Luckenbooth

Title: Luckenbooth Writer: Jenni Fagan Publishing House: William Heinemann Date of Publication: January 14th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I kiss my mother’s cross. Set into the floor so there’s one holy thing between me and oblivion. The sea won’t take me. I am the devil’s daughter. Nobody wants responsibility for my immortal soul. My address…

The Haunted Boy and Other Stories

Title: The Haunted Boy and Other Stories Writer: Carson McCullers Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Sometimes she would be out fooling with the border of spring flowers – the candytuft, the sweet William, the lobelias (she had taught him the names) – but today the green…

Before You Knew My Name

Title: Before You Knew My Name Writer: Jacqueline Bublitz Publishing House: Allen & Unwin Date of Publication: May 4th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Maybe the people who appear brave are merely doing the thing they have to do. It’s not a matter of courage, then, to pack up and leave a life. Just a lack…

The Faces

Title: The Faces (original title: Ansigterne Writer: Tove Ditlevsen (translated by Tiina Nunnally) Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: January 26th 2021 (first published 1968) Rating: 5 stars ‘’She could think about the words in peace, without fearing that new ones would appear before the night was over. During this time the night held…

The Witches of New York

Title: The Witches of New York Writer: Amy McKay Publishing House: Orion Date of Publication: October 27th 2016 (first published October 8th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’New York had become a city of achievements. Wonders and marvels came so frequent and fast, a day without spectacle was cause for concern.’’ ‘’Queens have been crowned, schemes…

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Title: The Woman in the Purple Skirt Writer: Natsuko Imamura (translated by Lucy North) Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: June 3rd 2021 (first published June 30th 2019) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Some people would pretend they hadn’t seen her, and carry on as before. Others would quickly move aside, to give her room…

A Pocketful of Crows

Title: A Pocketful of Crows Writer: Joanne M. Harris, illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins Publishing House: Gollancz Date of Publication: October 19th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I have no name. The travelling folk have neither name, nor master. When I die, no stone will be laid. No flowers will be scattered. When I die, I…

Dreaming in Quantum and Other Stories

Title: Dreaming in Quantum and Other Stories Writer: Lynda Clark Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: November 1st 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In winter, there’s nothing. Maybe a lone dog walker skirting the edges, but usually just the crows in the yew trees above, cawing threats at the wood pigeons. Silence, punctuated by those…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café (original title: 在謊言拆穿之前) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (translated by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 (first published April 27th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’That night… Around the station there stood many Christmas trees, decorated with lights that shone and sparkled. The…

The Enchanted Night: Selected Tales

Title: The Enchanted Night: Selected Tales Writer: Miklós Bánffy (translated by Len Rix) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: May 25th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’There was a horror in the wintry silence, a silence more profound than in any previous winter. It was as if life itself had been somehow diminished; as if…

The Evening and the Morning

Title: The Evening and the Morning Writer: Ken Follett Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication: September 15th 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’At last, the church bell struck.’’ 997. England stands at a crossroads. The Dark Ages are almost over, a new era is about to begin. The dangers are still present as the Welsh threat…

The Field

Title: The Field Writer: Robert Seethaler (translated by Charlotte Collins) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: March 18th 2021 (first published June 4th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Did I talk about tomorrow? Did I tell you that I love you? Do you remember?’’  In a German town, the dead have indeed their own stories to…

Τhe Illumination of Ursula Flight

Title: The Illumination of Ursula Flight Writer: Anna-Marie Crowhurst Publishing House: Allen & Unwin Date of Publication: May 3rd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’On the fifteenth day of December in the year of our Lord 1664, a great light bloomed in the dark sky and crept slowly and silently across the blackness: a comet. The…

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

Title: The Dangers of Smoking In Bed (original title: Los peligros de fumar en la cama) Writer: Mariana Enriquez (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: January 12th 2021 (first published November 2009) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Or she’d hear a rooster crow in the middle of the night and remember –…

Kink: Stories

Title: Kink: Stories Writer: Various edited by R.O.Kwon and Garth Greenwell. Publishing House: Simon & Schuster UK Date of Publication: February 9th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Bristol, Vermont. Summer – the flies biting. Vermont is named for its green mountains, the man tells her. To her, they look like sleeping animals with soft pelts. With…

The Ophelia Girls

Title: The Ophelia Girls Writer: Jane Healey Publishing House: Haughton Mifflin Harcourt Date of Publication:  August 10th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I have run from that summer, tried to forget its hazy pleasures and its tragedies, how it ended, how things fell apart. I have trusted the years to fade my memories and destroyed those…

