Ask Agatha posts

Ask Agatha: Should I give an author a second chance?

Ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. Is the book actually always better than the film? Or is that just a myth invented by book lovers?

Yes. I’m sorry to have to tell you this but the book is always better than the film.

I only read novels, but lately I’ve found myself increasingly bored, stuck in a rut of reading the same thing over and over. I want to d…

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: early Man Booker predictions and reading fan-fiction

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. Based on the longlist, which book do you predict will win the Man Booker Prize this year?

I haven’t read everything on the longlist as yet but I’d argue that Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World is well-placed to win – it’s a superbly intricate novel set in the …

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: Books to make you seem smarter and the ideal Agatha Christie reader

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. Agatha, I have a question about your namesake, Agatha Christie. Where do I start? Are her books an acquired taste or can you jump straight in? Who is the ideal ‘Agatha Christie’ reader?

Well, I daresay it’s lovely to get a question about my namesake. I have l…

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: dyslexic teen readers and literary books that will make you laugh

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. I’m into literature but I think most of it is painfully unfunny. What books can I read that will actually make me laugh?

To my thinking, Lorrie Moore is essential reading for the Literary lover who enjoys funny books. Of her latest short-story collection, Bar

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: lying about books you’ve never read

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. I’ve recently made a new friend who is very well-read. I’ve been lying about my reading habits to make them think I’ve read as many classics as they have. Is this wrong?

If you really want to hear about it, it is a truth universally acknowledged that hardly a…

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: how to read Peter Carey and great female villains

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. Ever since I read all of Gillian Flynn’s books, I’ve been in the mood for reading about dark, complicated female characters. Can you recommend a book with a great female villain?

If you are looking for a dark female lead, look no further than Alissa Nutting’s…

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: Reading at the dinner table and not crying in books

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. My husband and I need you to help settle an argument around book etiquette. Is it really that rude to read at the table during a meal? If yes, can exceptions be made if you are at a crucial part in the story?

It’s not really a question of where you are in the…

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: Hilary Mantel, The Leftovers and romantic comedies

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. I’ve really enjoyed the Hilary Mantel Cromwell novels. Can you recommend other historical novel writers/titles?

Isn’t Mantel spectacular? If you haven’t yet tried her previous books it’s worth testing a title from her backlist. Beyond Black is one of the best…

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: reluctant readers, David Gemmell and books set in Texas

Welcome to our new book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. I’ve read all of David Gemmell’s books and don’t know what to read next. Who’s an author like him?

This is a tricky question because really, there is no single author that matches Gemmell’s style to perfection. Luckily, his influence is strongly evident in a number of f…

Read more ›

Ask Agatha: Fun Fiction, Tear-Jerkers and Binge-Watching TV

Welcome to our new book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. I’m looking for a really light, fun read, but something that’s still good quality. I don’t want to be embarrassed when I’m reading it on the tram, or if someone sees it in my bookcase. (I have a lot of book anxiety, okay?) Help me please! – Self-Conscious Reader

Anyone …

Read more ›