The Vanishing

Title: The Vanishing Writer: Sophia Tobin Publishing House: Simon Schuster UK Date of Publication: June 5th 2018 (first published January 12th 2017) Rating: 4 stars ” Everything was still; no rain, only the touch of wind as I walked, with the occasional call of birds in the desolation. I looked at the reddish bracken; the…

Summerwater

Title: Summerwater Writer: Sarah Moss Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: August 20th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Dawn. There’s no sunrise, no birdsong. Light seeps over the water, through the branches. The sky is lying on the loch, filling the trees, heavy in the spaces between the pine needles, settling between blades of grass and…

Thank you, Miyuki

Title: Thank you, Miyuki Writer: Roxanne Marie Galliez, Seng Soun Ratanavanh (Illustrations) Publishing House: Princeton Architectural Press Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”Miyuki, look at the water. Not the flow. Not the twigs floating by. Only the water in front of your eyes.” Our beloved Miyuki is curious about meditation and her grandpa is always…

Man With A Seagull On His Head

Title: Man With A Seagull On His Head Writer: Harriet Paige Publishing House: Biblioasis Date of Publication:  February 2017 Rating: 5 stars ”The fibrous contents of her shop – so much wool and linen and cotton – seemed a dry and tangled trap around her. But here was a face that opened up a space above her head that was…

The Cure For Dreaming

Title: The Cure For Dreaming Writer: Cat Winters Publishing House: Harry N. Abrams Date of Publication: October 14th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ”Olivia Gertrude Mead, my hope for you since the day your mother left was that you would grow up to be a rational, respectable, dignified young woman who understands her place in the world.” Olivia has problems. She…

One of the most horrible ”books” I’ve ever read…

I don’t want a ‘’fictionalized’’ account. I don’t want the POV of a Nazi. I don’t want a ludicrous fictional character -whose only thought is SEX SEX SEX!!!! – that has nothing to do with the actual regiment. I don’t want a boy’s wet dream about these heroic women who sacrificed everything for freedom. I…

Birdsong

Title: Birdsong Writer: Sebastian Faulks Publishing House: Vintage International Date of Publication: June 2nd 1997 (first published September 27th 1993) Rating: 5 stars “But you must live your own life eventually. You have one chance only.” A poetic, heart-breaking novel, about the atrocities of war and the hope that springs even under the most harrowing circumstances. Sebastian Faulks…

Mouthful of Birds

Title: Mouthful of Birds (original title Pajaros en la Boca) Writer: Samantha Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: September 7th 2010 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Calderón, on the other hand, stands motionless. He can’t bring himself to lift his foot from the one he has killed. He is, perhaps, afraid of recognizing his girl’s…

Tales of the Peculiar

Title: Tales of the Peculiar Writer: Ransom Riggs Publishing House: Dutton Books Date of Publication:September 3rd 2016 Rating: 5 stars A marvellous addition to the wonderful universe of the Peculiar Children and their surroundings, created by Ransom Riggs and every bit as interesting and special as Miss Peregrine’s Series. No. It’s even better. You won’t find our familiar…

Honey on the Page

Title: Honey On The Page Writer: Various, edited and translated by Miriam Udel Publishing House: New York University Press Date of Publication: October 6th 2020 Rating: 5 stars A beautiful collection of children’s stories, fables, myths, poems, allegories and fairy tales of Yiddish culture. Through Folklore and customs, family stories, we travel from the beginning of the 20th century…

Blue Ticket

Title: Blue Ticket Writer: Sophie Mackintosh Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: August 27th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”We lined up, waiting to pull our tickets from the machine, the way you would take your number at the butcher’s counter. The music popular that year played from speakers on the ceiling. Just gravity enough. Not necessarily such an important…

The Mermaid Atlas: Merfolk of the World

Title: The Mermaid Atlas: Merfolk of the World Writer: Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora Publishing House: Laurence King Publishing Date of Publication: June 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in.”   J. Iron Word Mermaids. Complicated, controversial, mysterious, endlessly fascinating creatures…

American Midnight

Title: American Midnight: Tales of the Dark Writer: Various, selected and introduced by Laird Hunt Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: August 25th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We have been put in the mood for ghosts, that evening.’’                                   The Eyes, Edith Wharton As this year’s summer approaches with remarkable hesitation, a different time for ghost stories begins. Ghost stories…

Μiss Iceland

Title: Miss Iceland (original title: Ungfrú Ísland) Writer:  Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (translated by Brian FitzGibbon) Publishing House: Grove Atlantic Date of Publication: June 16th 2020  (first published November 2018) Rating: 5 stars ”If I die Leave the balcony open!” Farewell, Federico Garcia Lorca Hekla is a child of the 60s. A young woman full of talent, wit and kindness,…

The Harpy

Title: The Harpy Writer: Megan Hunter Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”Three. I’d said it out loud, after he did. It made a kind of neat sense, something religious about its structure. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Peter betrayed Jesus three times. A familiar number, for a good Christian girl like…

