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LoveReading's Editorial Experts

The LoveReading family of book recommendation sites are different from many online book sites as we have real book experts selecting and reviewing the books. We passionately believe that LoveReading’s and LoveReading4kids’s superb ‘expert voices’, with their own specialities, are invaluable in helping readers discover the best books. Find out more about them below.

Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

Liz has been an Editorial Expert writing reviews for LoveReading since 2014. Reading has always played a huge part in her life and she can quite happily chat books all day. She previously spent twenty years working as a member of police support staff, including roles as Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer, and Crime Reduction Advisor. She relishes her time spent exploring all genres of fiction and non fiction. She video reviews her selections for the LoveReading LitFest Festival Favourites and is also a Presenter for their events. Liz has previously judged the Romantic Novelists’ Association Goldsboro Romantic Novel of the Year Award, the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival Short Story Competition, the LoveReading Very Short Story Award, and the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Gold Dagger Award. Her next judging stint sees her joining the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Award 2023-2025. She describes herself as a reader, a lover of all things books, and can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @LRLizRobinson.

Latest Review on
Tiananmen Square

Incredibly powerful and moving, this novel is based on the life of the author as she traverses her childhood and teenage years in Beijing during the 70’s and 80’s. This is a novel, so there are undoubtedly aspects that have been imagined, but oh my, it feels so ... Read Full Review

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Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen’s lifelong love of reading and writing began when she was growing up in Pembrokeshire, and very much wished that witches (and Mrs Pepperpot) were real. An early passion for culture, story and folklore led Joanne to read archeology and anthropology at St John’s, Cambridge, after which she worked as a bookseller, and led the UK children’s book buying team for a major international retailer. During this time, Joanne also wrote children’s book previews and features for The Bookseller, covering everything from the value of translated fiction, to the contemporary YA market. Joanne later joined Bloomsbury’s marketing department, where she had the pleasure of working on epic Harry Potter launches at Edinburgh Castle and the Natural History Museum, and launching Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. After enjoyable spells as Marketing Director for Macmillan Children’s Books and Consumer Marketing Manager for Walker Books, Joanne went freelance, primarily working for multi-award-winning independent children’s publisher, Nosy Crow.

Alongside her publishing career, Joanne has written several books for children/young adults. She’s now a fulltime reviewer, workshop presenter and writer, working on YA novels with a strong basis in diverse folklore from around the world, as well as fiction for younger readers (in which witches are very much real).

Latest Review on
Something to be Proud Of

Through authentic narratives that alternate between Imogen (“a chaotic, leftist, autistic bisexual who wants to be a stand-up comedian”) and Ollie, the gay captain of the football team, Anna Zoe Quirke’s Something to be Proud Of teems with real-life struggles, the magic of friendship, and the ... Read Full Review
Julia Eccleshare M.B.E.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E.

Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role as Editorial contributor and advisor to Lovereading4kids, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Public Lending Right and most recently she has added the role of Children's Director of the Hay Festival.

She selected and wrote children's book reviews for the Good Book Guide for a number of years, she has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing. She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. She regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes including the Whitbread (now called the Costa) and the Nestle among others.

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Impossible Creatures

Brimful of ideas, award-winning Katherine Rundell’s epic adventure is set in a world that joyfully and provocatively stretches the imagination as Christopher and Mal, two children with exceptional futures, explore the secret and mysterious world of the Archipelago where mythological creatures, sometimes benign but frequently savage, still ... Read Full Review
Andrea Reece

Andrea Reece

Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams.

She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal.

She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

Latest Review on
Red Admiral the Racehorse

There’s nothing Tilly likes more than spending time at Silver Shoe Farm riding stables, especially now she’s learning to ride herself. Tilly loves all the ponies and horses there, and has a special way of communicating with them that seems almost magic. Could her horse-whispering talent ... Read Full Review
Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for nearly twenty-five years from 1975 until 1999. He is the author of three crime/spy fiction novels Wicked Game (2016), Deadly Game (2017) and End Game (2018) published by Orenda Books. His debut novel was short-listed for the CWA John Creasey Dagger in 2016 and, in 2019, he was listed at No. 22 in the W H Smith reader's list of best-ever crime writers. He is co-chair of Crime Cymru, the welsh crime writers collective and co-chair of Gwyl Crime Cymru Festival, Wales' first international crime writing festival.

Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1992, one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent's Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People's Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital.

Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whilst undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. He has used his detailed knowledge and memory to create what has been described by many readers as a fast-paced, exciting and authentic tale of modern-day policing. Matt is living proof that PTSD is a condition that can be controlled and overcome with the right help and support. He has been described by many fans as an inspiration to fellow sufferers.

A keen biker, Matt rides a '99 Harley Davidson Fatboy and is patron to the UK based ‘Forces On line' charity. In his spare time, Matt keeps honey bees and produces his own honey. He scuba dives, plays guitar, collects unusual hats and enjoys hill-walking with his dogs at his home in Wales near the Brecon Beacons.

More information, including book tour dates and festival appearances at www.mattjohnsonauthor.com

Matt is represented by James Wills at Watson-Little Literary Agents in London. Twitter @Matt_Johnson_UK.

Latest Review on
D-DAY The Oral History The Turning Point of the 20th Century By the People Who Were There.

As author Garret M. Graff correctly highlights in his introduction to this excellent work, D-Day is an oft-used American expression for the opening day of any major operation or invasion. There have been many D-Days, from Sicily to Panama, from Okinawa to Grenada. History, however, favours one in particular, 6th ... Read Full Review

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Victoria Goldman

Victoria Goldman

Victoria Goldman has always had a passion for reading and writing, with a childhood dream of becoming a crime fiction author. She gained a Biomedical Science BSc degree, planning to follow this with a PhD in Forensics, but then became sidetracked, realising she loved writing too much to spend the rest of her life in a lab. She gained an MSc in Science Communication instead, and became a freelance health journalist and editor, specialising in consumer health. 

Twenty-five years on, as well being Freelance Health Editor for Bupa, Victoria contributes to various consumer and pharmacy magazines on a monthly basis. She is the author of a book on children’s allergies and, over the years, has contributed to (and edited) other health and science books for adults and children.

Victoria has recently updated the bestselling baby health book Your Baby: Week by Week by Dr Caroline Fertleman & Simone Cave for Ebury/Vermilion (Penguin Random House UK). She is represented for non-fiction (health) by the Barbara Levy Literary Agency.

In her spare time, Victoria runs a successful books website called Off-the-Shelf Books and can often be found tweeting her book love (@VictoriaGoldma2). She is also writing crime fiction, still intending to fulfil her childhood dream. She is married with two teenage sons and loves relaxing at the end of a busy day by diving into a good book.

http://off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk/ 

 

 

Latest Review on
When We Fall

When We Fall whisked me off to claustrophobic small-town Australia – filled with local gossipmongers, long-held prejudices, sinister secrets ... and unsolved murders. For me, this was very much a character-led crime novel, focusing on the fragile relationships between the strong cast (especially female protagonist Alex and her mother who has ... Read Full Review

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Joy Court

Joy Court

Joy Court is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal and Past Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

Previously she managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, but now just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant.  She has chaired and spoken on panels at festivals and conferences around the UK. She is also a Trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association.

Author of Read to Succeed: strategies to engage children and young people in reading for pleasure (2011) and Reading By Right: successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed (2017) FACET and author of several Riveting Reads annotated booklists for the School Library Association, most recently, with Daniel Hahn, Riveting Reads- a world of books in translation (2017)

Latest Review on
Where the Heart Should Be

Every new novel from the Carnegie Medal winning author and past Laureate na nÓg is a highly anticipated event and fans will certainly not find themselves disappointed by this outstanding offering. Set in 1846 as the potato famine swept across Ireland, it introduces us to Nell, the eldest daughter ... Read Full Review
Tricia Adams

Tricia Adams

As a professional librarian with more years’ experience than she cares to mention – Tricia has worked in several sectors including government libraries and as a self-employed information specialist but has reverted to her favourite – of working with children, in various guises, for the last 20+ years.

