The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

Title: The Woman Warrior Writer: Maxine Hong Kingston Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: 2015 (first published August 12th 1976) ”I inspired my army, and I fed them. At night I sang to them glorious songs that came out of the sky and into my head. When I opened my mouth, the songs poured out and were loud enough…

I Wish

Title: I Wish Writer: Toon Tellegen (translated by David Colmer), illustrated by Ingrid Godon Publishing House: Elsewhere Editions Date of Publication: March 31st 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”DESPAIRERS WILL BE PROSECUTED written underneath. If someone despaired anyway, they’d get arrested and thrown into jail. I don’t like despair. They’d have special police to take care of it ”Ah, I seem…

Midwinter Mysteries:A Christmas Crime Anthology

Title: Midwinter Mysteries: A Christmas Crime Anthology Writer:Various Publishing House:Sapere Books Date of Publication:October 30th 2019 Rating:4 stars ”I think you can let the baby Jesus go”, Slonsky said. ”He’s innocent, just like the real one.” Behind the shiny ornaments, the bright lights, the laughter, the flowing wine, and the presents, dark intentions may find a…

Pine

Title:Pine Writer:Francine Toon Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication: January 23rd 2020 Rating:5 stars ”With all the lights on, there is still a darkness in the house.” In a small community in the haunting Scottish Highlands, the strange disappearance of a mother has cast a shadow over the lives of the residents. Lauren, a 10-year-old girl, lives…

Astrid Lindgren (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Astrid Lindgren (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Linzie Hunter Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: March 3rd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Give the children love, more love and still more love – and the common sense will come by itself.’’                            Astrid Lindgren Many years ago, a very special child…

A Treasury Of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

Title: A Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes & Mistletoe Writer: Dee Dee Chainey Publishing House: National Trust Date of Publication:April 5th 2018 Ratings:5 stars ”As we get older, we still sense the wonder of those takes we know from childhood. They whisper to us with every fleeting glimpse of what might just be a fairy in…

The Snow Collectors

Title: The Snow Collectors Writer: Tina May Hall Publishing House: Dzanc Books Date of Publication: February 12th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”I found the dead woman at the edge of my woods on the last day of January. King month. Thirty-one spikes on a crown of icicles.” A young woman lives in Alaska. Alone, her sole company a dog…

A Christmas Cornucopia

Title: A Christmas Cornucopia Writer: Mark Forsyth Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication:November 3rd 2016 Rating:5 stars ”There’s a lovely story about a Tokyo department store, back in the days when Christmas was unknown in Japan. The head of this store had heard rumours of a Western tradition that involved a massive shopping spree and he wanted to…

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories

Title: The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories Writer: Various edited by Martin Edwards Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: May 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Although one snowflake had already sifted past the lights, the great doors of the house stood open. It seemed less a snowflake than a shadow; for a bitter wind…

Wrecker

Title: Wrecker Writer: Noel O’Reilly Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Time had stopped and God had turned His back on the world.” Cornwall, 20 years after the Napoleonic Wars. Life in the isolated village of Porthmorvoren is hard. Living in extreme poverty, battling with the formidable weather conditions and the sea, the villagers…

Star over Bethlehem: Poems and Holiday Stories

Title:Star over Bethlehem: Poems and Holiday Stories Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: William Morrow Date of Publication: October 25th 2011  (first published 1965) Rating: 5 stars ”She thought of the pictures that had been shown her – of the agony in the garden of the shameful death, of a man who, at the hour of death, was forsaken…

Christmas At Thompson Hall & Other Christmas Stories

Title:Christmas at Thompson Hall and Other Christmas Stories Writer: Anthony Trollope Publishing House:Penguin Classics Date of Publication:November 6th 2014 (first published 1882) Rating: 5 stars ”Yes, I want you to love me, and to be my wife. I don’t know how to tell you; but I love you better than anything and everything in the world-…

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

Title: A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings Writer: Charles Dickens Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication:November 25th 2010 (first published December 19th 1843) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He told me, coming home, that he hopes the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon…

A Classic Christmas: A Collection of Timeless Stories and Poems

Title: A Classic Christmas: A Collection of Timeless Stories and Poems Writer:Various Publishing House:Thomas Nelson Date of Publication:October 1st 2019 Rating:5 stars ”Some say that ever ‘gainst that reason comes Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrate,  The bird of dawning singeth all night long. And then, they say, no evil spirit walks; The nights are wholesome;…

Christmas Ghost Stories

Title: Christmas Ghost Stories Writer: Various Publishing House:The Folio Society Date of Publication: 2005 ”This ae nighte, this ae nighte, Every nighte and alle, Fire and fleet and candle-lighte, And Christe receive thy saule.” Lyke Wake Drige Lament Christmas is arguably the jolliest time of the year. Lights everywhere, bright ornaments, laughing children singing beautiful carols. Ages-old traditions…

