The Familiars

Title: The Familiars Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: MIRA Date of Publication: February 19th 2019 (first published February 7th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Justice means fairness. Luck of prejudice.’’ I’ve always loved Pendle Hill and the stories of the women who were accused of witchcraft during one of the darkest moments in the history of Europe. The fascinating legends found…

The World of Lore: Dreadful Places

Title: The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Writer: Aaron Mahnke Publishing House: Del Rey Books Date of Publication: October 9th 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’Staring into the now-open cell, his heart froze. The walls inside, he said, were covered with faces. Dozens and dozens of faces, their expressions writhing with agony and horror.’’ The second installment in Aaron Mahnke’s series…

The White Book

Title: The White Book    (original title: 흰) Writer: Han Kang Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: November 2nd 2017 (first published May 25th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I hold nothing dear. Not the place where I live, not the door I pass through every day, not even, damn it, my life.’’’ In the beautiful, mysterious world of…

Once Upon A River

  Title: Once Upon A River Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published December 4th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Around Radcot they grow the watercress, harvest it, crate it up and send it to the towns in barges, but they don’t eat it. It’s bitter, they complain, so bitter it…

Imaginarium

Title: Imaginarium Writer & Illustrator: Giorgos Halkias Publishing House: Eκδόσεις ΦΑΡΦΟΥΛΑΣ Date of Publication: September 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’For years I was afraid to play The fool. So I built up walls Ten miles high And from this view I saw that I Had only played myself.’’ A beautiful surprise created by a Greek artist that results in a…

Village of Stone

Title: Village of Stone (original title: 我心中的石头镇 ) Writer: Xiaolu Guo Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: January 31st 2012  (first published January 1st 2003) Rating: 5 stars ‘’But the Village of Stone- that tiny corner of the sea that, on a map of China, appears as nothing more than a deep blue stain, with no air or shipping routes to…

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Writer: Various edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: September 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.’’ If we substitute the word ‘’witch’’ with the word ‘’woman’’, we will be able to understand the reasons and…

Blackberry and Wild Rose

Title: Blackberry and Wild Rose Writer: Sonia Velton Publishing House: Quercus Date of Publication: January 10th 2019 Rating: 3 stars ‘’But there are no secrets in London. Even the houses lean across the narrow alleys towards each other and offer up their scandals in the blink of an open curtain.’’ A woman is trying to break the norms of…

Chinese Ghost Stories

Title: Chinese Ghost Stories: Curious Tales of the Supernatural Writer: Lafcadio Hearn Publishing House: Tuttle Publishing Date of Publication:  September 10th 2011 (first published 1887) Rating:  4 stars “You will ask me who she was-beautiful Xue Tao…Gor thousands of years and even longer, the trees have been whispering over her stony bed. And the syllables of her name reach…

Christmas Dinner

Title: Χριστουγεννιάτικο Δέιπνο Writer: Various Publishing House: Νάρκισσος Date of Publication: November 2012 Rating: 5 stars ‘’…Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the evening papers. The buses rumble…

The Light In The Dark

Title: The Light In The Dark Writer: Horatio Clare Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Winter in the mountains is arresting in its drama, the light melting over the Brecon Beacons as though it carries cold in it, not heat. There are the lakes of mist, too, the sun riding high…

A Gentleman In Moscow

Title: A Gentleman In Moscow Writer: Amor Towles Publishing House: Penguin Random House Date of Publication:  September 6th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’On Saturday, the twenty-first of June 1946, as the sun rose high over the Kremlin, a lone figure climbed slowly up the steps from the Moskva River embankment, continued past St.Basil’s Cathedral, and made his way onto…

Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing

Title: Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing Writer: Edited by Emma Timpany and Felicity Notley Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: April 2nd 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’It was an Indian summer. Everyone said so. She enjoyed the sound of the words. In her mind they conjured a burning orange sky over parched hillsides and…

Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women

Title: Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women Writer: Dr. Sarah Bargiela, illustrated by Sophie Standing Publishing House: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Date of Publication: February 21st 2019 Rating: 5 stars Studying any material related to autism should be mandatory for all teachers. Apart from the actual teaching of a specific subject, we must support our students, we must…

The Invention of Ana

Title: The Invention of Ana Writer: Mikkel Rosengaard (translated by  Caroline Waight) Publishing House: Custom House Date of Publication: February 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’They never went hungry, but there was no electricity, and she remembered the long, dark evenings in the apartment, the afternoons when there was so little to do that she was reduced to padding at…

Race Me in a Lobster Suit

Title: Race Me in a Lobster Suit: Absurd Internet Ads and the Real Conversations that Followed Writer: Kelly Mahon Publishing House: Quirk Books Date of Publication:  March 26th 2019 Rating: 4 stars Many years ago in Greece, there was a superbly hilarious TV show, a political and social satire. One of my favourite sections in each episode was dedicated…

The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals

Title:The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals Writer: Aaron Mahnke Publishing House: Del Rey Date of Publication: May 29th 2018 Rating: 1 star ‘’ “I was born with the Devil in me’’, he wrote. “I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing. I was born with…

