Blog

Welcome to House With No Name. I write about everything from books and films to education, family and France.

Book review – A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 11th February 2016

If I had to choose the perfect writer to cheer me up on a shivery winter’s day I’d definitely go for Katie Fforde. I began reading her new novel, A Summer at Sea, in a hospital waiting room, feeling ever so slightly on edge. Within minutes my whole body had relaxed and my pulse had returned to normal as I was transported to an old-fashioned steamboat chugging through the Western Isles ...keep reading

Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 6th February 2016

Maggie O’Farrell is one of my favourite authors. She always has been – ever since I picked up a copy of After You’d Gone, her first novel, and didn’t put it down till I’d finished it at three in the morning. So when the Headline team announced it was holding a Rooftop Book Club event to promote O’Farrell’s forthcoming novel This Must be the Place I booked a couple of tickets ...keep reading

Book review – I’ll Wait, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 27th January 2016

My children are grown up now but I’m a pushover when it comes to picture books. Steve Antony’s work is the very best of the genre so when his latest children’s book dropped through the letterbox I grabbed it with both hands and read it in a trice. The good news is that the author of The Queen’s Hat and The Queen’s Handbag has done it again. I’ll Wait, Mr Panda ...keep reading

How a creative writing course inspired me

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 7th January 2016

University creative writing courses are getting it in the neck again – this time from novelist DJ Taylor. In an interview with John Humphrys on Radio Four’s Today programme this morning he declared that universities have become “employment bureaus for novelists.” In a spirited defence, Andrew Cowan, director of creative writing at the University of East Anglia, pointed to the success of a host of distinguished authors, from Kazuo Ishiguro ...keep reading

Book review – The Widow by Fiona Barton

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 4th January 2016

If The Girl on the Train was last year’s stand-out title then The Widow could well be this year’s mega-success. A taut psychological thriller, it’s written by journalist Fiona Barton. A former senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, she garnered multiple scoops and was hugely admired by her peers (me included). For the last few years, ...keep reading

Christmas treats: From Trivial Pursuit to sprouts

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 29th December 2015

Christmas 2015 flew by in a blast of last-minute dashes to the shops, family festivities and storms that lashed our house near the sea. Four days on, our family guests have departed, my son’s resumed his cycling regime and my husband’s working 16 hours a day on his latest business venture. As for me, I’ve been mulling over the standout memories from this year’s Christmas. In no particular order, here are some ...keep reading

Book review: Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 28th December 2015

I loved Lissa Evans’s Crooked Heart when I read it last year – and now it’s out in paperback I’m enjoying it all over again. Here’s my original review: Crooked Heart is a gem of a book – funny, endearing and beautifully written, with characters so well drawn that you can picture them in your mind’s eye. Set during the Blitz, it’s the story of ten-year-old Noel Bostock, who lives on the edge ...keep reading

In praise of Christmas cards

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 22nd December 2015

December is a frenetic month.Like everyone else, I’m scrambling to get work deadlines done and dusted, sort the Christmas shopping (and wrapping – I always forget that bit) and stressing about lunch on Christmas Day. On the plus side the tree is up (and unlike previous years it’s surprisingly unwonky) but on the minus side I still haven’t fixed the lights or made up beds for guests. But in amongst ...keep reading

Wednesday Book Review: The Winter Children

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 9th December 2015

Two small children wander hand in hand through the snow-covered garden of a vast country mansion. The Winter Children, Lulu Taylor’s seventh novel, has the prettiest cover I’ve seen in ages. More importantly, it’s a compelling story about unrequited love, jealousy and a woman’s all-consuming longing for children of her own. When Olivia Felbeck gives birth to twins it seems that she has everything she could ever wish for. She ...keep reading

The aftermath of Storm Desmond

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 8th December 2015

With its soaring peaks and gorgeous countryside, the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places I know. Now, after a month’s average rain fell in 24 hours, the area around Cockermouth, Braithwaite, Keswick and Carlisle looks more like a mud swamp. The devastation wrought by Storm Desmond in Cumbria is truly shocking. Roads have been blocked, villages cut off from the outside world and many people won’t be ...keep reading

1 2 3 61