This has included a spell as a primary school librarian, before moving back to public libraries in her home county of Northamptonshire, where she was Head of Children’s and Young People’s Public Library Services and the manager of the Schools’ Library Service – Learning Resources for Education. 

She was then Director of the School Library Association (an independent charity) between 2008-2018.  She had the honour to be Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judging panel and Youth Libraries Group during 2008 and 2017. She now fills her time with volunteering for the Federation of Children’s Books, is Chair of the newly formed Northamptonshire CBG, Co-ordinates the National Share a Story Month initiative and is a newly appointed Trustee of the English Association.  She continues to work with Youth Libraries Group and she also leads training sessions, as well as reviewing for several organisations. 

A lifelong love of reading and collecting children’s books, amongst other topics, has created a collection so rambling that the house has to be extended every few years!

Latest Review on
Windrush Child

This novel, by Birmingham born poet Zephaniah, is the fifth book in the Scholastic Voices series – highlighting the situation and stories behind the myriad of people who have arrived from all over the world to the UK. Leonard’s father is one of the many Jamaican born men ... Read Full Review
Greg Hackett

Greg Hackett

An avid crime and thriller reader when younger Greg is now more interested in non-fiction and in particular books which explain the natural world and our relationship with it. You will also find the biographies of extraordinary people propping up his reading list which is unsurprising as his career has mostly been in live events where he has had the opportunity to hear many remarkable human stories in person. Most recently Greg has founded the London Mountain Film Festival which shares the inspiring experiences of remarkable people doing amazing things in incredible places. He is also a publisher of gifts for hill-walkers and an enthusiastic but challenged home-brewer.

Latest Review on
No More Sh*t Managers

It’s just as well this book didn’t come out when I was a manager as I might well have got the boot. Or at least that’s what I thought when I first picked it up, but despite its provocative title, No More Sh*t ... Read Full Review
Lindsay Quayle

Lindsay Quayle

Lindsay Quayle was always that child pleading for an extra half an hour of reading time before lights out. It was no surprise to anyone that she went on to study English Literature once she’d worked her way through every book she could lay her hands on at home and at school.

After a spell of time in Finance, the draw of books brought her back to her real passion; she finished her masters in Publishing Studies and spent time working as a bookseller before landing a role at non-fiction publisher, Mainstream. Several years later, she went on to work for Scottish Book Trust and had the enviable job of writing about the life-changing benefits of reading and stories. She was also responsible for curating book lists for organisations including Children in Scotland, Education Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland, as well as writing regular reviews for Children’s Books Ireland and other internal publications.

Lindsay is now a freelance writer and editor with her own company, Pencil Press. She has never lost her love for a good novel, and still wishes there was an extra half an hour at the end of each day for one more chapter.

Latest Review on
Abandoned

When five-year-old Monica is removed from her volatile life with an alcoholic mother and placed in the safety of a respected foster family, it should have marked the start of a fresh beginning for the Scottish youngster. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. After the traumatic events of her ... Read Full Review
Lily Lindon

Lily Lindon

Lily Lindon is a writer and editor living in London. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University, where she was also part of the Footlights comedy group. She was an Editor at Vintage, Penguin Random House, before becoming an editor and mentor at The Novelry. Her debut novel DOUBLE BOOKED ('the bisexual romcom of your wildest dreams', DIVA Magazine) was published in June 2022. She is on Twitter @lily_lindon and Instagram @bookymcbookface.

Latest Review on
Trust and Safety

You know when sometimes a book feels like it was written specifically for you? This is one of those for me.  I sometimes felt like the authors must have installed a Family Friend in my house from how specifically it skewered what me and my friends have been talking ... Read Full Review

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Lois Cudjoe

Lois Cudjoe

Lois is a book lover, content creator and blogger from London. She reads and recommend books across all genres from romance to sci-fi and practically everything in between. As to her reading preferences, she loves a good hard-hitting contemporary novel as well as educational non-fiction. On the rare occasions when she's not reading, she can be found dabbling in writing and filming way too many outtakes.

