Things In Jars

Title: Things in Jars Writer: Jess Kidd Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Below her, streets and lanes, factories and workhouses, parks and prisons, ground houses and tenements, roofs, chimneys and tree tops. And the winding, sometimes shining, Thames- the sky’s own dirty mirror. The raven leaves the river behind and charts a…

#FairytaleFriday: Greece

                               The Enchanted Fount Today we are travelling to my homeland in the company of a slightly obscure Greek myth. In Central Greece springs, fountains, forests, rivers, and mountains carry dozens of myths, most of them related to fairies, ghostly maidens,…

The Barefoot Road

Title: The Barefoot Road Writer: Vivienne Vermes Publishing House: Troubador Publishing Limited Date of Publication: April 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Curse the funeral, curse the fact we have to die, curse the fact we have to love, curse the night and curse the day.’’ A dark night is violently lit by torches burning bright. Screams, people running, cries demanding…

Strange Pilgrims

Title: Strange Pilgrims (original title:Doce cuentos peregrinos Writer: Gabriel Garcia Márquez (tr. by Edith Grossman) Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: November 14th 2006 (first published 1992) ‘’A continent conceived by the scum of the earth without a moment of love: the children of abductions, rapes, violations, infamous dealings, deceptions, the union of enemies with enemies.’’ Father…

The Kite Runner

Title: The Kite Runner Writer: Khaled Hosseini Publishing House: Riverhead Date of Publication: May 29th 2003 Rating: 5 stars Title: The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel Writer: Khaled Hosseini, illustrated by Fabio Celoni & Mirka Andolfo Publishing House: Riverhead Trade Date of Publication:  September 6th 2011 (first published 2007) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There is a way to be good again.’’ Kite is a symbol of freedom,…

In the Shadow of Wolves

Title: In the Shadow of Wolves (original title Mano vardas – Marytė) Writer: Alvydas Šlepikas tr. by Romas Kinka Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 Rating:2 stars ‘’People appear as if emerging through a mist, a snowstorm, a winter fog; they grow dark, casting a shadow on the trampled, blood-soaked earth, and then are gone.’’…

#FairytaleFriday: Russia

                       The Frog Tsarevna Today, we travel to beautiful Russia. I don’t think Russian fairy tales need any introduction. The following is a well-known Russian tale about a prince and a frog princess. We also find it in Ukraine where the frog has been substituted…

Useless Magic

Title: Useless Magic Writer: Florence Welch Publishing House: Fig Tree Date of Publication: July 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars I mean, look at the endpapers!   ‘’Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don’t know what I’m trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn’t do…

Atlantic Winds

Title: Atlantic Winds Writer: William Prendiville Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Αutumn came to Bear Lake late that year, and in November a relative mildness still lingered, before the shock of winter. The snows had not yet come, but it was nevertheless still bracing enough by Guy Fawkes Night for everyone to…

The Lido

Title: The Lido Writer: Libby Page Publishing House: Orion Date of Publication: April 19th 2018 Rating:5 stars ‘’She folded herself into the shape of Hermione Granger or George from the Famous Five or Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey and tried to be them for a day. When she started secondary school her friends were the characters she met…

#FairytaleFriday: Japan

                           The Lantern and the Fan Japan…A country whose myths are unparalleled to any other culture. Their legends about deities like Amaterasu, Susanoo and Tsukuyomi, the underworld, the creation of the universe, the sea and the mountains. The stories of the glory and…

The Exorcist

Title: The Exorcist Writer: William Peter Blatty Publishing House: HarperTorch Date of Publication: February 1st 1994 (first published June 1971) Rating: 5 stars Obligatory classic poster -best in the History of cinema- photo is coming: The trip may be disturbing…Ye have been warned… Strange as it may seem, the first time I watched the film version of ”The Exorcist” was three years…

Waves

Title: Waves (original title: Écumes) Writer: Ingrid Chabbert, illustrated by Carole Maurel, translated by Edward Gauvin. Publishing House: Archaia Publication Date: May 1st 2019 (first published February 15th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Sometimes we drown drinking in the sea. A sea as red as a heart that’s stopped beating. We look up from an underwater crossroads – return to the…

