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 Hatmakers

Title: The Hatmakers Writer: Tamzin Merchant, illustrated by Paola Escobar Publishing House: Norton Young Readers Date of Publication: January 7th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything. Jagged forks of light ripped across the sky and thunder rolled in tidal waves over the rooftops…

12 Days of Christmas

Title: 12 Days of Christmas Writer: Illustrated by Lara Hawthorne Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 6th 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’And a partridge in a pear tree.’’ 1995. I was ten years old when our English teacher brought us an all-new song for Christmas.  ‘Forget Jingle Bells and Silent Night,…

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…

Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings

Title: Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings Writer: Tanya Kirk Publishing House: British Library Date of Publication: August 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The second Mrs. Ryder was a young woman not easily frightened, but now she stood in the dusk of the passage leaning back against the wall, her hand on her heart, looking…

The Betrayals

Title: The Betrayals Writer: Bridget Collins Publishing House: William Morrow Date of Publication: November 12th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Tonight the moonlight makes the floor of the Great Hall into a game board. Every high window casts a bright lattice, dividing the hall into black and white, squares and margins. The ranks of wooden benches…

The Penguin Book of Exorcisms

Title: The Penguin Book of Exorcisms Writer: Edited by Joseph P. Laycock Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: September 8th 2020 Rating: 5 stars A comprehensive and extremely informative volume of essays, eyewitness accounts, diary entries, reports and legal documents concerning the most unexplainable and terrifying phenomenon in all cultures. Demonic possession and exorcism….

Classic Ghost Stories

Title: Classic Ghost Stories Writer: Various Publishing House: Vintage Classics Date of Publication: October 12th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’If the picture within was bright and cheerful, the prospect was dreary enough without. The fairy forest of snow-wreathed trees, the white valleys and undulating banks of snow had vanished, and the rain dropped slowly and…

Don’t Look Now and Other Stories

Title: Don’t Look Now and Other Stories Writer: Daphne du Maurier Publishing House: Penguin Books Ltd. Date of Publication: June 29th 2006 (first published 1940) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The twins were standing there, the blind one still holding on to her sister’s arm, her sightless eyes fixed firmly upon him. He felt himself held, unable…

The Diving Pool

Title: The Diving Pool and Other Stories (original title: (ダイヴィング・プール) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Publishing Date of Publication: April 2nd 2014 (first published 1990) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Since I was a little girl, I’ve disliked the thirtieth of December. I could always get through the thirty-first by telling myself…

Redder Days

Title: Redder Days Writer: Sue Rainsford Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication:March 11th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In short, there was nothing to do but accept it. Let our fears and beliefs settle around it.       Red wind, red sun, red hurricane.      That’s when we start running.     But block your ears and stuff your mouth,    When…

Grimm Tales for Young and Old

Title: Grimm Tales for Young and Old Writer: Philip Pullman Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication:September 5th 2013 (first published September 27th 2012) Rating: 3 stars “I want to be God. I want to cause the sun and the moon to rise. I can’t bear it when I see them rising and I haven’t…

New York Stories

Title: New York Stories Writer: Edited by Diana Secker Tesdell Publishing House: Everyman’s Library Date of Publication: January 4th 2011  Rating: 5 stars ‘’The houses across the street were silent and perhaps unoccupied at this time of day; she let her eyes move with the rhythm of the tune, from window to window along one…

It’s the End of the World

Title: It’s the End of the World Writer: Adam Roberts Publishing House: Elliot & Thompson Date of Publication: August 27th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We are all mortal, and we will all die. One way of understanding our fascination with the end of the world is that such stories project our personal meeting onto the…

The Shortest Day

Title: The Shortest Day Writer: Colm Tóibín Publishing House: Amazon Original Stories Date of Publication: November 3rd 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’Thus, it was the strangeness of the night sky and the seasons that they loved and missed, the strangeness of fire and water, the strangeness they noted in each other.’’ It is Christmas and…

Sisterhood of the Infamous

Title: Sisterhood of the Infamous Writer: Jane Rosenberg LaForge Publishing House: New Meridian Arts Press Date of Publication: February 23rd 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’A body always begins a story such as this. My body, her body; mine to be burned, hers razed by violent action; to be discovered along a remote trail of russet…

The Lives of Saints

Title: The Lives of Saints Writer: Leigh Bardugo, illustrated by Daniel J. Zollinger Publishing House: Imprint Date of Publication: October 6th 2020 Rated: 5 stars ‘’There have been too many stories in between, miracles and martyrdoms, too much blood spilt, too much ink. There was a war. There were a thousand wars. I knew a…

Τhe Garden of Forking Paths

Title: The Garden of Forking Paths Writer: Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Donald A.Yates, Andrew Hurley, James E.Irby Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Summer was drawing to a close, and I realised that the book was monstrous.’’ Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most prominent Argentinian…