Christmas Stories

Title: Χριστουγεννιάτικες ιστορίες Writer: Hans Christian Andersen, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Bowen, Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Michel Tournier edited by Κατερίνα Σχινά Publishing House: Ερατώ Date of Publication: November 2001 Rating: 5 stars ‘’One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant…

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3)

Title: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) Writer: Katherine Arden Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: January 10th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Yesterday she saved your life, slew a wicked magician, set fire to Moscow and then saved it all in a single night. Do you think she will consent to disappear, for the price of…

Ways To Hide In Winter

Title: Ways to Hide in Winter Writer: Sarah St.Vincent Publishing House: Melville House Date of Publication: November 6th 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’If this were the last thing you ever saw, would you be happy?’’ Kathleen, a young woman who lives with her ailing grandmother, has buried herself in a town hidden in the beautiful wilderness of Pennsylvania. In a…

Odette

Title: Odette Writer: Jessica Duchen Publishing House: Unbound Date of Publication: 29th November 2018 Ratings: 5 stars ‘’Now I talk but you don’t believe me.’’ My mother and I have a Christmas tradition that we try to follow religiously every year.  Both being avid lovers of ballet, we have associated Christmas with this beautiful form of Art. Usually,…

Russian Christmas Stories

Title: Ρωσικά χριστουγεννιάτικα διηγήματα Writer: Edited by Evgenia Krichevskaya, Eleni Bakopoulou Publishing House: Narkissos Date of Publication: November 2004 Ratings: 5 stars *All quotes translated by me, taken from the Greek original.* ”The great days were approaching.”- this is how a narration or a story about Christmas often starts. […] For the adults these days are indeed ”great”. But they…

Almost Famous Women

Title: Almost Famous Women Writer: Megan Mayhew Bergman Publishing House: Scribner Date of Publication: January 6th 2015 Rating: 2 stars There is currently a plethora of books that aim to bring women whose stories deserve to be more widely known to surface. If you ask me, I think it was about time. However, what makes me apprehensive is the fact…

A Vintage Christmas

Title: A Vintage Christmas Writer: Various Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: October 4th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The week before Christmas, when snow seemed to lie thickest, was the moment for carol-singing; and when I think back to those nights it is to the crunch of snow and to the lights of the lanterns on it.’’ In…

Dusk: Stories and Poems from Solstice Shorts Festival

Title: Dusk: Stories and Poems from Solstice Shorts Festival 2017 Writer: Edited by Cherry Potts Publishing House: Arachne Press Date of Publication: 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’On he ambles, down the avenue where the bark of the beech trees traits silvery, lichen beards. Their dark, wind-sculpted branches reach out for the sky, wild as the hair of Macbeth’s crones.’’…

Ivris

Title: Ivris Writer: Dubravka Lalić Publishing House: IGAM Date of Publication:2010 Rating: 4 stars *All quotes translated by me. Taken from the Greek edition of the original written in Serbian, translated by Nadica Mihailović. * ‘’My soil has been spilled. The soil of my country has been spilled. What will become of my poor flower now? How will it…

Miracle on 34th Street

Title: Miracle on 34th Street: A Storybook Edition of the Christmas Classic Writer: Valentine Davies, illustrated by James Newman Gray and adapted for picture book by Susanna Leonard Hill Publishing House: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Date of Publication: October 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Mother says there’s no such thing as Santa Claus or any of the other silly things children are…

A Light of Her Own

Title: A Light of Her Own Writer: Carrie Callaghan Publishing House: Amberjack Publishing Date of Publication: November 13th 2018 Rating: 1 star Holland, during the 17th century. Judith and Maria are two women who are struggling to find their footing in a society that closes all doors to the ones who don’t fit in the religious images cultivated by an…

Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons

Title: Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons Writer: edited by Melissa Harrison Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: October 20th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Quickly, days short, somehow we all adjust and welcome the dark, for it is neither threatening nor smothering. Darkness becomes a thing of joy and vivid beauty in its own right. When early…

Bottled Goods

Title: Bottled Goods Writer: Sophie van Llewyn Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 11th 2018 Rating: 5 stars *If you attempt any political comments, think again. You can’t win an argument with me, thank you.’’ ‘’Twenty years later, an icon of the Saviour will hang in this spot, but in 1975, it’s Ceaușescu’s depiction that the…

The Blue

Title: The Blue Writer: Nancy Bilyeau Publishing House: Endeavour Quill Date of Publication: December 3rd 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’London is alive. And so am I.’’ 18th century, England. Genevieve comes from a Huguenot family that found shelter in England, persecuted in their own country due to their religious beliefs. In a time when the war with France is raging,…

Fox

Title: Fox Writer: Dubravka Ugrešić (tr. by Ellen Elias-Bursać and  David Williams Publishing House: Open Letter Date of Publication: April 17th 2018 (first published June 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’We are all footnotes, many of us will never have the chance to be read, all of us in an unrelenting and desperate struggle for our lives, for the life of…

Unbury Carol

Title: Unbury Carol Writer: Josh Malerman Publishing House: Del Rey Books Date of Publication: February 5th 2019 (first published April 10th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’To someone outside the coma [….] I appear…dead. Hardly a heartbeat. Far from fogging a mirror. And a pulse as slow as a slug. There’s no light in there, John. I can hear the world…

