I review non-fiction books for a number of publications. I welcome advance copies of titles related to my specialisms and interests including: Latin America, India, Wales, Spain, Portugal, nature, landscape, walking, running, community, books about books, human rights, sustainability, and business ethics. Please send to Oliver Balch, The Story of Books, 20 Castle Street, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5DF.

Oliver Balch is the author of three books published by Faber: Under the Tump: Sketches of Real Life on the Welsh Borders; India Rising; and Viva South America!


The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age

By James Crabtree (Oneworld)

Reviewed in The Literary Review, July 2018 READ REVIEW


The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places 

By William Atkins (Faber)

Reviewed in the Financial Times, June 2018 READ REVIEW


Between Stone and Sky: Memoirs of a Waller

By Whitney Brown (Constable)

Reviewed in The Spectator, May 2018 READ REVIEW


The Long Spring: Tracking the Arrival of Spring Through Europe


By Laurence Rose (Bloomsbury)


Reviewed in The Spectator, April 2018 READ REVIEW


Franco: Anatomy of a Dictator 

By Enrique Moradiellos (I B Tauris)

Reviewed in The Spectator, February 2018 READ REVIEW


River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges & India’s Future 

By Victor Mallet

Reviewed in the Financial Times, October 2017 READ REVIEW


The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta

By Kushanava Choudhury (Bloomsbury Circus)

The End of Karma: Hope and Fury among India’s Young

By Somini Sengupta (W W Norton)

Reviewed in The Literary Review, August 2017 READ REVIEW


The Tiger and the Ruby: A Journey to the Other Side of British India

By Kief Hillsbury (Oneworld)

Reviewed in the Financial Times, July 2017 READ REVIEW


Turning: A Swimming Memoir

by Jessica J Lee (Virago)

Floating: A Life Regained

By Joe Minihane (Duckworth Overlook)

Reviewed in The Literary Review, June 2017 READ REVIEW


The Village News: The Truth Behind England’s Rural Idyll

By Tom Fort (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed in The Spectator, April 2017 READ REVIEW


How to Travel Without Seeing: Dispatches from the New Latin America 


Andrés Neuman (Restless Books)


Reviewed in The Spectator, September 2016 READ REVIEW


Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human

By Vybarr Cregan-Reid (Ebury Press)

Reviewed in The Literary Review, August 2016 READ REVIEW