The Bass Rock

Title: The Bass Rock Writer: Evie Wyld Publishing House: Pantheon Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 (first published February 4th 2020) Rating: 2 stars ”The crow takes off and flies to the top branches of the monkey puzzle tree. It yells at me from there.” Three women, three different eras. Sarah, Ruth, Viviane. Witchcraft, abusing relationships, loss, depressions, danger…

Rónán and the Mermaid: A Tale of Old Ireland

Title: Rónán and the Mermaid: A Tale of Old Ireland Writer: Marianne McShane, illustrated by Jordi Solano Publishing House: Candlewick Press Date of Publication: May 19th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”In the evenings, Brother Declan would sit by the boy’s bed and tell him the old tales while the candle burned low. He told him about selkies, the seal people,…

The Silence of the Girls

Title: The Silence of the Girls Writer: Pat Barker Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication:August 30th 2018 Rating:5 stars ” ‘Divine Muse, sing of the ruinous wrath of Achilles…Begin where they first quarrelled, Agamemnon the King of men and great Achilles.’ And what are they quarrelling about, these two violent, mighty souls? It’s as basic as a…

The Voice In My Ear

Title: The Voice In My Ear Writer: Frances Leviston Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication:  March 19th 2020 Rating: 2 stars ”…asking tough questions of schools and other institutions, but you’re not questioning the institution you represent, which is the family, which is mothers and fathers. What role do parents play in a child’s abuse?” Ten stories centered…

A World Full of Dickens Stories

Title: A World Full of Dickens Stories Writer: Angela McAllister, illustrated by Jannicke Hansen Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: May 19th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”I made my way along the path I knew so well across the marsh. A cold, silvery mist swirled about me and evening stars began to appear. When I got to…

The Animals at Lockwood Manor

Title: The Animals At Lockwood Manor Writer: Jane Healey Publishing House: Mantles Date of Publication: March 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”Lockwood had too many empty rooms. They sat there, hushed and gaping, waiting for my mind to fill them with horrors – spectres and shadows and strange creeping creatures. And sometimes what was already there was frightening enough: empty…

The Daughters of Ys

Title: The Daughters of Ys Writer: M.T.Anderson & Jo Rioux Publishing House: First Second Books Date of Publication: August 11th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”For you, I will build walls to push back the sea and will spin you a palace of domes and towers.” Lady Malgrev of the Faerie Folk comes to the rescue of a brave, young…

Little Nothing

Title: Little Nothing Writer: Marisa Silver Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: March 2nd 2017 (first published September 13th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Love!’’, the woman exclaims. ‘’All anyone wants to know about is love! My God! Is there nothing more important on earth than that? Why don’t you ask the necessary questions: Will I have food in my…

Pew

Title: Pew Writer: Catherine Lacey Publishing House: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Date of Publication: May 14th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas. Each one goes…

The Nix

Title: The Nix Writer: Nathan Hill Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: May 2nd 2017  (first published August 30th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ”Αnd he used the ghost stories his mother told him, all those old Norwegian stories that terrified him. He wrote about a white horse that appeared suddenly, offering a ride, and if the reader decided to mount…

They Say Sarah

Title: They Say Sarah (original title: Ça raconte Sarah) Writer: Pauline Delabroy – Allard (translated by Adriana Hunter) Publishing House: Random House Date of Publication:  June 2nd 2020 (first published September 2018) Rating: 2 stars ”On clear night day of dark mists My absent love in my arms here No other part of me persists But what you whispered in…

Elmet

Title: Elmet Writer:Fiona Mozley Publishing House: JM Originals Date of Publication: August 10th 2017 Rating: 3 stars ”I spend an evening laid out on a moor, watching the wind, the crows, the distant vehicles caught in memories of this same land, further south; earlier, another time; then likewise caught in memories of home, of family, of the shifts…

The Glass Woman

Title: The Glass Woman Writer: Caroline Lea Publishing House: Michael Joseph (Penguin Books) Date of Publication: February 7th 2019 Rating: 3 stars ”But the knowledge of the body stayed, like the blood-spattered scenes at the end of the Sagas: those age-old, heat-filled stories, which are told to children from birth and fill every Icelander with an understanding of violence.” Ιceland,…

The Mysterious Librarian

Title: The Mysterious Librarian (original title: La mystérieuse bibliothécaire) Writer: Dominique Demers (translated by Sander Berg) Publishing House: Alma Books Date of Publication: June 6th 2017  (first published October 9th 1997) Rating: 5 stars ’’- You should know, miss, money isn’t found in the street. We have two bridges to rebuild, and three roads to fix, and twelve pavements…

The Painted Bird

Title: The Painted Bird Writer:Jerzy Kosiński Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: December 1st 2007 (first published 1965) Rating: 5 stars ”We are here in the company of death.”                 Jewish concentration camp inmate A young boy finds himself lost, wandering in the countryside of an unnamed Eastern European country during…

