on Vulpes Libris

After three weeks’ serious exploration of alternative publishing models, we’re back to our usual this week; which, of course, means anything BUT usual. Sit back and wallow in three enthralling, … Continue reading

May 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

An interview with Slightly Foxed

I am a loud and enthusiastic fan of Slightly Foxed (the ‘companionable quarterly magazine that’s all about discovering good books and the pleasure of reading’, to quote their website) and, even … Continue reading

April 27, 2015 · 4 Comments

The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor

Barbara Taylor is a well-respected historian and writer, and is a Professor at Queen Mary, University of London. She is the author of several books, including an award-winning work on … Continue reading

February 24, 2015 · 2 Comments

Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went from Pop to Pulpit, by the Reverend Richard Coles

I know a priest who, after he had shut up shop on Christmas Day, would get into his pyjamas and take a bottle of vodka alone to bed, watch The … Continue reading

October 27, 2014 · 3 Comments

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

I seldom say yes to review copies nowadays, simply because of the guilt I felt at seldom reading them, but I couldn’t resist the lure when Laura at Bloomsbury offered … Continue reading

July 16, 2014 · 1 Comment

Tony Benn: Dare to be a Daniel

In 1928, when I was three, there was a huge flood in London and I remember looking out of the window and seeing boats sailing down the street in front … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · 9 Comments

Somewhere Towards The End by Diana Athill

2013 was the year I finally got around to reading some Diana Athill.  Indeed, by the end of the year I’d read three books by her – two memoirs and … Continue reading

January 15, 2014 · 8 Comments

All Made Up, by Janice Galloway

It’s hard to imagine a title with so many possible meanings, literal, metaphorical or dialectal. That sets an intriguing scene for a masterly memoir of adolescence, education, growing up and … Continue reading

April 6, 2012 · 4 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.)