The Foundling

Title: The Foundling Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: Manilla Press Date of Publication:  February 18th 2020 (paperback edition published April 7th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ”People tossed all sorts into the river, including themselves.” London, 1754. Bess is one of the unfortunate mothers who have to leave their children in the Foundling Hospital, with the desperate hope that…

The Book of Saints and Heroes

Title: The Book of Saints and Heroes Writer: Leonora Blanche Lang, edited by Andrew Lang Publishing House: St.Augustine Academy Press Date of Publication: June 1st 2012 (first published 1912) Rating: 5 stars ”The men and women who are most interesting to talk to, and who know most about things, are nearly always those who have lived with a library and…

Dear Mrs Bird

Title: Dear Mrs Bird Writer: A.J.Pearce Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ”Μrs Bird says if people get themselves into a silly pickle, they’ve only themselves to blame.” London is trying to survive in the middle of the Blitz. The Londoners are doing their best to go on with their lives, amidst the…

At Freddie’s

Title: At Freddie’s Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: Fourth Estate Date of Publication: March 7th 2013 (first published 1982) Rating: 5 stars ”Although Freddie usually began by saying something gracious, the caller’s first instinct was that of self-preservation, or even to make sure that the door, now to the rear, could be reached in a hurry. Yet in fact, no…

Lancelot

Title: Lancelot Writer: Giles Kristian Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: May 31st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I smell the rising fog of the crowd’s breath. It warms my feathers against the thin dawn air and I watch. I feel, too. More than a bird should feel. The sorrow which lies over the assembly like a shroud….

Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla

Title: Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla Writer: Written and illustrated by Tracy Dockray Publishing House: Capstone Editions Date of Publication: September 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.’’                              Nikola Tesla The story of the man who invented the future. The man who gave…

If I Had Your Face

Title:If I Had Your Face Writer: Frances Cha Publishing House: Penguin Books (UK) Date of Publication: April 23rd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”In the original story, the little mermaid endures unspeakable pain to gain her human legs. The Sea Witch warns her that her new feet will feel as if she is walking on whetter blades, but she will…

Devil’s Day

Title:Devil’s Day Writer: Andrew Michael Hurley Publishing House: John Murray Date of Publication: October 19th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ”Oh, the day is done, the honest’s won- The apples and the hay, The leaves will wither on the bough, And all will fall by Devil’s Day.” Decades ago, the Endlands were attacked by the Blizzard. Livestock and residents fell…

Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women

Title: Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women Writer: Sharon Blackie Publishing House: September Publishing Date of Publication: September 20th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”No one wants to work the land, now; they just want to sit and look out of the picture window and stare at the water. A ‘view’, they call is, as if they had nothing…

Gossip From The Forest

Title: Gossip From the Forest Writer: Sara Maitland Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: November 1st 2012 Rating: 1 star I won’t write an elaborate (and boring…) Introduction about how much I longed to read this book. It was one of my most coveted treasures from the moment I bought it and I wanted to savour it and…

Ghost Stories of Louisiana

Title: Ghost Stories of Louisiana Writer: Dan Asfar Publishing House: Lone Pine Publishing Date of Publication: September 1st 2007 Rating: 5 stars ”And yet there are other nights – nights when the wind carries something unsettling through the Vieux Carre’s cramped streets. Nights when the black water of the Mississippi whispers something of the past as it crawls bu the…

Orkney Folk Tales

Title: Orkney Folk Tales (Folk Tales from the British Isles_) Writer: Tom Muir Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: May 1st 2014 Rating: 5 stars ”Sometimes, during the summer months, you can see phantom islands floating on the sea where there shouldn’t be land at all. There were said to be the summer abodes of the fin folk,…

Sisters

Title: Sisters Writer: Daisy Johnson Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: July 2nd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”My sister is a black hole. My sister is a tornado. My sister is the end of the line my sister is the locked door my sister is a shot in the dark. My sister is waiting for me. My…

Portrait of an Artist: Claude Monet

Title: Portrait of an Artist: Claude Monet Writer: Lucy Brownridge, illustrated by Caroline Bonne-Müller Publishing House: Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions Date of Publication: January 7th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I like to paint as a bird sings.’’ (Claude Monet) A beautiful book that aims to introduce the younger audience to one of the masterminds of Impressionism. Claude…

Misty Circus

Title: Misty Circus Writer:  Written and illustrated by Victoria Francés, translated by Olinda Kordukes Publishing House: Dark Horse Books Date of Publication: June 11th 2013 Rating: 5 stars ”The light faded and the forest became darker and darker. The chill wind blew through the branches, which seemed to bend towards the bay like threatening claws. Every sound…

Death and Other Holidays

Title: Death and Other Holidays Writer:Marci Vogel Publishing House: Melville House Date of Publication: November 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I know you now, even if it’s only a little bit, and I know it’s strange, but I didn’t before, and I might never have known you unless somebody had written these lines. Who knows how many people are…

Isolde

Title:Isolde Writer: Irina Odoevtseva (translated by Bryan Karetnyk, Irina Steinberg) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: July 4th 2019 (first published 1929) Rating: 5 stars ”So what? What do we care about the future?” Liza, a girl of fourteen, the ”Isolde” of the title, lives the ”good life” in Biarritz, in the shadow of her mother who…

