Tales From the Hinterland

Title: Tales From the Hinterland Writer: Melissa Albert Publishing House: Flatiron Books Date of Publication: January 12th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Tales are told of a village so plagued by ghosts that bells are hung over the doors, to keep them from slipping in at night. In certain houses the cooks bake three loaves of…

Open Water

Title: Open Water Writer: Caleb Azumah Nelson Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: April 13th 2021 (first published February 4th 2021) Rating: 5 stars ‘’You came here to speak of shame and its relation to desire. There should be no shame in openly saying, I want this. There should be no shame in not knowing…

Untold Night and Day

Title: Untold Night and Day (original title: 알려지지 않은 밤과 하루) Writer: Bae Suah (translated by Deborah Smith) Publishing House: Jonathan Cape Date of Publication: January 30th 2020 (first published April 20th 2013) Rating: 5 stars ‘’By the time the heatwave came to an end, nothing remained of the people but ash. They became fused…

Girl, Woman, Other

Title: Girl, Woman, Other Writer: Bernardine Evaristo Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Amma is walking along the promenade if the waterway that bisects her city, a few early morning barges cruise slowly by, to her left is the nautical-themes footbridge with its deck-like walkway and sailing mast…

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro

Title: The Girl Who Reads on The Métro (original title: La Fille qui Lisait dans le Métro) Writer: Christine Féret-Fleury, Ros Schwartz (Translator) Publishing House: Flatiron Books Date of Publication: October 8th 2019 (first published 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He was talking about books as if they were alive – old friends, powerful adversaries at times, insolent…

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Title: Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times Writer: Katherine May Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: November 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’There are gaps in the mesh of the everyday world, and sometimes they open up and you fall through them into somewhere else. Somewhere Else runs at a…

In the Dark

Title: In The Dark Writer: Lisa Deresti Betik, illustrated by Josh Holinaty Publishing House:Kids Can Press Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the evenings, as the sky grows dark, living creatures of all different shapes and sizes prepare themselves for sleep. You might enjoy a bedtime snack, put on a favourite…

Thames Mudlarking

Title: Thames Mudlarking Writer: Jason Sandy, Nick Stevens Publishing House: Osprey Publishing Date of Publication:  April 20th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Without the River Thames, London would not exist.’’ Mudlarking and London’s past and present. There is an unbreakable bond between the great metropolis and the mudlarkers who bring the treasures of bygone eras to…

Haunted Voices: An Anthology of Gothic Storytelling from Scotland

Title: Haunted Voices: An Anthology of Gothic Storytelling from Scotland Writer: Various edited by Rebecca Wojturska Publishing House: Haunt Publishing Date of Publication: October 25th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’To let the Gothic roam where it will, twisting itself into shapes horrible and unseen. To wait for it to open its ancient mouth and to…

Winter Magic

Title: Winter Magic Writer: Various edited by Abi Elphinstone Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 19th 2017 (first published November 3rd 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Winter is a season that sparkles with magic and transforms our ordinary world into a glittering kingdom: rooftops covered in snow, lakes glazed with ice…

A Shiver of Snow and Sky

Title: A Shiver of Snow and Sky Writer: Lisa Lueddecke Publishing House: Scholastic Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 5th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Though my soul may set in darkness, it Will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be Fearful of the night.’’   Sarah Williams In a land…

Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life

Title: Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life Writer: Heinz Janisch, illustrated by Maja Kastelic Publishing House: NorthSouth Books Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars “The most wonderful fairytale is life itself. “ Hans Christian Andersen  A little girl travels with her lither to Copenhagen. It is going to be a…

Then A Wind Blew

Title: Then A Wind Blew Writer: Kay Powell Publishing House: Weaver Press Date of Publication: January 26th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’She loved to be out in the stoep at night, her only companions the wind that sang in the long grass and the nights calls of distant animals. And the crickets, with their non-stop…

Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales

Title: Midwinter Murder Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: William Morrow Paperbacks Date of Publication: October 20th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was nearly dark. The house felt suddenly very quiet and empty. It was a lonely house, two miles from a village, two miles, as Molly put it, from anywhere. She had often been alone…

