| | From Blog

Back from three days in Snowdonia, with Catherine and Hazel. Thursday An easy drive from Harpenden (M1 - M6 / M6 Toll - M56 - A55 - A5 - B4366 - old straight road - track) meant we reached Beudy... Read more

The Last Runaway - Tracy Chevalier

| | From Reading

English Quaker Honor Bright travels to America in search of a new life, alongside her sister Grace who is engaged to be married to an older man from their home town of Bridport who'd already set up a farm in... Read more

The Innocent - Magdalen Nabb

| | From Reading

Guarnaccia and his team are investigating a body discovered in one of the lakes in the Boboli Gardens, which turns out to be that of a young Japanese woman apprenticed to one of the city's artisan shoemakers. Lots of glimpses... Read more

Everest Trek Get Together No 9

| | From Blog

A larger than usual contingent at the June 2016 Get Together as we were joined by Jim (who's coming to Ladakh) and Charles (who did April's Solu Khumbu trek with me and Steffi). But otherwise "the usual" - aside from... Read more

Before The Frost - Henning Mankell

| | From Reading

Wallander's daughter, Linda, has graduated from the police academy and is waiting, impatiently, to start her career as a policewoman in her home town, and father's patch, Ystad. In parallel with parent-child relationships, Before the Frost explores the origins and... Read more

Lamentation - C. J. Sansom

| | From Reading

C. J. Sansom's Shardlake's take on the final months of Henry VIII's reign and life, revolving around the disappearance of a manuscript written by Henry VIII's sixth wife, Catherine Parr. As Henry's health worsens, political and religious power struggles escalate... Read more

Voices - Arnaldur Indriðason

| | From Reading

Early Erlendur. It's the run up to Christmas and Erlendur is investigating the murder of the doorman-cum-caretaker at a Reykjavík hotel. His daughter Eva Lind is clean and recovering from the loss of her baby. We witness his first encounter... Read more

Retromania - Simon Reynolds

| | From Reading

Quite a weighty tome - over 400 pages in paperback - looking at music's love of the past; revering, recycling, repurposing musical styles and genres across the decades. Particularly fascinating when you get to chapters about times and tunes you... Read more

K2: Triumph and Tragedy - Jim Curran

| | From Reading

Jim Curran's account of the 1986 K2 season which saw 13 deaths on the world's second highest mountain. In contrast to the 1996 Everest "disaster", we're still in the era of pre-commercial climbs by experienced climber-mountaineers: 27 summitted, including Alan... Read more

A God In Ruins - Kate Atkinson

| | From Reading

Returning to the Beresford Todd family, where we first met Ursula in Life After Life, this is her beloved younger brother Teddy's tale. Wonderful. Author's webpage: A God In Ruins - Kate Atkinson Review: A God in Ruins by Kate... Read more

Boundless - Kathleen Winter

| | From Reading

Kathleen Winter - a writer born in the north of England, but who immigrated to Canada with her parents when she was a child - shares her experiences of travelling on a small cruise ship along the famous Northwest Passage... Read more

More battles with Saxon/Danish warlord, Uhtred, this time against Irish Viking, Ragnall whose brother Sigtryggr he (and we) met in Chester in The Empty Throne, and who eloped with Uhtred's daughter Stiorra. Stiorra is one of three strong women in... Read more

The Girl On The Train - Paula Hawkins

| | From Reading

Gone Girl-style thriller, with a London commuter theme. Speedy read. Author's webpage: The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins... Read more

Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch

| | From Reading

When two girls go missing from their North Herefordshire homes on a midsummer night, PC Peter Grant is sent to check for any supernatural connections or, worst case, causes. Excellent! Publisher page: Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch Author's website: Temporarily... Read more

Superb set of insights into the Atlantic Ocean from (geology graduate) Simon Winchester. Themed chapters covering man's awareness and attitude to, exploration and exploitation of this most familiar ocean, the land and lava beneath it, the air above and the... Read more

Cordillera Blanca Traverse: Photos & Notes

| | From Blog

Just in the nick of time - I'm off to Nepal on Friday - I've finished Flickering and writing up my notes from last summer's Cordillera Blanca Traverse with Val Pitkethly. My photos are all in my Peru - June/July... Read more

Oh My America! - Sara Wheeler

| | From Reading

Approaching 50, Sara Wheeler followed in the footsteps of 6 English women when went to America over the course of the 19th century - decades which saw the United States' Frontier lurch relentlessly across a continent and, in time, the... Read more

Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

| | From Reading

Read before (but forgotten!) - still excellent. Real voices; unreal world - not often a novel makes you want to visit two made up modernist buildings! Publisher page: Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch Author's website: Temporarily Significant... Read more

The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey

| | From Reading

Fantasy or fable? A childless couple in late middle age move to Alaska to build a new life in the beautiful but harsh surroundings of a frontier farm. One evening in their first year they build a snowchild. The next... Read more

Catherine Parr - Henry VIII's sixth wife. A survivor's tale, and - more surprising - the first woman to publish in English under her own name. Author's webpage: The Taming of the Queen - Philippa Gregory... Read more

About Me

Born and brought up in Solihull, I studied at St Andrews and in Chester before coming to live and work in London.

I've done a variety of jobs in the legal sector, focusing on the knowledge management and technology side of things since 2000. You'll find details on LinkedIn.

SparklyTrainers is about my world outside work. As you'll see, I love to travel, take photos and read.

I tweet (sporadically) as @maryloosemore

My email is [my firstname] @ [my surname].com


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