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…

Halloween Reads

Oh, it’s THAT time of the year again! Carved pumpkins staring at us with their mischievous smiles shining in the dark, orange-gold and red leaves and lights, children dressed as ghosts and witches, super exciting decorations providing excuses for us lovers of the Gothic aesthetics to fill our house with skulls and brooms and coffins….

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…

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Title: The Hound of the Baskervilles Writer: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Publishing House: Penguin Clothbound Classics Date of Publication: October 1st 2009 (first published August 1901) Rating: 5 stars (Oh, come on…I was looking for a chance to use a Sherlock screencap for my header image…😁) ‘’It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet…

The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women

Title: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women Writer: Various ed. by Marie O’Regan Publishing House: Running Press Date of Publication: October 18th 2012 Rating: 4 stars ”Although the stories vary from tales of ghostly children to those of lost pets, from murder to accidental death, from rage to sorrow and back again, one thing is central to…

Starve Acre

Title: Starve Acre Writer: Andrew Michael Hurley Publishing House: John Murray Date of Publication: October 31st 2019 Rating: 2 stars ”He says my name sometimes. He tells me to come to the tree.” A young family moves to the moors, to a house where dreams and nightmares co-exist. The forest nearby hides secrets and strange apparitions. But the young…

The Binding

Title: The Binding Writer: Bridget Collins Publishing House: The Borough Press Date of Publication: January 10th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’I laid my hand over the bruises on my arm, fitting my fingers into the marks. The wind murmured in the thatch and drove another gust of rain against the window-pane, but the house was thick-walled, solid, as old as…

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…

Literary Landscapes: Charting the Worlds of Classic Literature

Title: Literary Landscapes: Charting the Worlds of Classic Literature Writer: Edited by John Sutherland Publishing House: Black Dog & Leventhal Date of Publication: November 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Literary landscape is composed of words which must be recomposed in a frame of imagination. ‘’The inward eye’’, British ‘’Lakeland’’ poet William Wordsworth called it, drawing a distinction between perception and…

The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural

Title: The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: William Morrow Paperbacks Date of Publication: September 24th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”As we entered the grove of trees a curious oppression came over me. I think it was the silence. No birds seemed to nest in these trees. There was a feeling about it of desolation…

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

Title: Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story Writer: Sean Taylor & Alex Morss, illustrated by Cinyee Chiu Publishing House: Quarto Publishing Group Date of Publication: September 17th 2019 Rating: 5 stars When I was a child, I had the fortune to witness the changing of the seasons in my grandmother’s house. The garden was enormous, full of flowers and trees,…

The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat & Other Stories from the North

Title: The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat & Other Stories from the North Writer: Various edited by Sjón Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication:  October 9th 2018 Rating: 3 stars ”The wind buffeted me, blowing warm, dry air into my face. He’s here, it said. The one you love is waiting for you. You’ve arrived now. You must find…

Transcription

Title: Transcription Writer: Kate Atkinson Publishing House: Black Swan Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 (first published September 6th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ”In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” Winston Churchill 1950. Juliet is a BBC producer, responsible for the children’s zone. Intelligent, energetic and a talented writer,…

Gingerbread

Title: Gingerbread Writer: Helen Oyeyemi Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: March 5th 2019 Rating: 2 stars ‘’The colour of my heart is black.’’ A mother tries to persuade everyone to try her gingerbread. A daughter tries to survive the harsh school environment and a reality that doesn’t seem to be ‘’real’’ at all. Fairy tales and magic…

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…

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…

#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.                        …

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…

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…

The Daylight Gate

Title: The Daylight Gate Writer: Jeanette Winterson Publishing House: Hammer Date of Publication: August 16th 2012 Rating: 5 stars (The beautiful city of Lancaster -image source: https://www.ilh.com/countries/england/lancashire) ‘’Stand on the flat top of Pendle Hill and you can see everything of the county of Lancashire. Some say you can see other things too. This is a haunted place. The living and…