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…

Winter Magic

Title: Winter Magic Writer: Various edited by Abi Elphinstone Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 19th 2017 (first published November 3rd 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Winter is a season that sparkles with magic and transforms our ordinary world into a glittering kingdom: rooftops covered in snow, lakes glazed with ice…

A Shiver of Snow and Sky

Title: A Shiver of Snow and Sky Writer: Lisa Lueddecke Publishing House: Scholastic Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 5th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Though my soul may set in darkness, it Will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be Fearful of the night.’’   Sarah Williams In a land…

Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life

Title: Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life Writer: Heinz Janisch, illustrated by Maja Kastelic Publishing House: NorthSouth Books Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars “The most wonderful fairytale is life itself. “ Hans Christian Andersen  A little girl travels with her lither to Copenhagen. It is going to be a…

Then A Wind Blew

Title: Then A Wind Blew Writer: Kay Powell Publishing House: Weaver Press Date of Publication: January 26th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’She loved to be out in the stoep at night, her only companions the wind that sang in the long grass and the nights calls of distant animals. And the crickets, with their non-stop…

Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales

Title: Midwinter Murder Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: William Morrow Paperbacks Date of Publication: October 20th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was nearly dark. The house felt suddenly very quiet and empty. It was a lonely house, two miles from a village, two miles, as Molly put it, from anywhere. She had often been alone…

The Santa Klaus Murder

Title: The Santa Klaus Murder Writer: Mavis Doriel Hay Publishing House: The British Library Date of Publication: October 1st 2015 (first published 1936) Rating: 5 stars “I have often found that the best way to persuade anyone to do something they suspect is to explain that they really need not do it.”  Sir Osmond Melbury,…

Mystery In White

Title: Mystery In White Writer: J. Jefferson Farjeon Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: September 28th 2014 (first published 1937) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The horrors on the train, great though as it may turn to be, will not compete with the horror that exists here, in this house.’’ It is Christmas Eve…

Half Spent Was The Night

Title: Half Spent Was the Night Writer: Ami McKay Publishing House: Knopf Canada Date of Publication: October 16th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Christmas days have come and gone, the New Year lies ahead. Strange things happen Between the Years in the days outside of time. Minutes go wild, hours vanish. Idleness becomes a clever thief,…

Murder at Christmas

Title: Murder at Christmas Writer: Various edited by Cecily Gayford Publishing House: Profile Books Date of Publication: November 7th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Murder under the mistletoe – and the man who must have done it couldn’t have done it. That’s my Christmas and I don’t feel merry, thank you very much all the same.’’…

The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

Title: The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories Vol.1 Writer: Edited by Tara Moore Publishing House: Valancourt Books Rating: 4 stars ‘’Imagine a midwinter night, an early sunset, a long drafty evening spent by candlelight. The season of Christmas coincides with the shortest days of the year and, for middle-class Victorians, a chance for…

Silent Nights

Title: Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries Writer: Various edited by Martin Edwards Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: October 1st 2015  Rating: 5 stars ‘’When television becomes tiresome, and party games pall, the prospect of curling up in the warm with a good mystery is enticing – and much better for the digestion…

A Christmas Memory

Title: A Christmas Memory Writer: Truman Capote Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: October 29th 2020 (first published 1956) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It’s fruitcake weather.’’ ‘’Now a nude December fig branch grates against the window. The kitchen is empty, the cakes are gone; yesterday we courted the last of them to the post office, where…

The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas

Title: The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas Writer: Syd Moore Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: October 3rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Draw in close, throw another log on the fire if you will. It’s a chill night. I shall just add some of that coal. Now, this may take quite a while so…

Mythopedia

Title: Mythopedia Writer: Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors Publishing House: Laurence King Publishing Date of Publication: September 15th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The Elves explained that this chain, called Gleipnir, was made from six ingredients: The sound of a cat’s footsteps The roots of a mountain The beard of a woman The…