Latest Review on
Outsiders: The Outside is Yours

In Outsiders: The Outside is Yours, Ollie Olanipekun and Nadeem Perera examine how racialised marginalisation has kept people of colour isolated from nature. They look at why outdoor industries are lacking in diverse racial representation and dispel the heavily internalised myth, within some ethnic communities, that these spaces are only ... Read Full Review
Maureen Stapleton

Maureen Stapleton

Maureen Stapleton, a writer and journalist, has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Radio Times, Heat, and many others. She is the associate director of the Greenwich Book Festival, and is a prize manager for the Comedy Women in Print Prize. As a proud holder of both British and American citizenship, she is bilingual in hot drinks (coffee and tea).

Latest Review on
Second Chances at the Board Game Café

Single mum Taylor is trying to make a living altering clothes while dreaming of being a fashion designer. Accountant Harry, who is an enthusiastic trainspotter, is trying to recover from his broken heart. The classic will they-won’t they get together forms the heart of this book. Second Chances ... Read Full Review

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Amy McKay

Amy McKay

Amy is a knowledgeable, innovative and enthusiastic school librarian, living and working in Cumbria.  Amy is a past UK School Librarian of the Year.

With over 17 years’ experience in school libraries and over a decade as the Yoto Carnegies National Coordinator she has a vast knowledge of children’s literature. She is a familiar face at festivals and has judged numerous book awards, including the Blue Peter Book Awards and the Nibbies.

Amy loves nothing more than sharing her love of books and reading, connecting young people with the authors and books that will enrich their lives for years to come.

Latest Review on
The Things We Leave Behind

London teenager Clem enjoys her 15th birthday surrounded by friends, family, and glorious sunshine – a perfect day. The world is changing though, and soon everyone and everything she knows, and loves, will be in danger. Set in a not-so-distant future, England is ruled by a racist far-right authoritarian government, ... Read Full Review
Paul Blezard

Paul Blezard

Multi award winning broadcaster, poet, author and literary commentator, Paul Blezard has for over twenty years spoken to, written about and worked with many of the world’s finest authors, poets, thinkers and writers.

On radio or television, international literary festival stages and as a critic, judge and editor, he profoundly believes in the transformative power of a good story well told. Paul Blezard is Festival Director of The LoveReading LitFest.

Latest Review on
The Killing Hills

Ok, so, whaddya know about Eastern Kentucky?  Perhaps you spent some of lockdowns 1, 2 and 3 bingeing on the “Justified” box sets? Maybe you have the footstamping brilliance of the Ruby Friedman Orchestra as she sings “ In the deep, dark, hills of Eastern Kentucky, that’s the ... Read Full Review
Julie Vuong

Julie Vuong

Julie Vuong is a journalist working at the centre of UK publishing, serving as feature writer at news service, BookBrunch, and columnist for Mslexia, the iconic magazine for women writers.  

As a book reviewer her work appears widely, including in Oh Magazine, The Skinny and Bloom, and she is also author of literary newsletter, Written Approval, interviewing people in the book trade about the books they love.

Latest Review on
The Right Sort of Girl

A much-loved personality on TV, Anita Rani lends all of her warmth and insight we’re used to seeing on screen to her writing. There’s an enthusiastic openness to her words – with lots of exclamation marks to show her spirit and excitement – and a cheering ... Read Full Review

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Lyndy Cooke

Lyndy Cooke

Lyndy has worked in the literature and publishing sectors for over 35 years, ranging from owning a chain of bookshops across the UK to being Managing Director of Hay Festival for 20 years.

She is a highly experienced events producer, creator and curator, and a freelance international consultant for arts and cultural events.

Now working closely with organisations across the UK and worldwide such as the National Trust, British Council, Commonwealth Foundation, Queens Park Book Festival, York Festival of Ideas, Jaipur Literature Festival and Ubud Writers & Readers Festival through her events company – Handheld Events.

She is currently also working on a major research project for the Arts Council Wales and the National Museums Wales.

To keep her grounded, Lyndy, also co-owns a small herd of ponies that are trained to be faithful pack ponies, leading guests and carrying their equipment across the Cambrian Mountains, to enjoy the stunning scenery and the great outdoors.

