So Much For That Winter

Title: So Much For That Winter (original title: Det var så den vinter) Writer: Dorthe Nors, translated by Misha Hoekstra Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication:  June 15th 2016  Rating: 5 stars ‘’Night has descended on Amager. Denmark is laid in darkness. The Sound flows softly. The planes take off and land. Minna awakens….

Hans Christian Andersen (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Hans Christian Andersen (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, illustrated by Maxine Lee-Mackie Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: April 20th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.     Hans Christian Andersen A…

Our Wives Under the Sea

Title: Our Wives Under the Sea Writer: Julia Armfield Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: March 3rd 2022 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The deep sea is a haunted house: a place in which things that ought not to exist move about in the darkness. Unstill, is the word Leah uses, tilting her head to the side…

Michael Jordan

(Little People, Big Dreams) Title: Michael Jordan (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, illustrated by Lo Harris Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: December 7th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.’’                                      Michael Jordan The boy of our…

Five Tuesdays in Winter

Title: Five Tuesdays in Winter Writer: Lily King Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: November 2nd 2021 Rating: 5 stars Well, there is something vague and hazy and particular about Tuesdays. They are simple but mysterious, neither here nor there, free of the Monday gloom but lacking the joy of Friday. They are peaceful…

Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories

Title: Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories Writer: Various, edited by Roald Dahl Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: February 2nd 2012 (first published 1983) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Too determined though. Always got his own way. Loved Christine too much I thought. Died among the roses. Used to sit down here with her for hours,…

Dark Tales

Title: Dark Tales Writer: Shirley Jackson Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: September 28th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Miss Adela Strangeworth stepped daintily along Main Street on her way to the grocery. The sun was shining, the air was fresh and clear after the night’s heavy rain, and everything in Miss Strangeworth’s little town…

A Bedtime Full of Stories

Title: A Bedtime Full of Stories: 50 Folktales and Legends from Around the World Writer: Angela McAllister, illustrated by Anna Shepeta Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: November 9th 2021 Rating: 5 stars Fifty beautiful folk tales to be read before bed, to soothe your soul, to make you travel in lands…

Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs

Title: Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs Writer: Linda Olsson Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: August 26th 2005 Rating: 5 stars ”July 1942, Vastra Sangeby, Dalarna, Sweden When the sun dipped behind the wall of trees, we lay down and the white night swallowed us. It has been night ever since.” Two women find…

Ghoulia (Mortina #1)

Title: Ghoulia (original title: Una storia che ti farà morire dal ridere) Writer: Barbara Cantini (translated by Anna Golding) Publishing House: Harry N. Abrams Date of Publication: August 28th 2018  (first published October 17th 2017) Rating: 5 stars Mortina is a very special girl. She is a brilliant, lovely zombie girl who lives in a…

Samhain: Rituals, Recipes and Lore for Halloween

Title: Samhain: Rituals, Recipes and Lore for Halloween Writer: Diana Rajchel  Publishing House: Llewellyn Publications Date of Publication: September 1st 2015 Rating: 5 stars ‘’At Samhain, the circle of the year has come to its final spoke in the Wheel. At this time, the harvest has finished, the dying god interred, and the goddess has…

Ghost Stories of New York State

Title: Ghost Stories of New York State Writer: Susan Smitten Publishing House: Folklore Publishing Date of Publication:  March 1st 2004 Rating: 5 stars ”Whether we accept the possibility of ghosts or reject it, it is clear that our past can haunt our present. Ghosts may be a reminder to make the most of our lives…

Burntcoat

Title: Burntcoat Writer: Sarah Hall Publishing House: Faber and Faber Ltd Date of Publication: October 7th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Those who tell stories survive.’’ ‘’Is it possible to be saved, like Scheherazade seducing the enemy with tales? Do stories make sense in a disordered world?’’ A tragic change inflicts the most important person in…

Leicestershire and Rutland Folk Tales

Τitle:Leicestershire and Rutland Folk Tales Writer: Leicestershire Guild of Storytelling Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: February 28th 2013 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Standing in the Great Hall, with the cold of the flagstoned floor underfoot and the dark timbers of the roof trusses above, the noise of our twenty-first century city is muffled….

