This time round, I wrote fewer reviews for Shiny 6 than usual. I didn't plan it that way at all, but a variety of things conspired to make it happen. For a start, I'd been going to review Martin Edwards' fantastic Golden Age of Murder, which I read with huge enjoyment, but then one of our regular reviewers, Lyn Baines, posted such an excellent review on her own blog that I thought I couldn't better it, and asked if we could republish it, which she kindly agreed to. Then the same thing happened with Nicola Upson's London Rain -- I'd enjoyed it tremendously, but very much liked the review by another of our regulars, Rob Spence, so he ended up rejigging it for Shiny. In fact I did interview both these writers, and the Q&As appear in the BookBuzz section. Martin's is here, and Nicola's is here. I also got a review copy of A.N. Wilson's The Book of the People: How to Read the Bible, which I thought sounded fascinating. But oh dear, it wasn't -- not to me, anyway. So that one bit the dust.
However, I did review some excellent books. One was Kate Atkinson's wonderful A God in Ruins -- I'd already talked about it on here with relation to the audiobook, but my Shiny review goes into more depth. Then there was a late addition, All the Light We Cannot See, the Pulitzer prizewinner from Anthony Doerr, newly out in paperback. I normally review several contemporary crime novels, but this time round the only one was Laura Wilson's intriguing The Wrong Girl, set partly in the 1970s. My only contribution to non-fiction was a review of Stanley Wells' Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction, and I also reviewed two brilliant golden age crime novels in the reprints section: a British Library Crime Classic, Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries, and Ianthe Jerrold's The Studio Crime, published by Dean Street Press.
So, just six reviews in total. I feel vaguely guilty about not doing more, but I also know that's really silly. One of the great things about Shiny New Books is the way we are recruiting such a superb bunch of reviewers. I do most of the proofreading before we go live, and I am constantly bowled over by the quality of the writing that comes in. So, though I'll never end up taking a back seat (or I hope not, anyway), this is actually a really healthy sign, and I can only say long may it continue.
Have you explored Shiny 6 yet?