The Tea Party In The Woods

Title: The Tea Party In the Woods (original title: もりのおくのおちゃかいへ) Writer: Akiko Miyakoshi Publishing House:Kids Can Press Date of Publication:August 1st 2015 Rating:5 stars ‘’The woods were very still. And so quiet. Kikko’s footsteps were the only sound.’’ In a marvelous winter wonderland, Kikko is watching her father leaving for her grandma’s house. But, wait! He…

Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer:  Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (illustrated by Ashling Lindsay) Publishing House:Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication:April 7th 2020 Rating:5 stars ”Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” (quote from the 2014 film The Imitation Game) Alan was a shy boy. His brain could work in such mysterious,…

Irish Ghost Tales

Title:Irish Ghost Tales Writer:Tony Locke Publishing House:The History Press Ireland Date of Publication:August 1st 2016 Rating:5 stars ”There are ghosts and ghoulies that can give you a fright When you’re tucked up warm in your bed. There are things that sometimes go bump in the night Or are they just inside your head?” We have…

The Bell In The Lake

  Title:The Bell In The Lake (original title: Søsterklokkene) Writer: Lars Mytting (translated by Deborah Dawkin) Publishing House:MacLehose Press Date of Publication: March 19th 2020 (first published 2018) Rating:5 stars ”The Hekne twins were young women when one fell ill. The thought of what this might mean – that the survivor would have to drag her…

The Violet Fairy Book

Title: The Violet Fairy Book Writer: Edited by Andrew Lang Publishing House:Throne Classics Date of Publication: 29 May 2019 (first published 2001) Rating:5 stars ”Stories that have been inherited by our earliest civilised ancestors, who really believed that beasts and trees and stones can talk if they choose, and behave kindly or unkindly. The stories are…

The Ninth Child

Title:The Ninth Child Writer:Sally Magnusson Publishing House:John Murray Press Date of Publication:March 19th 2020 Rating: 4 stars ”’Tis thin, this place of water and stone and tree. Here meet north and south, Highland and Lowland, Gael and Scot. Here are mountains made too thin for awe; burns that idle over-prettily, the maist o’them, for the making…

The Doll Factory

Title:The Doll Factory Writer:Elizabeth Macneal Publishing House:Picador Date of Publication:May 2nd 2019 Rating:5 stars ”When the streets are at the darkest and quitest, a girl settles at a small desk in the cellar of a dollmaker’s shop. A bald china head sits in front of her and watches her with a vacant stare. She squeezes…

Cuentos de amor de locura y de muerte

Title: Cuentos de amor de locura y de muerte (Tales of love of madness and of Death)\ Writer: Horacio Quiroga Publishing House: Echo Library Date of Publication: October 13th 2006 Rating:5 stars ”I don’t know whether the howling of an epileptic gives others the impression of a beastly, otherworldly scream. But I am certain that the howling of a…

The Little Mermaid

Title: The Little Mermaid Writer: Hans Christian Andersen (translated by Misha Hoekstra Publishing House: Pushkin Children’s Books Date of Publication:March 10th 2020 Rating:5 stars ‘’You’ll keep your swaying way of moving, and no dancer will be able to glide like you- but with every step you take, it’ll feel like you’re stepping on a sharp knife that’ll make…

The Book Collector

Title: The Book Collector Writer: Alice Thompson Publishing House: Salt Publishing Date of Publication:November 5th 2015 Rating:5 stars ”Once I have owned a book I am longing for the next one. Collecting is a creative act. One of perpetual longing and desire. One is never fully fulfilled. Collections live in dread of satisfaction. There is that brief,…

Coming Up For Air

Title:Coming Up For Air Writer:Sarah Leipciger Publishing House:Doubleday Date of Publication:March 19th 2020 Rating:5 stars ”The Highlands is a melancholic place. The mountains are almost always hidden in mist and the tongues of blue that lick the sky are watery and fleeting, but there is a ballad to the landscape that exists in everything. In…

The Bobcat

Title: The Bobcat Writer:Katherine Forbes Riley Publishing House:Skyhorse Publishing Date of Publication:June 5th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”They guarded against her own ghosts as well; whenever the atmosphere grew somber or anxious, first one cat and then the other would spontaneously tear through the room, ears cocked and eyes wild, claws skittering for purchase as they chased…

Maria Montessori (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title:Maria Montessori (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (illustrated by Raquel Martín) Publishing House:Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication:March 5th 2019 Rating:5 stars ‘’The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, the children are now working as if I did not exist.’’        …

The Starless Sea

Title: The Starless Sea Writer:Erin Morgenstern Publishing House:Harvill Secker Date of Publication: November 5th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”Far beneath the surface of the earth, hidden from the sun and the moon, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. Stories written in books and sealed…

The Girl In The Tree

Title: The Girl In The Park (original title: Ağaçtaki Kız) Writer: Şebnem İşigüzel (translated by Mark David Wyers) Publishing House:AmazonCrossing Date of Publication: April 16th 2020 (first published January 1st 2000) Rating: 5 stars ”Some of us die before the story ends, some of us die long after the story has ended, and some of us die right at…

Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present

Title: Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present Writer: Simon Young, Ceri Houlbrook Publishing House: Gibson Square Date of Publication: November 22nd 2017 Rating: 5 stars ”Why is it that so many fairy sightings occur while we are in bed? Why do so many children see fairies? Is it significant that several of…

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…

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;…

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…