Exploring the world of ideas through books

Loft storage from a former residence

A man who eats books for breakfast. And has more for dinner and tea. Kate @Kateshrewsday

… the most-perfectly-attuned-to-my-needs book blog I’ve ever seen. Lucy Mangan, author of Bookworm: a memoir of childhood reading

… entertaining, elucidating, and certainly covering “the world of ideas”! Lizzie Ross lizzierosswriter.com

… a fantastically interesting and intelligent review. Bookwitch.wordpress.com

This is the bestest website in the worlds! Spam comment

Book reviews

Exploring the world of ideas through books is the strapline, and that’s pretty much what I intend to do. Each review or discussion is intended as a critique encapsulating assessment, appraisal and appreciation, all in one. My hope is that the posts will, through their interior monologues, stimulate dialogue from readers, so feel free to agree or disagree about my assessments or add your own thoughts about the books reviewed here.

Incidentally, many of the reviews I post may well have appeared elsewhere (LibraryThing, Goodreads, Amazon, or in print) but may have added content or, indeed, be completely recast.

© C A Lovegrove


The warning triangle with the unicorn was inspired by a defaced roadsign on the road into St Davids in Wales; I really liked the suggestion that the traveller from the east was entering into some kind of fantasyland. The same warning could equally apply to this review blog.

Warning of unicorns on A487. © 2021 Google

About me

I’ve had a career in music — teaching, performing, accompanying, adjudicating. At the same time I pursued leisure interests in history, archaeology and mythology, having edited an Arthurian journal (called Pendragon) for many years. Once I had more time on my hands I decided to start a blog to keep a track of what I’ve been reading and, occasionally, what I read some time ago. I do try to post regularly and — a bonus to potential followers — reply to pretty much all comments made!

Minutiae, Zenrinji, Pendragonry and @calmgrove

Do also have a look at my other occasional blogs: MyNewShy was my photoblog, now superseded by its homophone Minutiae looking at minutiae (as the name implies), while Zenrinji posts occasional micropoetry and flash fiction. Articles on Arthurian matters can be found at Pendragonry. And check out @calmgrove on Twitter for more on exploring the world of ideas through books.

Chris Lovegrove

I try to credit images wherever possible. Uncredited images tend to be either public domain or my own photos: if you intend to reuse my photos or images I would appreciate a credit and/or link

18 thoughts on “Exploring the world of ideas through books

  1. I have previously come across Whyte’s series (also titled The Camulod Chronicles), and somewhere I’ve even got a copy of one of the volumes which I’ve yet to read. I’ll have to look it up.

    In my experience there is no end of historical fictions based on the Arthurian legend which are claimed as ‘plausible’ reconstructions of the ‘truth’, though looking through my historical/archaeological spectacles they usually reveal themselves as anachronistic narratives based on slender or outdated evidence, plus a lot of guesswork, faith and hoped-for wish-fulfillment. If however there are redeeming literary features such as artistry and believable characters I’m always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt!


    1. I’m not sure if I can rustle up seven interesting facts about myself, Lydia, or which fifteen bloggers to invite to participate in this activity. I shall have to think a bit about this! But thank you for the appreciation — itself much appreciated!


    1. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying it — it’ll be my third reading when I properly review it — and that I was instrumental in you finally tackling it. Let me know how you get on!


    1. Thanks so much for following, Silvia, and glad you liked the loft shelving! My intention when we moved three years ago was to severely reduce the volume of books you see here, but sadly that doesn’t seem to have happened, however much I try …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lyndenwade

    Hello, I’ve just subscribed to your blog based on your review of Joan Aiken’s Kingdom under the Sea. I’m intrigued that you edit(ed?) Pendragon. It was advertised regularly in a magazine I used to subscribe to, Withowinde, of the Anglo-Saxon Society, and I would have subscribed to Pendragon too, only I wasn’t keeping up with the magazines I already had. Recently, I tried to google Pendragon and couldn’t find anything. Has it ceased?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Lynden, yes, after 50 years we decided to call it a day in 2009, finishing with a bumper anthology. If you’re absolutely desperate I’ve just started to repost some of my own articles at http://pendragonry.wordpress.com..

      Withowinde was of course an exchange journal though they were (are still?) a lot more scholarly than we were! Anyway, thanks for subscribing, hope you enjoy what you see.

      Liked by 1 person

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