Lyndy retains an honorary role with Hay Festival and is a Trustee of Hay Castle and is a Director of the LoveReading LitFest.

Latest Review on
All The Broken Places

This beautifully written sequel to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, takes us right back to the time of the Holocaust, told with compassion and insight into how guilt and sorrow from the past follows Greta throughout her life. We first met Greta in the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas ... Read Full Review
Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski is a London-based novelist and editor. He was born in the UK and educated in France. He worked for many years in publishing in editorial director positions for Virgin, the Thomson Organisation, Penguin and Ebury Press before opening the world-famous Murder One bookshop in 1988.

He has written on and reviewed crime for Time Out, The Guardian, the Times, the Daily Telegraph and The Bookseller, amongst other publications, and is a regular broadcaster on radio and TV, and lectures on both crime and mystery fiction, and erotica. He also runs CRIME SCENE, London’s annual crime film and literature festival, and is an adviser to the International Mystery Film Festival.

Latest Review on
Waiting for Wednesday

Writing as Nicci French, husband and wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French have quickly established themselves as leading lights in the murky waters of psychological crime writing and have now embarked on their first series, featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein, after a raft of stand alone thrillers. In her 4th ... Read Full Review
Alison Flood

Alison Flood

I was that child who used to read under the table during dinner and in the corners at family gatherings. Now I work on the books desk for the Lovereading.co.uk, The Guardian, and review books (thrillers, mostly, but science fiction and fantasy when I can), for whoever will have me, including the Observer and the Sunday Times. When I lived in London, my house was bursting at the seams with books; now I live in Norway, it’s my ereader which is overwhelmed with riches. I’ve two small children, and am loving re-reading favourites from childhood with them.

Latest Review on
Annihilation

I am an absolute sucker both for quest-through-the-wilderness tales, and for post-apocalyptic landscapes. Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation delivers both, in creepily brilliant and utterly unforgettable style. Narrated by an unnamed female biologist, it tells of a scientific expedition - the latest of many failed ventures - into a desolate wilderness known ... Read Full Review
Sarah Broadhurst

Sarah Broadhurst

Sarah Broadhurst spent her early working life in the book trade in both retail and wholesale until the arrival of children forced her to look for freelance work she could do from home.

Her position of paperback buyer in Hatchards and then director of a book wholesale company gave her a wide knowledge of all sectors of the trade. She felt the trade lacked unbiased opinion, every publisher had the “best thing since sliced bread” and she knew the trade would benefit from an independent overview of the book published each month. She sold her idea to the trade journal The Bookseller and has, for the last 25 years, been writing a monthly article (from home!) on the new paperbacks on offer.

Over the years her opinion has become highly valued in the trade and she has become an expert in her field, contributing to many radio and television shows and reviewing in a wide range of newspapers and magazines from the Daily Express to Good Housekeeping.

Her speciality is supporting new authors. Writers who have atough time getting recognised. She has backed unknown first novels from the likes of Terry Pratchett, Joanna Trollope and Minette Walters and joins us now in introducing some of the unknown stars of the future to you.

Latest Review on
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

  If you are new to the series you really should start here to get the full background.  After that you can appreciate the others in any order you like but they do follow through as Precious Ramotswe’s love/office/family and friendships develop.  They are ... Read Full Review
Mary Hogarth

Mary Hogarth

Former journalist Mary Hogarth has nearly 20 years industry experience covering all aspects of magazine publishing.

An educator, media specialist and writer, Mary previously led the Features Journalism programme group at Southampton Solent University. During the course of her career she has written numerous features for a variety of magazines and recently published How To Launch A Magazine In This Digital Age.

She now runs her own consultancy practice themagazineexpert, specializing in magazine business, new title launches, editorial development and audience engagement. @themagexpert www.themagazineexpert.com

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I Found You

One of our Books of the Year 2016. August 2016 Book of the Month. A tale of lost memories and hidden secrets but will the truth destroy or heal? Lisa Jewell returns with yet another page-turner as she delves into the darker corners of the mind where the memories of our true ... Read Full Review

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