Autumn (Seasonal Quartet #1)

Title: Autumn (Seasonal Quartet #1) Writer: Ali Smith Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: August 31st 2017  (first published October 20th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. Again. That’s the thing about things. They fall apart, always have, always will, it’s in their nature.’’ ‘’How…

Windows

Title: Windows Writer: Julia Denos, illustrated by E.B.Goodale Publishing House: Candlewick Press Date of Publication: October 17th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’At the end of the day, before the town goes to sleep, you can look out of your window and see more little windows lit up like eyes in the dusk blinking away as…

Persuasion

Title: Persuasion Writer: Jane Austen Publishing House: Penguin Clothbound Classics Date of Publication: April 24th 2012 (first published December 1817) Rating: 4 stars “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” When…

Κarate Chop

Title: Karate Chop (original title: Kantslag) Writer: Dorthe Nors (translated by Martin Aitken) Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication: February 4th 2014 (first published September 25th 2008) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Once in a while everyone wishes someone dead, though no one should ever kill.’’ Do You Know Jussi? : A girl on the brink…

The Pull of the Stars

Title: The Pull of the Stars Writer: Emma Donoghue Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: July 28th 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’The bone man was making fool of us all. That was what we kids called death in my part of the country – the bone man, that skeletal rider who kept his grinning skull…

The Mermaid of Black Conch

Title: The Mermaid of Black Conch Writer: Monique Roffey Publishing House: Peepal Tree Press Ltd Date of Publication: April 2nd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’That morning David played her soft hymns he’d learnt as a boy, praising God. He sang holy songs for her, songs which brought tears to his eyes, and there they stayed,…

Strange Weather in Tokyo

Title: Strange Weather In Tokyo (original title: センセイの鞄) Writer: Hiromi Kawakami (translated by Allison Markin Powell) Publishing House: Granta Date of Publication: August 6th 2020 (first published 2001) Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the autumn there are dead leaves all over the place and in winter the bare branches are bleak and dreary.’’ A woman and…

The Inner Room

Τitle: The Inner Room Writer: Robert Aickman Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: January 3rd 2019 (first published 1968) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I do not like this shop,’’ said my mother. ‘’It is a shop that has died.’’ Confession time: In my family, there has always been a strange conviction regarding dollhouses. I…

Mabon: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Autumn Equinox

Title: Mabon: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Autumn Equinox Writer: Diana Rajchel Publishing House:  Llewellyn Publications Date of Publication: July 1st 2015 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Harvest festivals celebrated more than finished work for the season; they celebrated the capacity to survive the winter.’’ Mabon is arguably the most obscure tradition of the Old Ways…

Love and Other Thought Experiments

Title: Love and Other Thought Experiments Writer: Sophie Ward Publishing House: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Date of Publication: September 28th 2021 (first published February 6th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There is the physical knowledge of another person but can there be an understanding of what it is like to have their experience?’’ Eliza and Rachel…

Miss Brill

Title: Miss Brill Writer: Katherine Mansfield Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: February 26th 2015 (first published 1920) Rating: 5 stars ‘’God forbid, my darling, that I should be a drag on your happiness.’’ Marriage a la Mode: The loving relationship of a young married couple changes when Isabel falls under the influence of…

Travelling Light

Title: Travelling Light (original title: Resa med lätt bagage) Writer: Tove Jansson (translated by Silvester Mazzarella) Publishing House: Sort of Books Date of Publication: 2010 (first published 1987) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Light is Jansson’s insistence that no man or woman is an island. No matter how much we may long to escape others, we can’t;…

Shoko’s Smile

Title: Shoko’s Smile (original title: 쇼코의 미소) Writer: Choi Eunyoung (translated by Sung Ryu) Publishing House: John Murray Press Date of Publication: August 19th 2021 (first published July 7th 2016) Rating: 5 stars “I dig my hands into the cold sand and gaze at the black, shimmering sea. It feels like the edge of the…

Hurricane Season

Title: Hurricane Season (original title: Tempradas De Huracanes) Writer: Fernanda Melchor (translated by Sophie Hughes) Publishing House: Fitzcarraldo Editions Date of Publication:  February 19th 2020  (first published May 12th 2017) Rating: 3 stars ‘’They called her the Witch, the same as her mother; the Young Witch when she first started trading in curses and cures,…

Midsummer Mysteries: Secrets and Suspense from the Queen of Crime

Title: Midsummer Mysteries: Secrets and Suspense from the Queen of Crime Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: HarperCollins Publishers Date of Publication: July 22nd 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Most details are insignificant; one or two are vital. It is the brain, the little grey cells’ – he tapped his forehead – ‘on which one must rely….

