About ReadySteadyBook

ReadySteadyBook is an independent book review website which is devoted to reviewing the very best books in literary fiction, poetry, history and philosophy. It was described by the popular and prolific author Christopher Fowler as having "a professionalism ... that would put most broadsheets to shame."

ReadySteadyBook features literature, philosophy, poetry and some history: if you have books in these areas please get in touch. We do not review crime, thriller, SF, romance, YA books.

One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs ("a home-grown treasure, this one, with smart, serious analysis") and described as "fast becoming Britain's premier literary website", ReadySteadyBook was called "unfailingly resourceful and informative... day after lively day" by award-winnning Irish poet Dennis O'Driscoll. Publisher and writer Dennis Loy Johnson (of Moby Lives and Melville House books) said it is "one of Great Britain's truly great blogs" and the writer Anthony Rudolf called RSB "a significant contribution to serious writing about serious writing."

ReadySteadyBook, described by one regular reader as "oasis of thoughtfulness... I find things here I wouldn't find anywhere else", has contributors who include radical geographer, and expert on Henri Lefebvre and Guy Debord, Andrew Merrifield, Dai Vaughan (described by the Review of Contemporary Fiction as one of the most skilful writers of our age), writer and environmentalist Ken Worpole, Not the Booker Prize winner Lee Rourke, the writer Leora Skolkin-Smith, the poet, publisher, academic and critic Michael Schmidt, acclaimed writer and classical music expert Paul Griffiths, the award-winning translator Robert Chandler and many others.

The RSB robot was designed exclusively for RSB by the wonderful Tom Gauld. The many "interviews" on the site are carried out via email.

(Please note that through the Associates Programme, RSB earns a tiny commission on any sales completed using a link from the site. The books that we discuss and review on the site are never influenced by any of the links we provide (most of the books are sent to us gratis as is usual for any reviewing journal). Google adverts that appear on RSB are inserted by Google, not RSB, and are based on words appearing on the page. We do not necessarily endorse their content.

If you would like to contribute a donation to RSB to ensure its ongoing survival and growth, please get in touch.)

More praise for ReadySteadyBook

"Well designed, highbrow, and full of good, judicious reviews." Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph

"Mark Thwaite's superb UK book blog... is a daily goldmine of fascinating reading and should be on everyone's must-read list." Mark Sarvas, The Elegant Variation

"Unusually clear, unpretentious and open-minded reviewing." Robert Chandler, translator of Pushkin, Chekhov, Platonov

"[R]eal value: it is stylish in the best sense, both in design and in presentation." Michael Schmidt, critic, poet and publisher

"One of the most useful and informative literary blogs I know of." Pierre Joris, poet and translator

"Honest and perceptive reviewing" Emma Hargrave, managing editor, Tindal Street publishers

"[T]he standard by which British litblogs should be judged" Buzzwords Deux

"[A] terrific British Lit blog attached to a terrific site" The London News Review

"[A] fine literary blog" spikemagazine

"[T]he peerless ReadySteadyBook" Long Sunday


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-- Mark Thwaite (04/08/2005)

Readers Comments

  1. Wendy Troost says... Tuesday 22 January 2008

    I am blessed to have stumbled across your website and could not be happier. As an American, we sometimes get limited on what is considered 'good reading'. I now feel sooo fortunate to have you and your contemporaries to look to for some mind-altering reading. Thank you.
    Maybe, someday I will tell you of a good read that I have found and hope you like it too.

    Wendy Troost

  2. Sue Davies says... Monday 31 March 2008

    How wonderful to have found this website. I listened to the Radio this morning in a half sleep and heard John Mullen talking too. Will now use it regularly. I love to discuss books and enjoy reviews, and enjoy reading and writing above all else.

  3. Tom Cunliffe says... Monday 05 May 2008

    Having only discovered this site a few days ago, it has immediately become a daily visit. Excellent work and well-worth all the plaudits

  4. Elizabeth Jasper says... Friday 28 November 2008

    I live in a remote mountain village in Andalucia and I'm thrilled to have discovered this blog. What a lifeline for remote readers and even writers who can't access the usual publications - I'll be a regular visitor, you can be sure!

  5. Mark Waterfield says... Monday 29 June 2009

    You have set the standard for book blogs that the rest of us aspire to achieve.

  6. Janice Sinclaire says... Friday 17 December 2010

    Tom Jacobs has a fascinating article about the wisdom of Victorian novels that I thought you might like. I hope you enjoy it.
    Best regards,

    Victorian Novels Provide Timeless Psychological Insights: A new look at classic 19th-century novels reveals an understanding of behavior that largely mirrors the findings of modern psychological research.

  7. Miranda Miller says... Sunday 23 January 2011

    I was so pleased to find your website, Mark. The Book Depository seems to have gone downmarket but thank goodness you are still passionate about real books . I enjoyed the interview you did with me a few years ago. Peter Owen recently published Nina in utopia (did they send you a copy?) and I'm working on a sequel.

  8. mic hael holland says... Friday 17 June 2011

    As you have a Maurice Blanchot page with links, I wonder if you would be willing to add this one, which is for a new journal, the Cahiers Maurice Blanchot. I'd be most grateful.

    Mike Holland

  9. Douglas Penick says... Friday 03 August 2012

    Hello Mark,
    What a superb assemblage of thoughtful essays.

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