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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

I have been an Editorial Expert writing reviews for LoveReading since February 2014. Reading has always played a huge part in my life and I can quite happily chat books all day. I previously spent twenty years working as a member of police support staff, including roles as Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer and Crime Reduction Advisor. I relish my time spent exploring all genres, and particularly enjoy novels that encourage my emotions to run riot, or fling me back in time or to unknown places. I’m also thrilled when broadsided by an unexpected twist. I was a judge for the Romantic Novelists' Association Goldsboro Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2018, the LoveReading Very Short Story Award 2019, and the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival Short Story Competition 2019 . I am delighted to have been asked to be a judge for the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger in 2020. I would describe myself as a reader, a lover of all things books, and can be found on twitter as @LRLizRobinson.

Latest Review on
The Lingering

A thrilling, chilling, shocking tale, perfect if you take delight in an icy shiver scuttling down your spine. A couple leaves their life behind them to join a commune in a former psychiatric hospital, events soon start to spin terrifyingly out of control. The prologue pounced on my imagination, I ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Liz Robinson
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.

Latest Review on
Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration

Oxenbury is an amazing illustrator, who has given us many of the well-loved classics of childhood reading. Here is an honest, beautifully illustrated look at the life of a modern illustrator, and her life. A book to read, to dip into and to just enjoy. Tricia Adams, from our Best ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Julia Eccleshare M.B.E.
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
View All Reviews By Alison Flood
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
Hey Sherlock!

This is the third in Simon Mason’s award-winning Garvie Smith crime series and you won’t find a better, more entertaining or more stylishly written whodunnit. His hero Garvie Smith is very smart – indeed, he’s a virtual maths genius – but very lazy, whether ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Andrea Reece
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
The Unconscious in Social and Political Life

This insightful anthology explores the effects of social and political turbulence on the individual and social unconscious with invigorating verve. Based on a series of progressive “The Political Mind” seminars established by David Morgan of ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Joanne Owen
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

Latest Review on
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
View All Reviews By Mary Hogarth
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 listed for the CWA John Creasey Dagger in 2016.

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 Johnson 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' and ‘Armed Forces Bikers' charities.

In his spare time Matt keeps honey bees and produces his own honey. He scuba dives, collects unusual hats and enjoys hill-walking with his three dogs at his home in Wales near the Brecon Beacons.

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

Newsletter sign-up at https://mattjohnsonauthor.com/newsletter-signup/

Matt is now represented by James Wills at Watson-Little Literary Agents in London. He is available for interview either through Watson Little and can be contacted by email matt@mattjohnsonauthor.com and through twitter @Matt_Johnson_UK.

 

Latest Review on
Rock Pool

The moment I held Rock Pool for the first time, I sensed I was in for a real treat. The book (hardback) feels like an item of quality. It has a beautifully designed and illustrated front cover, a sturdy jacket, and is printed on very good quality paper. Credit must ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Matt Johnson
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
Pretty Unhealthy

Pretty Unhealthy is written in a personal and chatty style to educate, inform and entertain. When heart surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp was diagnosed with high blood pressure, she began to look more closely at not just her own lifestyle but what being healthy really means. In modern society, health and ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Victoria Goldman
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
Mad

Following the success of L.S. Hilton's Maestra series, it appears that wicked and murderous females are back in vogue (but had they ever truly faded away?). Alvina is down on her luck in London when she receives a call from her more successful and beautiful twin sister ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Maxim Jakubowski
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.

Simon Spanton

Simon Spanton

Simon Spanton has been a publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as mainstream fiction, for 25 years, the last 19 years of which has been as Associate Publisher at the prestigious publisher, Gollancz. In that time he published authors such as Ben Aaronovitch, Peter F. Hamilton, Scott Lynch, Richard Morgan and Brandon Sanderson. Prior to that he was a bookseller.

He’s always believed the genres of SF and Fantasy should be home to bestsellers with the widest possible appeal as well niche titles. They should be about a sense of wonder and strangeness conveyed by gripping stories, peopled by empathetic characters and told in satisfying prose. That thought process will be at the core of his selections each month for Lovereading. As well as reading he’s likely to be watching a film, walking or cycling. Although not at the same time.

 

Latest Review on
The Passenger

Award-winning thriller and historical crime writer F.R. Tallis heads into supernatural waters with his new novel. The Passenger is an atmospheric and highly worrying tale set in and around a German U-Boat in 1941. Despite Lothar-Gunther Bucheim’s acclaimed novel Das Boot (and the film based upon it) the ... Read Full Review
View All Reviews By Simon Spanton
The Good Book Guide

The Good Book Guide

The Good Book Guide has, for over forty years, been one of the most valued places to get honest, expert book reviews. Sadly, in 2015 The Good Book Guide closed its doors but an agreement with Lovereading was reached to acquire its impressive back catalogue of reviews from the last decade and these have now been integrated into the website. Many well known reviewers and globally renowned authors have reviewed for The Good Book Guide over the years including Barry Forshaw, Fiona Lafferty, Antonia Fraser, Salman Rushdie, Beryl Bainbridge and Will Self to name just a few.

Lovereading and The Good Book Guide shared the same ethos - to keep readers regularly informed of the most outstanding new books across a range of genres through expert review recommendation. Here at Lovereading, we are therefore thrilled to be able to continue the Good Book Guide’s legacy through our various media channels and to continue to serve some of the passionate book readers who have been so loyal to the Good Book Guide over the years.

Fiona Lafferty, GBG’s former editor, has joined Lovereading’s Expert Review panel and said, “My association with the Good Book Guide has been a long and very happy one, so I am delighted that a home has at last been found for it at Lovereading. I know that Lovereading shares the Good Book Guide’s commitment to informing readers about the very best books available, and I am confident that, even though the Guide will not continue in printed form, that its philosophy and heritage will be upheld.”

Bing Taylor, Founding Editor of the Good Book Guide said, “I am absolutely delighted the Guide lives on under the umbrella of Lovereading. The ethos of the GBG was to provide regular, unbiased, independent guidance on books currently available and selected by knowledgeable reviewers who love reading. So what could be more appropriate than to join forces with a thriving company sharing the same ethos but adapted for the 21st century.”