Swimming Lessons

Title: Swimming Lessons Writer: Claire Fuller Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: February 1st 2018 (first published February 7th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ”Black waves would lift the boat up and roll it with the swell, like mountains rising where there had been no mountains before.” Flora has an awful burden on her shoulders. Trying to pursue her studies, coping…

The Country Will Bring Us No Peace

Title: The Country Will Bring Us No Peace (originaI title Ici, ailleurs) Writer: Matthieu Simard (translated by Pablo Strauss) Publishing House: Coach House Books Date of Publication: September 17th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The silence came down on us like rain one Thursday, and we spent years submerged in it. The birds fell silent and rusty hinges stopped squeaking…

Irish Tales From The Otherworld: Ghosts, Fairies & Evil Spirits

Title: Irish Tales From The Other World: Ghosts, Fairies & Evil Spirits Writer: Bob Curran Publishing House: Poolbeg Press Date of Publication: October 21st 2015 Rating: 5 stars ”In Ireland, the supernatural is usually never all that far away. It lies sleeping beneath a seemingly peaceful and beautiful landscape, just beyond our vision but ready to emerge when we least…

The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories

Title: The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories Writer: Michel Faber Publishing House: Canongate Books Ltd Date of Publication: September 7th 2006 (first published 2004) Rating: 5 stars ”Snow continues to whirl through the sky, the windowpanes rattle and creak, but still those damned partridges and turtledoves proliferate. Passerby must be tossing coins to this bawling nuisance; better they should throw…

Redemption

Title:Redemption (original title: Искупление) Writer: Friedrich Gorenstein (translated by Andrew Bromfield) Publishing House: Columbia University Press Date of Publication: October 23rd 2018 (first published January 1st 1979) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There are ten thousand lying in the porcelain factory quarries…They were killed by fascism and totalitarianism but my dear ones were killed by my neighbour with a…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January Writer: Alix E.Harrow Publishing House: Orbit Date of Publication:September 10th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ”Maybe you’ve even seen one for yourself, standing half-ajar and rotted in an old church, or oiled and shining in a brick wall. Maybe, if you’re one of those fanciful persons who find their feet running toward unexpected…

#Fairytale Friday: Serbia

Title: Serbian Fairy Tales (Σερβικά παραμύθια) Writer: edited and translated into Greek by Momčilo Radić Publishing House: Απόπειρα Date of Publication: 2004 Rating: 5 stars Today we aren’t going to talk about a specific tale. Instead, we’re going on a trip to Serbia, guided by the most characteristic features of the Serbian fairy tale.  The fairy tales of…

Faery Tales

Title: Faery Tales Writer: Carol Ann Duffy (illustrated by Tomislav Tomić Publishing House: Faber Date of Publication: November 4th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ”Ungrateful man!”, thundered the creature. ”I have saved your life by letting you into my castle and to thank me you steal one of my roses, which I prize over everything!” My introduction to the world…

A World Full of Spooky Stories

Title: A World Full of Spooky Stories Writer: Angela McAllister (illustrated by Madalina Andronic) Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: September 3rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars Confession time. Once August knocks on our door and long before my summer holidays are completed, I begin to think of Halloween reads, Halloween decorations, Halloween films and pretty much Halloween…

In Evil Hour

Title: In Evil Hour (original title: La Mala Hora) Writer: Gabriel García Márquez (translated by Gregory Rabassa) Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: 1996 (first published 1961) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He offered an enigma: a man registers at a hotel at ten at night, goes to his room, and the next morning the waiter who brings him his coffee finds…

Baba Yaga Laid An Egg

Title: Baba Yaga Laid An Egg (original title: Život je bajka) Writer: Dubravka Ugrešić  (translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać, Celia Hawkesworth &  Mark Thompson (Translator) Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: July 1st 2009 (first published 2007) Rating: 2 stars ‘’Sweet little old ladies. At first you don’t see them. And then, there they are, on the tram, at the post…

The Piano Recital

Title: The Piano Recital (original title ピアノはっぴょうかい) Writer: Akiko Miyakoshi (illustrations by Akiko Miyakoshi) Publishing House: Kids Can Press Date of Publication: September 3rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars Our little Momo is dressed in her most beautiful dress, ready for her first piano recital. However, she is extremely nervous, peering through the backstage curtain, watching and waiting for her turn…

The Water Cure

Title: The Water Cure Writer: Sophie Mackintosh Publishing House: Penguin Random House Date of Publication:  April 25th 2019 Rating: 5 stars Had this been a fairytale, it would have started like this: There once was a couple who had three daughters and they lived on an isolated island. ‘’King’’ was the father’s name and Grace, Lia and Sky were taught…

On My Aunt’s Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed

Title: On My Aunt’s Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed (original title: Από Τη Μέση και Κάτω) Writer: Maria Mitsora (translated by Jacob Moe) Publishing House: Yale University Press Date of Publication: September 18th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’My tutor lived in a beautiful pinkstone house, enveloped in bougainvillea vines. I had heard a few things about his life…

Breakfast in Bogotá

Title: Breakfast in Bogotá Writer: Helen Young Publishing House: Unbound Date of Publication:August 8th 2019 Rating: 3 stars ‘’The night was crisp and filled with the sound of a thousand crickets and above this, an indigo sky purpled the horizon. Here, it might be possible to forget the city with its cramped streets and wild order.’’ 1947, Bogotá. Luke…

The Collection

Title: The Collection (original title: Mise en pièces) Writer: Nina Leger (translated by Laura Francis) Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: September 3rd 2019 (first published January 12th 2017) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Gare de Lyon – exit left – pale neon lights. Jeanne stares at the tropical garden caged by glass walls. Dark, mordant greens; droplets of water…