Errantry: Strange Stories

Title: Errantry: Strange Stories Writer: Elizabeth Hand Publishing House: Small Beer Press Date of Publication: November 13th 2012 Rating: 3 stars ‘’For as far as he could, there was only night. Ghostly light seeped from a room downstairs onto the silver of lawn. Starlight touched on the endless sweep of moor, like another sea unrolling…

Treasury of Folklore: Seas and Rivers

Title: Treasury of Folklore: Seas & Rivers Writer: Dee Dee Chainey & Willow Winsham Publishing House: Pavillion Books Date of Publication: March 2nd 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’As people stare off into the curved horizon, disappearing as a watery pathway to the unknown, they dream of far-off shores and distant lands.’’ Water is life. The…

A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray

Title: A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray (original title: Un dimanche à Ville-d’Avray) Writer: Dominique Barbéris (tr. by John Cullen) Publishing House: Other Press Date of Publication: April 27th 2021 (first published 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Some of the houses in the neighbourhood I passed through were still closed up – proof that their owners hadn’t yet…

Fairground Magician

Τitle: Fairground Magician (original title: Vašarski mađioničar) Writer: Jelena Lengold (tr. by Celia Hawkesworth) Publishing House: Istros Books Date of Publication: December 17th 2013 (first published 2008) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It’s not that I need you to love me, but I need to suffer because you don’t.’’ I am a rather weird person. Strange things…

The Lamplighters

Title: The Lamplighters Writer: Emma Stonex Publishing House: Pan MacMillan Date of Publication: March 4th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Today it’s soundless. Jory knows loud seas and silent seas, heavy seas and mirror seas, seas where your boat feels like the last blink of humankind on a roll so determined and angry that you believe…

Spring (Seasonal #3)

Title: Spring (Seasonal #3) Writer: Ali Smith Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: March 28th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’None of it touches me. It’s nothing but water and dust. You’re nothing but bonedust and water. Good. More useful to me in the end. I’m the child who’s been buried in leaves. The leaves…

Secret Britain

Title: Secret Britain Writer: Mary-Ann Ochota Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Date of Publication: September 29th 2020 Rated: 5 stars ‘’Every step you take in Britain treads on the past. A street now filled with shops and houses might once have been a royal palace. An anonymous farmer’s field glimpsed from a car window might have…

How to Set Yourself on Fire

Title: How to Set Yourself On Fire Writer: Julia Dixon Evans Publishing House: Dzanc Books Date of Publication: May 8th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Every wildfire, I feel safe and I don’t feel safe. I care and I don’t care and this is my California. From the concrete walk of the courtyard, I count the…

Circus of Wonders

Title: Circus of Wonders Writer: Elizabeth Macneal Publishing House: Pan Macmillan Date of Publication: May 13th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Have a long look, why don’t you?’’ Nell is unique, graced with a special kind of beauty. But the others cannot understand, they think she is an abomination, a cursed creature, lower than the low….

John Lennon (Little People, BIG dreams)

Title: John Lennon (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (illustrated by Octavia Bromell) Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: December 8th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections.’’      John Lennon Liverpool, October 9th 1940. A boy is…

The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales

Title: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales Writer: Kirsty Logan Publishing House: Salt Publishing Date of Publication: March 15th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The more I loved him, the heavier my heart felt, until I was walking around with my back bent and my knees cracking from the weight of it.’’ Twenty stories, twenty masterpieces…

Captain Tom Moore (Little People, BIG Dreams)

Title: Captain Tom Moore (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (illustrated by Christophe Jacques) Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: September 29th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We’ve fought so many battles and we’ve always won, and we’re going to win again. Please remember tomorrow is a good day and…

The Lost Soul

Title: The Lost Soul (original title: Zgubiona Dusza Writer: Olga Rokarczuk (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Joanna Concejo) Publishing House: Triangle Square Date of Publication: February 23rd 2021 (first published October 26th 2017) Rating: 5 ‘’If someone could look down on us from above, they’d see that the world is full of people running…

The Emperor of Shoes

Title: The Emperor of Shoes Writer: Spencer Wise Publishing House: Hanover Square Press Date of Publication: June 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We’ve always been citizens of the world. No, that’s not true. We’ve always been outsiders. On the run.’’ Alex is at a crossroads. Working in his father’s factory in China, he comes in…

A Cage in Search of a Bird

Title: A Cage In Search of a Bird (original title: L’illusion délirante d’être aimé) Writer: Florence Noiville (tr. by Teresa Lavender Fagan) Publishing House: Seagull Books Date of Publication: September 15th 2016 (first published August 18th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Perhaps because I have too much respect for language, I suffer during conversations when nothing…