The Santa Klaus Murder

Title: The Santa Klaus Murder Writer: Mavis Doriel Hay Publishing House: The British Library Date of Publication: October 1st 2015 (first published 1936) Rating: 5 stars “I have often found that the best way to persuade anyone to do something they suspect is to explain that they really need not do it.”  Sir Osmond Melbury,…

Mystery In White

Title: Mystery In White Writer: J. Jefferson Farjeon Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: September 28th 2014 (first published 1937) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The horrors on the train, great though as it may turn to be, will not compete with the horror that exists here, in this house.’’ It is Christmas Eve…

Half Spent Was The Night

Title: Half Spent Was the Night Writer: Ami McKay Publishing House: Knopf Canada Date of Publication: October 16th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Christmas days have come and gone, the New Year lies ahead. Strange things happen Between the Years in the days outside of time. Minutes go wild, hours vanish. Idleness becomes a clever thief,…

Murder at Christmas

Title: Murder at Christmas Writer: Various edited by Cecily Gayford Publishing House: Profile Books Date of Publication: November 7th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Murder under the mistletoe – and the man who must have done it couldn’t have done it. That’s my Christmas and I don’t feel merry, thank you very much all the same.’’…

The Hatmakers

Title: The Hatmakers Writer: Tamzin Merchant, illustrated by Paola Escobar Publishing House: Norton Young Readers Date of Publication: January 7th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything. Jagged forks of light ripped across the sky and thunder rolled in tidal waves over the rooftops…

12 Days of Christmas

Title: 12 Days of Christmas Writer: Illustrated by Lara Hawthorne Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 6th 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’And a partridge in a pear tree.’’ 1995. I was ten years old when our English teacher brought us an all-new song for Christmas.  ‘Forget Jingle Bells and Silent Night,…

The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

Title: The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories Vol.1 Writer: Edited by Tara Moore Publishing House: Valancourt Books Rating: 4 stars ‘’Imagine a midwinter night, an early sunset, a long drafty evening spent by candlelight. The season of Christmas coincides with the shortest days of the year and, for middle-class Victorians, a chance for…

Silent Nights

Title: Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries Writer: Various edited by Martin Edwards Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: October 1st 2015  Rating: 5 stars ‘’When television becomes tiresome, and party games pall, the prospect of curling up in the warm with a good mystery is enticing – and much better for the digestion…

A Christmas Memory

Title: A Christmas Memory Writer: Truman Capote Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: October 29th 2020 (first published 1956) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It’s fruitcake weather.’’ ‘’Now a nude December fig branch grates against the window. The kitchen is empty, the cakes are gone; yesterday we courted the last of them to the post office, where…

The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas

Title: The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas Writer: Syd Moore Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: October 3rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Draw in close, throw another log on the fire if you will. It’s a chill night. I shall just add some of that coal. Now, this may take quite a while so…

Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings

Title: Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings Writer: Tanya Kirk Publishing House: British Library Date of Publication: August 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The second Mrs. Ryder was a young woman not easily frightened, but now she stood in the dusk of the passage leaning back against the wall, her hand on her heart, looking…

The Betrayals

Title: The Betrayals Writer: Bridget Collins Publishing House: William Morrow Date of Publication: November 12th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Tonight the moonlight makes the floor of the Great Hall into a game board. Every high window casts a bright lattice, dividing the hall into black and white, squares and margins. The ranks of wooden benches…

The Penguin Book of Exorcisms

Title: The Penguin Book of Exorcisms Writer: Edited by Joseph P. Laycock Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: September 8th 2020 Rating: 5 stars A comprehensive and extremely informative volume of essays, eyewitness accounts, diary entries, reports and legal documents concerning the most unexplainable and terrifying phenomenon in all cultures. Demonic possession and exorcism….

Classic Ghost Stories

Title: Classic Ghost Stories Writer: Various Publishing House: Vintage Classics Date of Publication: October 12th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’If the picture within was bright and cheerful, the prospect was dreary enough without. The fairy forest of snow-wreathed trees, the white valleys and undulating banks of snow had vanished, and the rain dropped slowly and…

Don’t Look Now and Other Stories

Title: Don’t Look Now and Other Stories Writer: Daphne du Maurier Publishing House: Penguin Books Ltd. Date of Publication: June 29th 2006 (first published 1940) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The twins were standing there, the blind one still holding on to her sister’s arm, her sightless eyes fixed firmly upon him. He felt himself held, unable…