Human Acts

Title: Human Acts (original title: 소년이 온다) Writer: Han Kang translated by Deborah Smith Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: January 17th 2017  (first published May 19th 2014) Rating:5 stars ”It’s the middle of the day, but the dim interior is more like evening’s dusky half-light. The coffins that have already been through the memorial service have…

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Title: The Twelve Days of Christmas Writer: Traditional illustrated by Jan Brett Publishing House: G. B. Putnam’s Sons Date of Publication: October 15th 2019  (first published January 1st 1986) Rating: 5 stars ‘’And a partridge in a pear tree.’’ Because, obviously. When I start humming the tune of this most classic of songs, I know that I have…

Russian Short Stories (1918 – 1941)

Τitle: Ανθολογία ρωσικού διηγήματος του μεσοπολέμου Writer: Various (selected and translated by Tania Rahmatoulina Publishing House: Πλέθρον Date of Publication: December 2005 Rating: 5 stars *All extracts translated by me, taken from the original edition translated by Tania Rahmatoulina* ‘’All beauty in this world was born out of the love for a woman.’’ During the turbulent years in the…

After Me Comes The Flood

Title: After Me Comes The Flood Writer: Sarah Perry Publishing House: Custom House Date of Publication:March 17th 2020 (first published June 26th 2014) Rating: 5 stars ”What surprises me isn’t that we sin, but that we manage a single good action in all of our lives.” A strange array of people has gathered in a cottage in the marshlands….

Highland Folk Tales

Title: Highland Folk Tales (Folk Tales from the British Isles series) Writer: Bob Pegg Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: June 1st 2012 (first published November 30th 2011) Rating: 5 stars ”And these are tales not just written down in books, but known by communities and passed down through families: stories of fairies, ghosts, giants, waterhorses,…

Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters

Title: Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters Writer: Nikita Gill Publishing House: Ebury Press Date of Publication: September 5th 2019 Rating:5 stars ”They murmur, in the beginning of everything; from the bones of Chaos, rose a girl who built the universe, the stars, the planets, all because she was looking  for a place to dance.” What if…

Ice

Title: Ice Writer: Anna Kavan Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication:November 14th 2017 (first published 1967 Rating: 5 stars ”Carrying my suitcase, I walked into the town. Silence obtruded itself. Nothing moved. The devastation was even greater than it had seemed from the boat. Not a building intact. Wreckage heaped in blank spaces where houses had been.”…

Tales Of Old Prague Houses

Title: Tales of Old Prague Houses Writer: Magdalena Wagnerová (translated by Lucie Mikolajková) Publishing House:  Nakladatelství PLOT Date of Publication:2017 Rating:5 stars ‘’Every house has a story to tell and a history behind it. The old houses of Prague, once the home of plain townsmen and burghers, now seem to us like small palaces, enchanted and full of…

The Eighth Day

Title:The Eighth Day (original title: 八日目の蝉) Writer:Mitsuyo Kakuta Publishing House:Kodansha Date of Publication:May 1st 2010 (first published March 2007) Rating: 3 stars ”I left the house and turned to the alley. No shops insight. This was a strange corner of the city, a row of uninhabited houses. Shutters closed, a rusty bike lying next to a…

The Vegetarian

Title: The Vegetarian (original title: 채식주의자) Writer: Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: February 2nd 2016 (first published October 30th 2007) Rating: 5 stars ”Dark woods. No people. The sharp-pointed leaves in the trees, my torn feet. This place, almost remembered, but I’m lost now. Frightened. Cold. Across the frozen ravine,…

Noises Off

Title: Noises Off Writer: Michael Frayn Publishing House: Anchor Date of Publication: August 27th 2002 (first published January 1st 1982) Rating: 5 stars ‘’And God said, “Where the Hell is Tim?” And there the Hell was Tim. And God said, “Let there be doors that open when they open, and close when they close.” A famous actress who has invested…

Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales

Title: Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales Writer: Various edited by Ellen Datlow Publishing House:Pegasus Books Date of Publication:February 7th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ”But you have mistaken me, O Bird. Can you not hear? I am the silence and the piping and I am coming. And it is I- I who am terrible.” O Terrible Bird by Sandra…

The Memory Police

Title: The Memory Police (original title:密やかな結晶) Writer:  Yōko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Pantheon Date of Publication: August 13th 2019  (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Long ago, before you were born, there were many more things here; my mother used to tell me when I was still a child. ‘’Transparent things, fragrant things…fluttery ones, bright ones…wonderful things…

A Little House In A Big Place

Title: A Little House In A Big Place Writer: Alison Acheson (illustrated by Valeriane LeBlond) Publishing House: Kids Can Press Date of Publication: May 7th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’She stood at her window and waved to the train engineer who passed every day and she wondered. About where he came from and where he went. And if she might…

Rain: Four Walks In English Weather

Title: Rain: Four Walks In English Weather Writer: Melissa Harrison Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication:March 3rd 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The village is far behind me now, its squat church tower lost in trees. The lane I walk is flanked by hawthorn hedges, and on the regress glossy hart’s tongue fens funnel the rain so…

Bone China

Title: Bone China Writer: Laura Purcell Publishing Books: Raven Books Date of Publication:September 19th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”This is the bitterest winter I can recall. Too cold, even for snow. A world washed innocent and white might bring me some comfort, but no – this is the season of sleet and gunmetal skies. Everything is grey and cold….

