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

Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 15th May 2015

The best way of getting through an interminably long car journey is by downloading a gripping audiobook. That’s what I reckon, anyway. The Mumsnet Bloggers Network has just sent me a copy of Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo and it kept me glued to my driving seat all the way up the M1 and into North Yorkshire. It’s exciting, pacy and compelling – just as you’d expect from a writer ...keep reading

Paula Hawkins and Renee Knight at ChipLitFest

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 8th May 2015

This year’s ChipLitFest was a triumph from start to finish – a satisfying mix of world famous writers who’ve sold millions of books (yes, I’m talking about Lee Child and Mark Billingham) and debut novelists at the start of their careers. Two new writers I was keen to learn more about were Paula Hawkins and Renee Knight, who along with Jason Hewitt appeared at an event called New Voices. Paula Hawkins ...keep reading

Memories of my mum

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 7th May 2015

I’ve been thinking about my mum a lot this week. She would have been 80 on May 2 and ten years after her death I still miss her more than I can say. She was glamorous, fun, a brilliant journalist and the wisest person I’ve ever known. As many of her devoted Daily Mail readers said after she died in 2004, she had the rare gift of summing up exactly ...keep reading

Peter Pan arrives in town

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 30th April 2015

It’s not every day that you walk to the newsagent’s for a paper and bump into a group of swashbuckling pirates in the car park, their faces caked in make-up and sporting frock coats and breeches. The quiet seaside town of Swanage hasn’t seen anything like it in ages. A film crew has swept into town, with an army of trucks, loads of security men brandishing walkie-talkies and stars like ...keep reading

Julie Cohen on the art of the rewrite

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 28th April 2015

Julie Cohen is a one-woman dynamo. She’s not only had 20 books published, both under her own name and pseudonyms, but they’ve sold nearly a million copies and been translated into 15 languages. Dear Thing, her 2014 novel, was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice and her latest, Where Love Lies, is now out in paperback. With a track record like that, Julie clearly knows what she’s talking about so I ...keep reading

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

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