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

Monday book review – The Good Girl by Fiona Neill

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 27th April 2015

I’ve been a fan of Fiona Neill’s novels for ages. Her first, The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy, based on her Times column of the same name, was an instant bestseller and she’s since written three more. The second was about a group of friends approaching their 40s and the third looked at the trials and tribulations of the modern-day nanny. Neill’s fourth novel is more ambitious and a ...keep reading

Lee Child at ChipLitFest 2015

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 26th April 2015

The Saturday shoppers fell silent as a tall, lean man with closely cropped hair and shades walked through the crowded bookshop and into the morning sunshine. He was instantly surrounded by an adoring crowd of fans, a bit like a literary Mick Jagger. “Was that Lee Child?” I asked the woman next to me. She nodded dreamily. “Yes. He’s my husband’s favourite author but we’re too nervous to go and ...keep reading

Ever so French

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 13th April 2015

My family has always had a thing about France. Describing something as “ever so French” was the height of praise as far as my mother was concerned. She had happy memories of spending summer holidays in Brittany with Michelline, her French penfriend, and later on she encouraged me to do a French exchange too. My own penpal was the sweet Marie-Line, whose dad was a fisherman off the Normandy coast. ...keep reading

From Fleet Street to The Riding House Café

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 8th April 2015

“Goodnight sweet prince,” muttered my son as our trusty Gaggia coffee maker finally gave up the ghost. He twiddled a few knobs on the machine and the illuminated display declared that the machine had made the grand total of 7,197 cups of coffee in its time. Blimey, I thought, that’s a heck of a lot of coffee. We’d had the machine serviced regularly but the coffee had definitely been getting ...keep reading

Samantha Shannon at the Oxford Literary Festival

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 30th March 2015

The one thing that puzzles me about literary festivals is the way they stick several very different writers together under a title like Writers’ Roundtable and wait to see where the discussion goes. That’s what happened at the Oxford Literary Festival last week when the organisers teamed up Samantha Shannon, Jesse Armstrong and Eliza Robertson. They are a highly accomplished trio but as writers have very little in common. Samantha Shannon ...keep reading

Friday book review – Soldiers’ Daughters

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 27th March 2015

I loved Soldiers’ Wives, Fiona Field’s first book about army life, so I was thrilled to get my hands on the second. And I’m pleased to report that Soldiers’ Daughters is every bit as good as its predecessor. This time round Fiona Field focuses on two young army officers who on the face of it seem to have an awful lot in common. Samantha and Michelle are both motherless, were ...keep reading

Kazuo Ishiguro at the Oxford Literary Festival

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 23rd March 2015

When I spotted that Kazuo Ishiguro was the star turn at the Oxford Literary Festival’s inaugural event this year I snapped up a couple of tickets in double quick time. Ishiguro doesn’t do many events so I knew I couldn’t hang about or every seat would be gone. Sure enough, when I arrived at the stunning upper chamber of Oxford Town Hall the place was packed – all of us ...keep reading

Just give me a plate

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 19th March 2015

Ross McGinnes is a man after my own heart. He is so aerated by restaurants that serve their culinary creations on wooden boards that he’s decided to fight back. Just three weeks after launching his @WeWantPlates Twitter account he already has 20,500 followers. I’ve been puzzled by the trend for ages. Even my favourite restaurants and cafes – like Bill’s, The Pig and Le Petit Prince – do it and ...keep reading

The best place to live in the UK

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 1st March 2015

Where is the best place to live in the UK? That’s what the Sunday Times is going to be telling us over the next couple of weeks. Today it was the turn of rural Britain, with the paper listing the top 50 country locations in the UK and declaring that Chagford in Devon tops the lot. According to resident Jenny Wood, the only thing it’s impossible to buy in the village ...keep reading

Friday book review – The Queen’s Orang-Utan

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 27th February 2015

David Walliams has only been writing children’s books for seven years but his stories have been translated into 42 languages and have sold more than six million copies in the UK alone. Not only that, a poll of half a million children recently found that Demon Dentist is now the most popular book for primary school pupils. His legions of fans will be thrilled to hear that this month Walliams has ...keep reading

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