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns Writer: Khaled Hosseini Publishing House: Bloomsbury Date of Publication: September 1st 2007 (first published May 22nd 2007) Rating: 5 stars *If you attempt any political or religious comment, you’re in trouble. Trust me, you don’t want to mess with one of my rants…’’ ‘’Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter. Like a compass…

Verbal Abuse and Social Media Vol.2

First of all, meet my favourite guy. Not that the mob that liked to harass me would know who he is or the film or anything related to Sumerian mythology or anything related to any matter apart from their political agenda but let’s just pretend…   I have deleted every Twitter related to the incident…

The Haunted Dolls’ House

Title: The Haunted Dolls’ House Writer: M.R.James Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: 2008 (first published March 1923) Rating: 5 stars My first ‘’meeting’’ with M.R.James was through the marvelous Classic Ghost Stories series narrated by the living legend that answers to the name Robert Powell. The strange thing is that for some unknown reason I hadn’t actually read…

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Title: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World Writer: Pénélope Bagieu Publishing House: First Second Date of Publication: March 6th 2018 Rating: 5 stars There are dozens of books dedicated to women (well-known and less so) who defined their field and couldn’t care less about what society and established norms had dictated for them. Many of these books are successful,…

Death of a River Guide

Title: Death of a River Guide Writer: Richard Flanagan Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: May 26th 2016 (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh. But what connects the two? What remains? What abideth in the earth forever?’’ My introduction to Richard Flanagan’s work was the award-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep…

I Am Heathcliff

Title: I Am Heathcliff: Stories Inspired by Wuthering Heights Writer: Various curated by Kate Mosse Publishing House: The Borough Press Date of Publication: July 26th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Archetypes. Stories that seem bigger than the books that contain them. Wuthering Heights is such a book. Cathy and Heathcliff are such characters.’’ I have longed and dreaded to read this…

#Fairytale Friday: Scotland

Next stop of #FairytaleFriday is Scotland. A land made of myths and legend, steeped in History and tradition. Its corners inhabited by fairies, elves, otherworldly animals, its power forged by brave warriors fighting for independence. This is one of the most well-known Scottish myths that is firmly linked to one of the most famous clans….

Dracul

Title: Dracul Writer: Dacre Stoker, J.D. Barker Publishing House: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Date of Publication: October 2nd 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’A crescent moon dangling in the sky offered the thinnest of illuminations, bathing the world in nothing but faint outlines, silhouettes, and shadows. The tower of Artane Castle was barely visible in the distance, lost behind rolling hills and…

Through the Water Curtain

Title: Through the Water Curtain Writer: Cornelia Funke Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Fairy tales break all the rules of a good story and yet they find such powerful images for the deepest human emotions and fears that we sense deep layers of meaning in a poisonous apple or the grueling setting…

I Who Have Never Known Men

Title: I Who Have Never Known Men (original title:Moi qui n’ai pas connu les hommes) Writer: Jacqueline Harpman Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 (first published 1995) Rating: 5 stars ‘’My memory begins with anger.’’ Yes, I found a Dystopian novel I love more than 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale. Forty women live…

#FaiytaleFriday: Germany

If you follow me for a while, you will have discovered my deep love for fairytales and Folklore from all over the world. I am one of those weird people who support the obligatory teaching of fairytales in schools and their inclusion in the curriculum. The reason is simple and obvious: they are faithful mirrors…

Folk

Title: Folk Writer: Zoe Gilbert Publishing House: Bloomsbury UK Date of Publication: February 8th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Listen, for the beat that runs through the gorce maze. It is an early twilight, the opening between last sun and first star, the door of the day closing until, soon, night will seal it shut. There are feet thudding in the…

Walking the Himalayas

Title: Walking the Himalayas Writer: Levison Wood Publishing House:  Little, Brown and Company Date of Publication: May 24th 2016 (first published March 1st 2016) Rating: 5 stars Sometimes, it is better to let the extracts do the talking… ‘’If you keep walking on the north bank of the Thames, past the Putney Bridge Premier Inn there’s a medieval church with…

The Doll’s Alphabet

Τitle: The Doll’s Alphabet Writer: Camilla Grudova Publishing House: Coffee House Press Date of Publication: October 17th 2017 (first published February 14th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’A woman discovered that a bunch of her jewels had faces carved into them, someone else a gargoyle tattoo on their back, and a car was found with three stone kings sitting inside.’’ I…