A Nail, A Rose and Other Stories

Title: A Nail, A Rose and Other Stories (original title Sept Nouvelles) Writer: Madeleine Bourdouxhe (translated by Faith Evans) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: October 1st 2019 (first published 1985) Rating:  5 stars ‘’All around them, the earth was black and white. A beautiful winter night-smell rose up from the black and white earth. A…

My Footprints

Title: My Footprints Writer: Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran Publishing House: Capstone Date of Publication: September 1st 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’I want to be the biggest and scariest monster,’’ Thuy says, ‘’so that if kids at school make fun of me for having two mums, or tell me to go back where I came from, or call…

#Fairytale Friday: Croatia

Today I chose to depart from the Baltic Sea and return to the Balkan region to visit one of the most beautiful countries in my neighbourhood. Our destination is Croatia, in the company of a tale of wolves, transformations and a son’s love.                        …

Springtime In a Broken Mirror

Title: Springtime in a Broken Mirror (original title Primavera con una esquina rota) Writer: Mario Benedetti (translated by Nick Caistor) Publishing House: Penguin Books Ltd Date of Publication: April 30th 2019 first published 1982 Rating: 3 stars ‘’Tonight I am alone. […] I can think more clearly. I don’t have to screen myself off to think of you. You’ll say…

Klotsvog

Title: Klotsvog Writer: Margarita Khemlin (translated by Lisa C. Hayden) Publishing House: Columbia University Press Date of Publication:August 27th 2019 (first published 2009) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Though I had nobody to call, I often picked it up and said whatever came into my head, paying no attention to the piercing dial tone inside the receiver. I could dial…

The Turn of the Screw

Title: The Turn of the Screw Writer: Henry James Publishing House: Penguin Popular Classics Date of Publication: 1994  (first published October 1898) Rating: 5 stars “I seemed to float not into clearness, but into a darker obscure, and within a minute there had come to me out of my very pity the appalling alarm of his perhaps being innocent. It…

Tales From A Master’s Notebook: Stories Henry James Never Wrote

Title: Tales From A Master’s Notebook: Stories Henry James Never Wrote Writer: Various ed. by Philip Horne Publishing House: Penguin Random House Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was now the end of September and sudden cold winds visited our lonely road and set the Norfolk pines sighing on their tortured stems. One such gust of…

Bellman & Black

Title: Bellman & Black Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Atria Date of Publication: November 5th 2013 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the few minutes since the boys had left the place, rooks had come. They circled above the oak, fifteen or twenty of them. More were arriving from all directions. They stretched across the sky, loose skeins of dark marks, converging…

#FairytaleFriday: Lithuania

                                                       The Amber Princess Today’s journey brings us to one of the most beautiful countries of our planet: Lithuania. This is a tale of the Baltic Sea and a…

The Children of Jocasta

Title: The Children of Jocasta Writer: Natalie Haynes Publishing House: Mantle Date of Publication: May 4th 2017 Rating: 3 stars ‘’When you have grown up as I have, there is no security in not knowing things. In avoiding the ugliest truths because they can’t be faced…Because that is what happened the last time, and that is why my siblings and…

The Therapist

Title:The Therapist Writer: Nial Giacomelli Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: August 1st 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’It’s as if someone is cutting into me while I sleep and gradually stitching weights into the muscles and tendons of my body. And though it’s not debilitating I find it harder each day to fight to the surface.’’…

Gingerbread

Title: Gingerbread Writer: Robert Dinsdale Publishing House: Harper Collins Date of Publication: February 13th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Once, all of the world was covered in forests. But, slowly, over the years, those forests were driven back – by people just like us. They chopped them down to make timber, and burned them to make farms. But this little corner…

Gospođica (The Woman From Sarajevo)

Title: Gospođica Writer: Ivo Andrić Publishing House: Dereta Date of Publication: First published 1945 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The sky above Belgrade stretches from horizon to horizon, often tumultuous, but always beautiful. In winter, with its bright, cold and clear starry nights, in summer with its sudden showers. When it changes, becoming a thick, dark cloud that carries heavy rain and…

The Glovemaker

Title: The Glovemaker Writer: Ann Weisgarber Publishing House: Skyhorse Publishing Date of Publication: February 5th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The recent days of sun and spells of warmer afternoon had melted the snow so that it was only calf deep. As day broke, we rode past and around rock formations shaped like cathedrals. Massive pillared walls of rock streaked…

Gods of Jade and Shadow

Title: Gods of Jade and Shadow Writer: Silvia Moreno – Garcia Publishing House: Quercus Books Date of Publication: July 23rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Some people are born under a lucky star, while others have their misfortune telegraphed by the position of the planets. Casiopea Tun, named after a constellation, was born under the most rotten star imaginable in the…

Fairy Tales for Fearless Girls

Title: Fairy Tales for Fearless Girls Writer: Retold by Anita Ganeri & illustrated by Khoa Le Publishing House: Arcturus Publishing Ltd Date of Publication: July 2019 Rating: 3 stars I believe that we should never stop narrating the so-called ‘’classic’’ fairy tales of our childhood. Yes, for many (including me) Cinderella and the rest of the squad may seem…

Paper Butterfly

Title: Paper Butterfly Writer: Diane Wei Liang Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Date of Publication: January 1st 2008 Rating: 5 stars ‘’This land offered nothing but harsh wind and dry yellow earth. Under the dome of the sky, snow-peaked mountains stood like unwanted burdens of the past. This was the province where the Great Wall ended, where the Silk Road…

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…

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,…

#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 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 tweet related to the incident…