Earthlings

Title: Earthlings (original title: 地球星人) Writer: Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Publishing House: Granta Date of Publication: September 29th 2020 (first published August 31st 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Magical powers. I have to summon my magical powers. The power of darkness, the power of wind – any magical power will do, but I…

Human Terrain

Title:Human Terrain Writer: Emily Bullock Publishing House: Reflex Press Date of Publication: August 31st 2021 Rating: 5 stars “On the 18th of December 1989, when waves smashed Blackpool pier and leaves whipped against windows, she began to fight. In the upstairs bathroom, on a blue fish and smiling dolphin beach towel, the ambulance delayed under…

Lillian on Sunday

Title: Lillian On Sunday Writer: Lionel Walfish Publishing House: FriesenPress Date of Publication: July 30th 2021 Rating: 5 stars “October in Blenheim, Massachusetts brought with it, along with swirls of golden wind-blown leaves, a sense of eerie anticipation. A new academic year; teachers, new and old, freshman faces, and of course, the hazing. The town…

The Island of Missing Trees

Title:The Island Of Missing Trees Writer: Elif Shafak Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication: August 5th 2021  Rating: 5 stars “Once upon a memory, at the far end of the Mediterranean Sea, there lay an island so beautiful and blue that the many travellers, pilgrims, crusaders and merchants who fell in love with it either…

The Summer Book

Title: The Summer Book (original title: Sommarboken) Writer: Tove Jansson (translated by Thomas Teal) Publishing House: NYRB Classics Date of f Publication: May 20th 2008 (first published 1972) Rating: 5 stars ‘’One time in April, there was a full moon, and the sea was covered with ice. Sophia woke up and remembered that they had…

Things We Lost In the Fire

Title: Things We Lost In the Fire (original title: Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego) Writer: Mariana Enríquez (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: February 21st 2017 (first published February 10th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The gaucho is good,’’ he said. ‘’But the other one isn’t.’’  He said it…

Summer (Vintage Minis)

Title: Summer (Vintage Minis) Writer: Laurie Lee Publishing House: Vintage Classics Date of Publication: June 8th 2017 Rating: 5 stars Τhe haunting… ‘’Radiating from that house, with its crumbling walls, its thumps and shadows, its fancied foxes under the floor, I moved along paths that lengthened inch by inch with my mounting strength of days….

An Approach to Black

Title: An Approach to Black Writer: Emily Jeremiah Publishing House: Reflex Press Date of Publication: August 3rd 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Dare I hope that I shall go outside again? Dare I hope that I shall live again, beyond this existence in this cell? Night – times I am pursued by visions and wake up…

The Cornish Coast Murder

Title: The Cornish Coast Murder Writer: John Bude Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: April 15th 2014 (first published 1935) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was raining fitfully and gusts of wind from off the Atlantic rattles the window-frames and sought dismally among the sprinkling of gaunt pipers which surrounded the Vicarage. It…

Magma

Title: Magma (original title: Kvika) Writer: Þóra Hjörleifsdóttir (translated by Meg Matich) Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication:  July 13th 2021 (first published February 12th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’An attractive man like me can’t be with a girl who’s slept with so many creeps.’’ A narcissistic parasite. A psychotic pervert. A psychological and physical…

The Met Georgia O’Keefe

Title: The Met Georgia O’Keeffe: She Saw the World in a Flower Writer: Gabrielle Balkan, illustrated by Josy Bloggs Publishing House: DK Children Date of Publication:  August 24th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’My painting is what I give back to the world for what the world gives to me.’’Georgia O’Keefe, 1940 Wisconsin, November 15, 1887….

Rosalind Franklin (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Rosalind Franklin (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (illustrated  by Naomi Wilkinson Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: August 24th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I see no reason to believe that a creator of protoplasm or primaeval matter, if such there be, has any reason to be interested in our insignificant race…

This One Sky Day

Title: This One Sky Day Writer: Leone Ross Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: April 15th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’When people die alone, without proper burial rites, the carcass wandered for years, rudderless, rotting and shrinking. They had all seen these ghosts, rebuilding their bodies with bits of rubbish, hanging on, half-maddened….

Lughnasadh: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas

Title: Lughnasadh: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas Writer: Melanie Marquis Publishing House:  Llewellyn Publications Date of Publication: June 1st 2015 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Like the promise of a rainbow, our first harvest of the season reassures us that if all continues to go well, we can expect more wholesome treasures own the road that…

Only About Love

Title: Only About Love Writer: Debbi Voisey Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: August 5th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to ask a really simple question: Do I do what’s right and face the consequences, or do I leave well alone and forget I ever…

Jerusalem Beach

Title: Jerusalem Beach (original title: חוף הים של ירושלים) Writer: Iddo Gefen (translated by Daniella Zamir) Publishing House: Astra House Date of Publication: August 17th 2021 (first published August 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’A month and a half later, he packed a bag, stuffing it with four undershirts, five pairs of underwear, a flashlight, two…

Women In Translation Month

August is already preparing to knock on our doors and we know what this means, right? It’s Women In Translation Month, the time when we discover – and re-read (he, he, he!) outstanding women whose work has been translated into English from every corner of our beautiful planet. These are the books I’ve read and…