The Hotel Tito

Title: The Hotel Tito (original title Hotel Zagorje) Writer: Ivana Simić Bodrožić Publishing House: Seven Stories Press UK Date of Publication: September 21st 2017  (first published 2010) Rating: 1 star Some of my favourite writers are Croatian. Talented, intelligent people whose objective view on such a delicate matter as the 1990s conflicts delivers stories that are heartfelt, evocative and…

The Poison Bed

Title: The Poison Bed Writer: Elizabeth Fremantle Publishing House: Penguin UK Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.’’             The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster May I just say that this is one of the most intriguing front covers I’ve ever seen?…

Cosy: The British Art of Comfort

Title: Cosy: The British Art of Comfort Writer: Laura Weir Publishing House: HarperOne Date of Publication: November 5th 2019 Rating: 1 star How does each one of us define coziness? For me, it’s comfort and warmth regardless of the season. A mug of chocolate, a book and the caramel glow of a dimly lit room reflecting on the window. Others…

Brute

Title: Brute: Poems Writer: Emily Skaja Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication: April 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am sewn into a dress. On Broad Street, ravens Lurk on the Divine Lorraine Hotel.’’ A striking front cover depiction Gleipnir and Fenrir by Walton Ford is a telling dark introduction to this poetry collection by Emily Skaja, the winner…

Wakenhyrst

Title: Wakenhyrst Writer: Michelle Paver Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: April 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustles and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I…

Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land

Title: Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land Writer: Benjamin Myers Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: April 25th 2019 (first published May 17th 2018) ‘’Let things settle. Let tress reach downwards, their curling roots grasping deep into the underworld. Let weeds wander, and life crawl and colonise and entangle.  Let the seasons set the pace….

The Disappeared

Title: The Disappeared Writer: Amy Lord Publishing House: Unbound Digital Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 Rating: 2 stars ‘’They didn’t want us to remember, to get ideas outside of their control.’’ Books are a threat. Books have always been a threat in totalitarian states. The Nazis and the Communists loathe the very existence of book because they signify knowledge…

A Column of Fire

Title: A Column of Fire Writer: Ken Follett Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication: September 12th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ‘’People should hear Bible stories from their parish priest. If they start reading for themselves, they’re sure to get the wrong idea.’’ Some things never change… 1558, Kingsbridge. Europe is once again in disarray, torn by trivial religious differences. The…

Captain Rosalie

Title: Captain Rosalie Writer:  Timothée de Fombelle, illustration by Isabelle Arsenault (tr. by Sam Gordon) Publishing House: Candlewick Press Date of Publication: June 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Dogs bark in the distance, out there by the farms. The dead leaves whistle their way across the school yard.’’ 1917, a cold autumn day in France. WWI has darkened Europe….

Madame Zero

Title: Madame Zero Writer: Sarah Hall Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: July 4th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The morning is clear, a few high clouds banking on the horizon. Dawn has come and gone, but it still feels fresh and damp and clean. You cycle through the hospital grounds, past the crematorium and across a small…

The Bookshop

Title: The Bookshop Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: January 30th 2014 (first published 1978) Rating: 5 stars ”A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life,” and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity. ” Sometimes you have to fight against…

Lanny

Title: Lanny Writer: Max Porter Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: March 7th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It would have been the head of a dolphin and the wings of a peregrine, and it would be a storm-watching beast, watching the weather while we sleep.’’ Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers has been on my list…

Suspended Heart

Title: Suspended Heart Writer: Heather Fowler Publishing House: Pink Narcissus Press Date of Publication: May 15th 2019 (originally published December 17th 2010) Rating: 3 stars If you follow my reviews, you’ll know that Magical Realism is a great love of mine, especially when combined with Literary Fiction.Short Stories collections are on the rise and justifiably so. The ambiguous closures and…

False Bingo: Stories

Title: False Bingo: Stories Writer: Jac Jemc Publishing House: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Date of Publication: October 8th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am a problem without a solution. I am a question without an answer. I am a poison without an antidote. I will never know what it is I’ve done.’’ I fell under Jac Jemc’s spell what I…