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…

Eleven Lines to Somewhere

Title: Eleven Lines to Somewhere Writer: Alyson Rudd Publishing House: HQ Date of Publication: July 23rd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’A woman alone could not be alone, it would appear. They all think they can own you, help you, pester you, intimidate you. Only when the trains were moving was she safely in a bubble…

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…

Missing Words

Title: Missing Words Writer: Loree Westron Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: August 5th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Life is nothing without you in it.’’ Jenny works at the post office in Portsmouth during the time of the strikes in the 1908s. Having to cope with sexism, a husband who almost doesn’t acknowledge her…

Island

Title: Island (original title: Ø) Writer: Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen (translated by Caroline Waight) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: June 24th 2021 (first published August 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’She stands with her back to the low copse of planted trees, looking down the mountain to the village, blue in the August night,…

The End of the World is a Cul de Sac

Title: The End of the World is a Cul de Sac Writer: Louise Kennedy Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing Date of Publication: April 8th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The statue stood in the clearing. It was a wood nymph, lifelike yet diminutive, the height of an adolescent girl. A dappling of sunlight was flickering over her,…

Ten White Geese

Title: Ten White Geese (original title: De Omweg) Writer: Gerbrand Bakker (translated by David Colmer) Publishing House: Penguin Books Date of Publication: February 26th 2013 (first published 2010) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Now and then, at night, sitting on the window seat and looking out into the darkness through the tendrils of an old creeper, she…

The Master of Chaos

Title: The Master of Chaos Writer: Pauline Melville Publishing House: Sandstone Press Date of Publication: July 1st 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’All I wanted to do was hurt him. Death was my way of reviving his love for me, punishing him and finally gaining victory in the contest.’’ In Pauline Melville’s stories, chaos comes in…

Summer (Seasonal #4)

Title: Summer (Seasonal #4) Writer: Ali Smith Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: August 6th 2020  Rating: 3 stars ‘’No point in asking anyone else to hold your world.’’ In the last instalment of the monumental Seasonal Quartet, Ali Smith introduces to families that have to fight their own demons, siblings who view the…

The Port of London Murders

Title: The Port of London Murders Writer: Josephine Bell Publishing House: British Library Date of Publication: October 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was quite dark now, but lights twinkled everywhere, making bright oath across the black water. And far away on all sides, a red and orange glow covered the sky, shining steadily on…

Βlue Postcards

Title: Blue Postcards Writer: Douglas Bruton Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 8th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ”Years ago in the blue mists of memory, there was a street in Paris called the Street of Tailors. Men sat outside their shops like kings on their thrones, and they nodded to each other or…

Taking Flight

Title: Taking Flight Writer: JT Torres Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 8th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Νana appeared by my bed, staring at me with vacant eyes that I felt responsible for filling. The pre-dawn moonlight sliced by the blinds iced her skin a soft blue.’’ A young boy has the unfortunate…

The Lost Storyteller

Title: The Lost Storyteller Writer: Amanda Block Publishing House: Hodder & Stoughton Date of Publication: July 8th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Then there had been his stories, which felt like memories because at the time she’d believed they were true. She’d tiptoed past a knobbly boulder on the moor because he’d whispered it was a…

The Eternal Season: Ghosts of Summers Past, Present and Future

Title: The Eternal Season: Ghosts of Summers Past, Present and Future Writer: Stephen Rutt Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: July 1st 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’You could walk into a wood on a summer’s day, pretty and green, and not know a thing was wrong if you didn’t know the signs to…

Wild Swims

Title: Wild Swims (original title: Kort Over Canada) Writer: Dorthe Nors (translated by Misha Hoekstra) Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication:  February 2nd 2021 (first published April 23rd 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Both fairground and field have been baking all day in the late-summer sun. It’s September now, and when she walks around the…

Golem

Title: Golem Writer: Pierre Assouline Publishing House: Gallimard Date of Publication: January 1st 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Where would I go, if I could go, who would I be, if I could be, what would I say, if I had a voice, who says this, saying it’s me?’’                          Samuel Beckett – The Unnamable Gustave Meyer…

The Collected Stories by Grace Paley

Title: The Collected Stories by Grace Paley Writer: Grace Paley Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: May 3rd 2018 (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Well, by now you must know yourself, honey, whatever you do, life don’t stop. It only sits a minute and dreams a dream.’’ Grace Paley’s stories are unique in their…

Into the Tangled Bank

Title: Into the Tangled Bank Writer: Lev Parikian Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: June 3rd 2021 (first published July 9th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There is nothing like nature to make you feel inadequate.’’ Nature. One of the most sacred words. Our mother, our home and shelter. And yet, how we abuse…

Luckenbooth

Title: Luckenbooth Writer: Jenni Fagan Publishing House: William Heinemann Date of Publication: January 14th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I kiss my mother’s cross. Set into the floor so there’s one holy thing between me and oblivion. The sea won’t take me. I am the devil’s daughter. Nobody wants responsibility for my immortal soul. My address…

Before You Knew My Name

Title: Before You Knew My Name Writer: Jacqueline Bublitz Publishing House: Allen & Unwin Date of Publication: May 4th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Maybe the people who appear brave are merely doing the thing they have to do. It’s not a matter of courage, then, to pack up and leave a life. Just a lack…

The Faces

Title: The Faces (original title: Ansigterne Writer: Tove Ditlevsen (translated by Tiina Nunnally) Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: January 26th 2021 (first published 1968) Rating: 5 stars ‘’She could think about the words in peace, without fearing that new ones would appear before the night was over. During this time the night held…

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Title: The Woman in the Purple Skirt Writer: Natsuko Imamura (translated by Lucy North) Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: June 3rd 2021 (first published June 30th 2019) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Some people would pretend they hadn’t seen her, and carry on as before. Others would quickly move aside, to give her room…

The Enchanted Night: Selected Tales

Title: The Enchanted Night: Selected Tales Writer: Miklós Bánffy (translated by Len Rix) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: May 25th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’There was a horror in the wintry silence, a silence more profound than in any previous winter. It was as if life itself had been somehow diminished; as if…

The Evening and the Morning

Title: The Evening and the Morning Writer: Ken Follett Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication: September 15th 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’At last, the church bell struck.’’ 997. England stands at a crossroads. The Dark Ages are almost over, a new era is about to begin. The dangers are still present as the Welsh threat…