Ms. Ice Sandwich

Title: Ms. Ice Sandwich (original title: ミス・アイスサンドイッチ) Writer: Mieko Kawakami (translated by Louise Heal Kawai) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: May 7th 2020 (first published November 2013) Rating: 5 stars “If video games make you stupid, then what do mobile phones make you?” A young boy buys egg sandwiches every day. The reason? The mysterious young woman behind…

The Foundling

Title: The Foundling Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: Manilla Press Date of Publication:  February 18th 2020 (paperback edition published April 7th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ”People tossed all sorts into the river, including themselves.” London, 1754. Bess is one of the unfortunate mothers who have to leave their children in the Foundling Hospital, with the desperate hope that…

The Book of Saints and Heroes

Title: The Book of Saints and Heroes Writer: Leonora Blanche Lang, edited by Andrew Lang Publishing House: St.Augustine Academy Press Date of Publication: June 1st 2012 (first published 1912) Rating: 5 stars ”The men and women who are most interesting to talk to, and who know most about things, are nearly always those who have lived with a library and…

Dear Mrs Bird

Title: Dear Mrs Bird Writer: A.J.Pearce Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ”Μrs Bird says if people get themselves into a silly pickle, they’ve only themselves to blame.” London is trying to survive in the middle of the Blitz. The Londoners are doing their best to go on with their lives, amidst the…

At Freddie’s

Title: At Freddie’s Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: Fourth Estate Date of Publication: March 7th 2013 (first published 1982) Rating: 5 stars ”Although Freddie usually began by saying something gracious, the caller’s first instinct was that of self-preservation, or even to make sure that the door, now to the rear, could be reached in a hurry. Yet in fact, no…

Lancelot

Title: Lancelot Writer: Giles Kristian Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: May 31st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I smell the rising fog of the crowd’s breath. It warms my feathers against the thin dawn air and I watch. I feel, too. More than a bird should feel. The sorrow which lies over the assembly like a shroud….

Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla

Title: Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla Writer: Written and illustrated by Tracy Dockray Publishing House: Capstone Editions Date of Publication: September 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.’’                              Nikola Tesla The story of the man who invented the future. The man who gave…

If I Had Your Face

Title:If I Had Your Face Writer: Frances Cha Publishing House: Penguin Books (UK) Date of Publication: April 23rd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”In the original story, the little mermaid endures unspeakable pain to gain her human legs. The Sea Witch warns her that her new feet will feel as if she is walking on whetter blades, but she will…

Devil’s Day

Title:Devil’s Day Writer: Andrew Michael Hurley Publishing House: John Murray Date of Publication: October 19th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ”Oh, the day is done, the honest’s won- The apples and the hay, The leaves will wither on the bough, And all will fall by Devil’s Day.” Decades ago, the Endlands were attacked by the Blizzard. Livestock and residents fell…

Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women

Title: Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women Writer: Sharon Blackie Publishing House: September Publishing Date of Publication: September 20th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”No one wants to work the land, now; they just want to sit and look out of the picture window and stare at the water. A ‘view’, they call is, as if they had nothing…

Ghost Stories of Louisiana

Title: Ghost Stories of Louisiana Writer: Dan Asfar Publishing House: Lone Pine Publishing Date of Publication: September 1st 2007 Rating: 5 stars ”And yet there are other nights – nights when the wind carries something unsettling through the Vieux Carre’s cramped streets. Nights when the black water of the Mississippi whispers something of the past as it crawls bu the…

Orkney Folk Tales

Title: Orkney Folk Tales (Folk Tales from the British Isles_) Writer: Tom Muir Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: May 1st 2014 Rating: 5 stars ”Sometimes, during the summer months, you can see phantom islands floating on the sea where there shouldn’t be land at all. There were said to be the summer abodes of the fin folk,…

Sisters

Title: Sisters Writer: Daisy Johnson Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: July 2nd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”My sister is a black hole. My sister is a tornado. My sister is the end of the line my sister is the locked door my sister is a shot in the dark. My sister is waiting for me. My…

Portrait of an Artist: Claude Monet

Title: Portrait of an Artist: Claude Monet Writer: Lucy Brownridge, illustrated by Caroline Bonne-Müller Publishing House: Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions Date of Publication: January 7th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I like to paint as a bird sings.’’ (Claude Monet) A beautiful book that aims to introduce the younger audience to one of the masterminds of Impressionism. Claude…

Misty Circus

Title: Misty Circus Writer:  Written and illustrated by Victoria Francés, translated by Olinda Kordukes Publishing House: Dark Horse Books Date of Publication: June 11th 2013 Rating: 5 stars ”The light faded and the forest became darker and darker. The chill wind blew through the branches, which seemed to bend towards the bay like threatening claws. Every sound…

Death and Other Holidays

Title: Death and Other Holidays Writer:Marci Vogel Publishing House: Melville House Date of Publication: November 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I know you now, even if it’s only a little bit, and I know it’s strange, but I didn’t before, and I might never have known you unless somebody had written these lines. Who knows how many people are…