The Diving Pool

Title: The Diving Pool and Other Stories (original title: (ダイヴィング・プール) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Publishing Date of Publication: April 2nd 2014 (first published 1990) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Since I was a little girl, I’ve disliked the thirtieth of December. I could always get through the thirty-first by telling myself…

Redder Days

Title: Redder Days Writer: Sue Rainsford Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication:March 11th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In short, there was nothing to do but accept it. Let our fears and beliefs settle around it.       Red wind, red sun, red hurricane.      That’s when we start running.     But block your ears and stuff your mouth,    When…

Grimm Tales for Young and Old

Title: Grimm Tales for Young and Old Writer: Philip Pullman Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication:September 5th 2013 (first published September 27th 2012) Rating: 3 stars “I want to be God. I want to cause the sun and the moon to rise. I can’t bear it when I see them rising and I haven’t…

New York Stories

Title: New York Stories Writer: Edited by Diana Secker Tesdell Publishing House: Everyman’s Library Date of Publication: January 4th 2011  Rating: 5 stars ‘’The houses across the street were silent and perhaps unoccupied at this time of day; she let her eyes move with the rhythm of the tune, from window to window along one…

It’s the End of the World

Title: It’s the End of the World Writer: Adam Roberts Publishing House: Elliot & Thompson Date of Publication: August 27th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We are all mortal, and we will all die. One way of understanding our fascination with the end of the world is that such stories project our personal meeting onto the…

The Shortest Day

Title: The Shortest Day Writer: Colm Tóibín Publishing House: Amazon Original Stories Date of Publication: November 3rd 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’Thus, it was the strangeness of the night sky and the seasons that they loved and missed, the strangeness of fire and water, the strangeness they noted in each other.’’ It is Christmas and…

Sisterhood of the Infamous

Title: Sisterhood of the Infamous Writer: Jane Rosenberg LaForge Publishing House: New Meridian Arts Press Date of Publication: February 23rd 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’A body always begins a story such as this. My body, her body; mine to be burned, hers razed by violent action; to be discovered along a remote trail of russet…

The Lives of Saints

Title: The Lives of Saints Writer: Leigh Bardugo, illustrated by Daniel J. Zollinger Publishing House: Imprint Date of Publication: October 6th 2020 Rated: 5 stars ‘’There have been too many stories in between, miracles and martyrdoms, too much blood spilt, too much ink. There was a war. There were a thousand wars. I knew a…

Τhe Garden of Forking Paths

Title: The Garden of Forking Paths Writer: Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Donald A.Yates, Andrew Hurley, James E.Irby Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Summer was drawing to a close, and I realised that the book was monstrous.’’ Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most prominent Argentinian…

The Missing Girl

Title: The Missing Girl Writer: Shirley Jackson Publishing House: Penguin Modern Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was one of those spring mornings in March; the sky between the buildings was bright and blue and the city air, warmed by motors and a million breaths, had a freshness and a sense…

To Be Read at Dusk

Title: To Be Read at Dusk Writer: Charles Dickens Publishing House: Penguin Little Black Classics Date of Publication: March 3rd 2016 (first published 1852) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Τhe monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man.’’ Charles Dickens. The…

Τhe Virago Book of Witches

Title: The Virago Book of Witches Writer: Edited by Shahrukh Husain Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 (first published 1993) Rating: 5 stars ‘’When have I last looked on The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies Of the dark leopards of the moon? All the wild witches, those most noble…

The Secret Life of Books: Why They Mean More Than Words

Title: The Secret Life of Books:Why They Mean More than Words Writer: Tom Mole Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: October 29th 2020  (first published September 19th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Books are part of how we understand ourselves. They shape our identities, even before we can read them. They accompany us throughout…

Fifty Words For Snow

Title: Fifty Words For Snow Writer: Nancy Campbell Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: November 5th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, further afterwards, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was…

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Title: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Writer: Imogen Hermes Gowar Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published January 25th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Somewhere a tide is turning. In that place where no land can be seen, where horizon to horizon is spanned by shifting twinkling faithless water, a wave humps…

Louise Bourgeois (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Louise Bourgeiois (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 6th 2020 Rating: 5 stars  ‘To be an artist, you need to exist in a world of silence.’ You are born on a beautiful, snowy Christmas day. You…