Home In The Woods

Title: Home In The Woods Writer: Written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler Publishing House: Nancy Paulsen Books Date of Publication:October 1st 2019 Rating:5 stars ‘’Snow falls in a blanket of diamonds all around the shack. The jack pines sway above as we fall asleep close together. But Mum stays awake into the night, whispering to the stars…’’ Wisconsin,…

22 Czech Legends

Title: 22 Czech Legends Writer: Alena Ježková (illustrated by  Zdenka Krejčová) Publishing House: Práh Date of Publication: 2007 Rating: 5 stars The literary journey to the Czech Republic continues… Who was the brave squire that fought against the bandits and led to the founding of Krumlov Castle? In a beautiful fortification, the White Lady of Krumlov appears to soothe the…

Witches Sail In Eggshells

Title: Witches Sail In Eggshells Writer: Chloe Turner Publishing House: Reflex Press Date of Publication: June 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’They should never have come. This wasn’t a place well-suited to winter. Even under the frost, the minigolf course had been thick with leaves when they’d crossed it yesterday, and they’d found the boating lake frozen solid, a…

Old Prague Legends

Title: Old Prague Legends Writer: Based on legends retold by by Magdalena Wagnerová (translated by Ivan Guittierez, illustrated by Nemcova Lucie) Publishing House: Plot Publishing House Date of Publication: 2010 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The city was named Praha- ‘’threshold’’ – and just as long ago people would bow before the threshold when they entered a house, they bow today…

Rituals to Observe: Stories about Holidays from the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

Title: Rituals to Observe: Stories about Holidays from the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction Writer: Various edited by Ethan Laughman Publishing House: University of Georgia Press Date of Publication: September 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It can always be a happy season if there are rituals to observe.’’ Once October arrives, the world goes festive. In Greece, we celebrate…

The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort

Title:The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort Writer: Michel Faber Publishing House:Canongate Books Ltd Date of Publication:April 1st 2010 Rating: 5 stars ”Within minutes, of course (or was it hours?), her head was disjoined from her neck, and the seagulls were screaming.” Siân is a student of archeology and has recently joined an…

Patience, Miyuki

Title: Patience, Miyuki Writer:  Roxane Marie Galliez (illustrated by Seng Soun Ratavanah Publishing House: Princeton Architectural Press Date of Publication: October 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Blue earth, orange moon, Spring was all dressed up and ready for her first day of the year. Miyuki was ready, too. She was already up and running through the garden.’’ Little Miyuki is…

The Heart and Other Viscera: Stories

Title: The Heart and Other Viscera: Stories Writer: Félix J. Palma Publishing House: Atria Books Date of Publication:September 17th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”At that time of evening, the playground resembled a childhood graveyard. The swings creaked mournfully in the breeze, the slide rose toward the moon like an abrupt, useless object, and the crisscrossed bars of the climbing…

A Spell of Winter

Title: A Spell of Winter Writer: Helen Dunmore Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 (first published January 1st 1995) Rating: 5 stars ‘’They were bringing my uncle Joseph down the stairs. Narrow, twisty stairs they put in houses where they’d given no thought to the living or the dead. You couldn’t get a coffin up them.’’ Helen…

Prague In Legends

  Title: Prague In Legends Writer:  Anna Novotná (illustrated by Jan Klimeš) Publishing House: Práh Date of Publication: 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is said that the St Vitus bells can change their sound according to the mood of the nation.’ In Prague, History and Legend walk hand in hand and greet you in every corner. The Golden City created after…

Humiliation

Title: Humiliation (original title: Qué vergüenza) Writer: Paulina Flores (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: November 7th 2019 (first published 2015) Rating: 4 stars ‘’I had the hope I would be able to forget. I longed for the freedom of a heroine, a life of my own, a happy one. Back then I ridiculously faced…

The Life of Death

Title: The Life of Death Writer: Lucy Booth Publishing House: Unbound Date of Publication:  May 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”I am there when you are born. When you cross the road. When the live wire frays in a Bakelite plug. I am there in the hospital canteen, by the frozen pond, in the carbon monoxide fug of a terraced…

By Night Under the Stone Bridge

Title: By Night Under the Stone Bridge (original title: Nachts unter der steinernen Brücke. Ein Roman aus dem alten Prag) Writer: Leo Perutz (translated by  Eric Mosbacher) Publishing House: Arcade Publishing Date of Publication: April 1st 1990  (first published 1953) Rating: 5 stars “They say a deaf man heard a dumb man talking about a blind man who saw a…

Mary Shelley

Title: Mary Shelley Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara & illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars I have long coveted the Little People, Big Dreams series. It seems to me that the time has come for the intermediate students to familiarize themselves with writers, scientists, artists that have shaped…