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.

Michael Haag’s The Durrells of Corfu

This is an exhaustively researched biography of the Durrell family (Gerry, Larry, Margot, Leslie and Mother, for those who know them from Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals). It’s … Continue reading

October 13, 2017 · 3 Comments

Timeless or Topical? by Margaret Kirk

It happened a few weeks ago. After a long period submerged in various sorts of book-related tasks (my debut novel, Shadow Man, will be published on 2nd November) I’d met … Continue reading

September 18, 2017 · 4 Comments

Arnold Bennett’s Lord Raingo

Guest reviewer Colin Fisher gives us Arnold Bennett’s Lord Raingo. Arnold Bennett, the popular novelist and critic from the years before the First World War until his death in 1931, … Continue reading

July 25, 2016 · 2 Comments

Here’s Looking at You: a conversation about Casablanca

Once upon a time, entirely by accident and when they were discussing something completely different (like Father Ted), Bookfoxes Kirsty and Moira discovered that they had a shared love of the 1942 … Continue reading

March 11, 2015 · 7 Comments

Peter Kennedy’s Fishermen’s Tales

Peter Kennedy’s novel Fishermen’s Tales is a linked collection of stories about plague in the north-east of England, a gated fishing town which turns away starving people on the beach because … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · 4 Comments

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

The Road to Wigan Pier, by George Orwell

The Bookfoxes’ Shelf of Shame Week There it has been on the bookshelf, for years and years, The Road to Wigan Pier, a 1970s Penguin edition (this is the image … Continue reading

March 20, 2014 · 12 Comments

It’s Classified by Nicole Wallace

How would Americans react if they found out their vice president was mentally ill? That is the question at the center of this political novel. There is suspense in this … Continue reading

September 30, 2013 · 5 Comments

Troy Chimneys, by Margaret Kennedy

Troy Chimneys is a novel I have loved from the very first time I read it. It has taken me a long time to decide to review it here. I … Continue reading

July 17, 2013 · 10 Comments

Faith in the Public Square, by Rowan Williams

Review by Kirsty Jane McCluskey and Michael Carley Religion as understood by those who find it unacceptable… is something seen essentially in terms of an appeal to the will: decide … Continue reading

April 12, 2013 · 7 Comments

Magrat: note spelling

Reading a Terry Pratchett novel is an unputdownable experience. I don’t mind if people try to put me down for reading him openly and in public. I really like his … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 11 Comments

Pages of sumptuous privilege

This gazetteer of the most august of London’s gentleman’s clubs is simply beautiful. I had to read it on my netbook since the publisher had run out of review copies, … Continue reading

March 8, 2013 · 4 Comments

From the Archives: A Most Novel and Courageous Undertaking

First published June 24, 2009 As this is by way of being Michael Ng’s first topic as an Official Fox, what better introduction than a chat about one of his … Continue reading

February 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

VL Q&A: Mary Beard

Mary Beard is Professor of Classics at Cambridge University, Classics Editor of the Times Literary Supplement and the author of the blog A Don’s Life.  She has made numerous television … Continue reading

January 7, 2011 · 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.)