Vom Schicksal Das sich Wendet (Märchen von Freiheit und Glück)

Τitle: Vom Schicksal Das sich Wendet (Märchen von Freiheit und Glück) Writer: Otto Betz Publishing House: Kösel Date of Publication: 1987 Rating: 5 stars *All quotes and titles translated by me. Taken from the Greek edition.* ‘’Is the course of our fate irreversibly defined from the very start? Can we do nothing to fight against blind destiny, or are…

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Title: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall Writer: Anna Funder Publishing House: Granta Books (UK) Date of Publication: June 9th 2003 Rating: 5 stars *Any political comments will receive the axe. Don’t try to provoke me, you’ll fail miserably.* ‘’Peter Fechter, the eighteen-year- old shot trying to escape in 1962 and left to die on the death strip, because…

Girl At War

Title: Girl At War Writer: Sara Nović Publishing House: Random House Date of Publication: May 12th 2015 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Of course we want to go back. Of course we’re going home.’’ Home…Where is this ‘’home’’ when the land where you’ve spent all your life is about to witness violence, desolation, and death? Where is this ‘’home’’ when the people…

Christmas Days

Title: Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days Writer: Jeanette Winterson Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 (first published November 2016) Rating: 5 stars It’s Jeanette Winterson, people. I could read her shopping list and still be a happy reader. In Christmas Days we have her impeccable style and stories about Christmas. What could…

Owl Love You

Title: Owl Love You Writer: Matthew Heroux and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan Publishing House: Cameron Kids Date of Publication: October 9th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Hoo’ll make up a song and sing me a tune?’’ ‘’Owl serenade you by the light of the moon.’’ Mama owl wakes her little one for a nightly flight in the forest. She shows him…

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World

Title: Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story Writer: Debbie Tung Publishing House: Andrews McMeel Publishing Date of Publication: November 7th 2017 Rating: 5 stars Two weeks ago I read Book Love by Debbie Tung and I adored it. I couldn’t wait to read Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, a beautiful work of Art that…

Unquiet Women

Title: Unquiet Women: From the Dusk of the Roman Empire to the Dawn of the Enlightenment Writer: Max Adams Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Emerging from these themes is a conviction that history is polyphonic – that it must be told by many voices; that the ear must be…

The World According to Anna

Title:The World According to Anna Writer: Jostein Gaarder (translated by Don Bartlett) Publishing House: Weidenfeld & Nicolson Date of Publication: November 12th 2015 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Do you know what I want? Shall I tell you? I want a million plants and animals to come back from extinction. No more, no less, Nona. I want to drink clean water…

The Sing of the Shore

Title: The Sing of the Shore Writer: Lucy Wood Publishing House: 4th Estate Date of Publication:  April 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Winters are when people disappear. One minute you’re elbow on the street, the next you walk along sidestepping nothing but the wind. Cafes put down their blinds. Houses are locked and dark. The car parks slowly empty and…

Nocturnes

Title: Nocturnes Writer: Kazuo Ishiguro Publishing House: Faber and Faber Date of Publication: May 5th 2009 Rating: 5 stars ‘’So a moment like that comes as an unwelcome reminder of how quickly things change. How the bosom pals of today become lost strangers tomorrow, scattered across Europe, playing the Godfather theme or ‘Autumn Leaves’ in squares and cafes you’ll never…

ROAR

Title: ROAR Writer: Cecelia Ahern Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’I’m here, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.’’ 30 stories of 30 women. 30 captivating titles that lead us to the sphere of Magical Realism and allegories. 30 stories that aim to give voice to characters who struggle with issues that make our…

The Snow and The Sun (La Nieve y la Sol)

  Title: The Snow and The Sun Writer: Antonio Frasconi Publishing House: Dover Publications Date of Publication: 17 Oct 2018 (first published June 28th 1961) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Snow that hurts my feet Why are you so bad? I am not bad; The Sun is bad That melts me.’’ Progressive poems have long been a vital part in the tradition of…

Literary Witches

Title: Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers Writer: Taisia Kitaiskaia, illustrated by Katy Horan and forwarded by Pam Grossman Publishing House: Seal Press Date of Publication: October 10th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Why would we dare call someone a Literary Witch? Because all artists are magicians, and Witches wield a special magic. Witches and women writers alike dwell…

Book Love

Title: Book Love Writer: Debbie Tung Publishing House: Andrews McMeel Publishing Date of Publication: January 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars This lovely little treasure by Debbie Tung contains all those moments that make us readers such a wonderful, lively, thoughtful and sometimes excruciating (for the ones around us) beautifully obsessed bunch of people. For all those moments when we brought…

The Great Alone

Title: The Great Alone Writer: Kristin Hannah Publishing House: St. Martin’s Press Date of Publication: February 6th 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’Outside, night had fallen. A full moon cast blue-white light on everything. Stars filled the sky with pinpricks and elliptical smears of light. Up here, at night, the sky was impossibly huge and never quite turned black, but stayed…