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…

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 tweet 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,…

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…

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…

Why We Took the Car

Title: Why We Took the Car (original title Tschick ) Writer: Wolfgang Herrndorf (translated by Tim Mohr) Publishing House: Scribe Publications Date of Publication: January 4th 2014 (first published September 1st 2010) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Ever since I was a little boy my father had told me that the world was a bad place. The world is bad and…