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

Meg Rosoff wins Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 6th April 2016

Congratulations to Meg Rosoff, who has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature. The £430,000 award, which honours the entire body of Rosoff’s work, is hugely deserved. The jury’s citation reads as follows:“Meg Rosoff’s young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect. In sparkling prose, she writes about the search for meaning and identity in a peculiar and bizarre ...keep reading

Book review: The Lion Inside

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 17th March 2016

The very best picture books for young children have a crystal clear message at their heart. And that’s what makes The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field a real winner. It’s a sweet story, told in rhyme, about a tiny mouse who lives under a rock and is ignored by everyone he encounters. Worse still, he’s trodden on, sat on and has no friends at all. But in ...keep reading

The kindness of strangers: part 3

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 14th March 2016

The alarm bells started ringing when my son FaceTimed me from France in the middle of the day. I usually ring him, not the other way round, and we mostly speak in the early evening – so I knew something was up. I was right to be worried. It turned out that his bike chain had snapped when he was cycling at top speed, sending him crashing to the ground and damaging his shoulder, arm and ...keep reading

Jill Mansell talks about her new novel

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 29th February 2016

A grand, redbrick hotel on a cliff overlooking the sea. Yes, the scene was like something out of a novel – which was rather appropriate considering we were all there to hear author Jill Mansell talk about her new book, You and Me, Always. The event was part of the Purbeck Literary Festival and Jill had driven through the wilds of the Somerset and Dorset countryside to meet scores of her ...keep reading

Born Survivors: a very special book

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 26th February 2016

The most memorable hour of the week was spent listening to author Wendy Holden talk about her unforgettable book, Born Survivors. Wendy, a close friend from our Evening Standard days, has written more than thirty books during her career but this one is special. A harrowing account of bravery and love in the midst of unimaginable cruelty, Born Survivors tells the story of three young women sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in ...keep reading

Stop press: New Jilly Cooper book in September

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 25th February 2016

The best news of the day is that Jilly Cooper’s new book is going to be published by Transworld on September 8 this year. “Exciting book news,” declared Penguin UK on Twitter. “We’re delighted to announce Mount!, a brand new book from Jilly Cooper featuring the one and only Rupert Campbell-Black.” Twitter and Facebook were instantly abuzz with the announcement. Actually, Jilly had given legions of fans a hint that her new ...keep reading

Journalism: Learning the old-fashioned way

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 25th February 2016

I took the old-fashioned route to becoming a journalist. These days a lot of young people take degrees in journalism or, I can hear you groaning, media studies. But I learned the job the hard way on a local weekly newspaper in a sleepy market town in Devon. I wrote about flower shows, parish council meetings, golden weddings and village fetes. It wasn’t exactly cutting edge stuff but it taught ...keep reading

The joy of winter walks

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 23rd February 2016

The wide Dorset sky is bright blue today and in a minute I’ll be off to the Purbeck Literary Festival to hear the fabulous Jill Mansell talk about her new book, You and Me, Always. The weather looks so glorious that I’m planning to eschew the car, wrap up warm and walk the mile or so to the Grand Hotel, the clifftop hotel with breathtaking views across Swanage Bay. By the ...keep reading

In memory of Ruth Rendell

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 17th February 2016

I adored Ruth Rendell’s books and as today would have been her 86th birthday I‘m rerunning part of a blog I wrote about her back in 2013. It has just been announced, by the way, that a new award is being launched in her memory by the National Literacy Trust and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society. The annual Ruth Rendell Award will be presented to the author or writer who has ...keep reading

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

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