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

The White Princess - Philippa Gregory

| | From Reading

The White Princess is Elizabeth of York, last seen embarking on liaisons dangereuses with Richard III, now facing up to the prospect of marrying his rival, Henry VII. Excellent telling of the transition from The Wars of the Roses to... Read more

Clever Girl - Tessa Hadley

| | From Reading

Stella's life from infatuated teen, gym slip mum, commune resident, mistress then wife of wealthy older business man. Sounds like a chick lit cliché but doesn't read like one. My first try of Tessa Hadley; not my last. Publisher page:... Read more

Manaslu Circuit Trek: Prep

| | From Blog

Now that I've got my photos and notes done for last year's spring trip to Nepal, it's time to turn my attention to this year's Manaslu Circuit Trek. First up: Vaccinations Having a bit more time than in recent years,... Read more

No Way Down - Graham Bowley

| | From Reading

New York Times reporter Graham Bowley's account of the 2008 K2 mountaineering disaster. Well told, but graphic in places. Publisher's page: No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 - Graham Bowley... Read more

The Valley of Amazement - Amy Tan

| | From Reading

Fifty Shades of Shanghai. Two generations of feisty, independent (half-)American women in fin de siècle Shanghai. Daughter of American Lucretia and absent Chinese father Lu Shing, Violet grows up in Hidden Jade Path, the First Class Courtesan House run by... Read more

Tsum Valley Trek: Photos and Notes

| | From Blog

I've finally finished putting photos from last Easter's Tsum Valley Trek into a Flickr album - Tsum Valley - Nepal, March/April 2015 - with titles, tags and daily notes. It was a great two week trek, into a quiet and... Read more

Land of the Blind - Barbara Nadel

| | From Reading

Still mourning the death of his sergeant, Ayşe Farsakoğlu, Inspector Çetin İkmen's investigation the discovery of a woman's body in the hippodrome of Constantinople leads him towards property developer Ahmet Oden, the rampant redevelopment of İstanbul's older quarters and the... Read more

The Leopard - Jo Nesbø

| | From Reading

Another hefty dose of Harry Hole. Smashing. This time, lots of politics between various arms of the Norwegian Police Force as Harry is persuaded home from Hong Kong by the news that his dad is seriously ill. Although His Crime... Read more

How to Be Both - Ali Smith

| | From Reading

Two stories of girls who lost their mothers young - modern day Georgia, and 15th century Francesco del Cossa (in that order, in the version I picked up from the library). Schoolgirl Georgia is slowly coming to terms with her... Read more

1222 - Anne Holt

| | From Reading

Hanne Wilhelmsen, once a detective and Chief Inspector in the Oslo Police force, now wheel chair bound following a shooting that severed her spinal cord, finds herself involved in a train crash high up in the northern mountains at Norway's... Read more

Walking Home From Mongolia - Rob Lilwall

| | From Reading

Once I'd realised that "home" of the title was Hong Kong and not the UK, Walking Home from Mongolia made a lot more sense! Over the winter of 2011/2012 Rob Lilwall and cameraman Leon McCarron walked from the frozen lands... 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


Random photos

See more on Flickr