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Title: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 (original title: 82년생 김지영) Writer: Cho Nam-Joo (tr. by Jamie Chang) Publishing House: Scribner UK Date of Publication: February 20th 2020 (first published October 14th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Help out? What is it with you and ‘’helping out?’’ You’re going to ‘’help out’’ with chores. ‘’Help out’’ with raising…

The International Day of the Girl: Celebrating Girls Around the World

Title: The International Day of the Girl Writer: Jessica Dee Humphreys and the Hon. Rona Ambrose, illustrated by Simone Shin Publishing House: Kids Can Press Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars Nine stories celebrating the International Day of the Girls. Nine girls who demonstrate the strength, the determination, the intelligence, the love…

Lonely Castle In the Mirror

Title: Lonely Castle In The Mirror (original title: かがみの孤城) Writer: Mizuki Tsujimura (translated by Philip Gabriel) Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication:  April 22nd 2021 (first published May 11th 2017) Rating: 2 stars ‘’You are all Little Red Riding Hoods.’’ A lonely castle no one defends, a castle standing alone. A young girl is being…

The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets

Title: The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets Writer: Kathleen Alcott Publishing House: Other Press Date of Publication: January 1st 2012 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Skeletons of lovers slumped toward each other in embraces beneath the earth, almost parts of the roots but not quite assimilated, their backs, you could tell, broken. Sad-looking monsters with jugged triangles of…

Winter (Seasonal #2)

Title: Winter (Seasonal #2) Writer: Ali Smith Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: November 2nd 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’God was dead: to begin with. And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead. Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. The…

What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky

Title: What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky Writer: Lesley Nneka Arimah Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Girls with fire in their bellies will be forced to drink from a well of correction till the flames die out.’’ In this outstanding collection by the…

Tales From the Hinterland

Title: Tales From the Hinterland Writer: Melissa Albert Publishing House: Flatiron Books Date of Publication: January 12th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Tales are told of a village so plagued by ghosts that bells are hung over the doors, to keep them from slipping in at night. In certain houses the cooks bake three loaves of…

Open Water

Title: Open Water Writer: Caleb Azumah Nelson Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: April 13th 2021 (first published February 4th 2021) Rating: 5 stars ‘’You came here to speak of shame and its relation to desire. There should be no shame in openly saying, I want this. There should be no shame in not knowing…

Untold Night and Day

Title: Untold Night and Day (original title: 알려지지 않은 밤과 하루) Writer: Bae Suah (translated by Deborah Smith) Publishing House: Jonathan Cape Date of Publication: January 30th 2020 (first published April 20th 2013) Rating: 5 stars ‘’By the time the heatwave came to an end, nothing remained of the people but ash. They became fused…

Girl, Woman, Other

Title: Girl, Woman, Other Writer: Bernardine Evaristo Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Amma is walking along the promenade if the waterway that bisects her city, a few early morning barges cruise slowly by, to her left is the nautical-themes footbridge with its deck-like walkway and sailing mast…

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro

Title: The Girl Who Reads on The Métro (original title: La Fille qui Lisait dans le Métro) Writer: Christine Féret-Fleury, Ros Schwartz (Translator) Publishing House: Flatiron Books Date of Publication: October 8th 2019 (first published 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He was talking about books as if they were alive – old friends, powerful adversaries at times, insolent…

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Title: Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times Writer: Katherine May Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: November 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’There are gaps in the mesh of the everyday world, and sometimes they open up and you fall through them into somewhere else. Somewhere Else runs at a…

Thames Mudlarking

Title: Thames Mudlarking Writer: Jason Sandy, Nick Stevens Publishing House: Osprey Publishing Date of Publication:  April 20th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Without the River Thames, London would not exist.’’ Mudlarking and London’s past and present. There is an unbreakable bond between the great metropolis and the mudlarkers who bring the treasures of bygone eras to…

Haunted Voices: An Anthology of Gothic Storytelling from Scotland

Title: Haunted Voices: An Anthology of Gothic Storytelling from Scotland Writer: Various edited by Rebecca Wojturska Publishing House: Haunt Publishing Date of Publication: October 25th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’To let the Gothic roam where it will, twisting itself into shapes horrible and unseen. To wait for it to open its ancient mouth and to…

Dogs and Others

Title: Dogs and Others (original title: Psi i Ostali) Writer: Biljana Jovanović (tr. by John K. Cox) Publishing House: Istros Books Date of Publication: November 5th 2018 (first published 1980) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Dogs always believe that they belong to Others (whom they consider to be, for unknown reasons enduring right up to our day,…