Blog

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

Book review: 8½ Stone by Liz Jones

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 10th April 2020

I’ve been an admirer of Liz Jones’s column in the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine for years. She’s outspoken and controversial – and SO readable. As I wrote in my blog back in 2011: “I turn to her page before anything else. I occasionally get fed up with accounts of her huge menagerie of animals but even so, she writes so well and with such disarming frankness that her diary ...keep reading

Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 12th March 2020

Stubborn Archivist is one of the most original novels I’ve read in a long time. Told in an eclectic mix of prose, dialogue, poetry, lists and snatches of Portuguese, it’s ambitious to say the least. However, this tender portrait of a young girl growing up between two cultures is a triumph – and highly readable at that. Yara Rodrigues Fowler grew up in a Brazilian British household herself and she’s ...keep reading

Christmas traditions and compromise

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 19th December 2019

The Christmas dinner, lovingly prepared by my mother-in-law, looked delicious – turkey, sprouts, parsnips, chestnut stuffing and roast potatoes. There was just one thing puzzling me. What the hell was that soggy beige sauce on the side of my plate? “What is it?” I mouthed at my husband, who was sitting on the other side of the table. Yes, it was bread sauce. But my mum never served it at ...keep reading

Book review: A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 7th September 2019

A new novel by Tracy Chevalier is always a treat. I’ve loved her books since her first, A Virgin Blue, was published way back in 1997 and in the intervening years she’s gone from strength to strength. Her 10 novels include the brilliant Girl with a Pearl Earring, which has sold more than five million copies and was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. Her latest, ...keep reading

Book review: The Carer by Deborah Moggach

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 20th July 2019

I’ve been a fan of Deborah Moggach for years – ever since her first novel, You Must be Sisters, was published in 1978. I even interviewed her once, when the newspaper I was working for at the time inexplicably sent me to talk to her on New Year’s Day. She was charm personified, even though the last thing in the world she must have wanted first thing on January 1 ...keep reading

Book Review: Jeffery Deaver’s new book

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 19th May 2019

When it comes to writing thrillers with dizzying plot twists Jeffery Deaver is second to none. He’s written more than 30 page-turning thrillers, sold more than 50 million books around the world and been translated into 25 languages. I’ve been a fan of Deaver’s writing for years. I was lucky enough to interview him six years ago and during the course of our conversation I discovered that while his clever ...keep reading

My first-ever holiday job

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 17th May 2019

It was the sort of mistake we all dread making. A diner at a Manchester restaurant was so impressed by the delicious bottle of red that he immediately ordered the same again. Only then did the waitress realise that she had accidentally served the most expensive bottle on the wine list – a £4,500 Chateau Le Pin Pomerol 2001. Fortunately her boss took it remarkably well. “She’s a great employee ...keep reading

Book review: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 3rd February 2019

Like most book reviewers I know, I have a towering pile of novels to read. But even though I valiantly try to work my way through them in the order they arrive I just can’t. There are some authors whose books go straight to the top of the heap. Why? Because I can’t wait a single second longer to read them. Jane Harper is a case in point. Her first ...keep reading

Friday column: Listening to Stephen Nolan

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 1st February 2019

From Desert Island Discs to The Archers, I’m an avid radio listener. Given the choice between the radio and TV, I’d choose radio any day. Depending who’s on I constantly criss-cross between BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 live. I love Tony Livesey on 5 live Drive. The one-time editor of the Daily Sport is genuinely funny but never gets in the way of a breaking news story. I’m ...keep reading

Book review: Don’t Turn Around

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 30th January 2019

The boyfriend is back. And he’s coming for you… That’s the chilling blurb on the back of Amanda Brooke’s gripping new novel, Don’t Turn Around. This was the first of Brooke’s nine novels that I’ve read and while the subject matter of Don’t Turn Around is distressing the writing is so pacey that I read it in one sitting. It’s ten years since Jen’s bewitching teenage cousin Meg killed herself ...keep reading

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