The Missing Girl

Title: The Missing Girl Writer: Shirley Jackson Publishing House: Penguin Modern Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was one of those spring mornings in March; the sky between the buildings was bright and blue and the city air, warmed by motors and a million breaths, had a freshness and a sense…

To Be Read at Dusk

Title: To Be Read at Dusk Writer: Charles Dickens Publishing House: Penguin Little Black Classics Date of Publication: March 3rd 2016 (first published 1852) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Τhe monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man.’’ Charles Dickens. The…

Τhe Virago Book of Witches

Title: The Virago Book of Witches Writer: Edited by Shahrukh Husain Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 (first published 1993) Rating: 5 stars ‘’When have I last looked on The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies Of the dark leopards of the moon? All the wild witches, those most noble…

The Secret Life of Books: Why They Mean More Than Words

Title: The Secret Life of Books:Why They Mean More than Words Writer: Tom Mole Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: October 29th 2020  (first published September 19th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Books are part of how we understand ourselves. They shape our identities, even before we can read them. They accompany us throughout…

Fifty Words For Snow

Title: Fifty Words For Snow Writer: Nancy Campbell Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: November 5th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, further afterwards, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was…

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Title: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Writer: Imogen Hermes Gowar Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published January 25th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Somewhere a tide is turning. In that place where no land can be seen, where horizon to horizon is spanned by shifting twinkling faithless water, a wave humps…

Louise Bourgeois (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Louise Bourgeiois (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 6th 2020 Rating: 5 stars  ‘To be an artist, you need to exist in a world of silence.’ You are born on a beautiful, snowy Christmas day. You…

Wintering: A Season with Geese

Title:Wintering: A Season with Geese Writer: Stephen Rutt Publishing House: Elliot & Thompson Date of Publication: October 15th (first published September 26th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I feel eager for autumn. The birds punctuate my year: time passes constantly but birds are the grammar of its passing, they give a rough working order to the…

The Book of Selkie

Title: The Book of Selkie Writer: Written and illustrated by Briana Corr Scott Publishing House: Nimbus Publishing Ltd. Date of Publication: May 31st 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Οh, to be a selkie, And live between two worlds Half your days spent as a seal, And the other half, a girl….’’ For me, the myth of…

The Dante Chamber

Title: The Dante Chamber Writer: Matthew Pearl Publishing House: Penguin Press Date of Publication:May 29th 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’A poet never sees ghosts.’’ London, 1869. The metropolis is buzzing in its heyday. The glamorous Victorian court, the elegant literary circles, the world that changes. And right there, visible to all, yet unacknowledged by the…

Florida

Title: Florida Writer: Lauren Groff Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: June 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is terribly true, even if the truth does not comfort, that if you look at the moon for long enough night after night, as I have, you will see that the old cartoons are correct, that…

Flowers of Mold

Title: Flowers of Mold (original title 옆집 여자) Writer: Ha Seong-Nan (tr. by Janet Hong) Publishing House: Open Letter Date of Publication: April 23rd 2019 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Teacher, I want to fly, but the ground keeps pulling me down.’’ Korean Literature is rapidly flourishing thanks to a plethora of wonderful women…

Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

Τitle:Hag Forgotten Folktales Retold Writer: Various curated by Professor Carolyne Larrington Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication:  October 8th 2020 by Virago Rating: 5 stars ‘’Human existence so often calls for exploration through the imagination, through metaphors, images, narratives that give shape to emotions and conditions, to our sense of being and our struggles to…

Fear and Trembling

Title: Fear and Trembling (original title: Stupeur et Tremblements) Writer: Amélie Nothomb (tr. by Adriana Hunter) Publishing House: St. Martin’s Griffin Date of Publication: November 1st 2004 (first published August 26th 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Society conspires against her from early infancy. Her brain is steadily filled with plaster until it sets. ‘’If you’re not…

Sense and Sensibility

Title: Sense and Sensibility Writer: Jane Austen Publishing House: Penguin Clothbound Classics Date of Publication: November 6th 2008 (first published October 30th 1811) Rating: 5 stars “I have not wanted syllables where actions have spoken so plainly.”  Jane Austen’s first published novel is loved, widely loved. Yet, in the absence of a dashing figure like Darcy,…

Unofficial Britain: Journeys Through Unexpected Places

Title: Unofficial Britain Writer: Gareth E. Rees Publishing House: Elliot & Thompson Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 Rating: 4 stars ‘’After a long trudge over a misty moor, you arrive at the crest of a hill and pause for breath by an oak tree. Initials have been etched into the bark by others who…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold (original title: コーヒーが冷めないうちに) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (tr. by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 19th 2019 (first published December 6th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The cafe’s name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, an account of time-travelling. But it wasn’t…

Μαγικές Ιστορίες από την Άκρη της Νύχτας

Τίτλος:Μαγικές Ιστορίες από την Άκρη της Νύχτας Συγγραφέας: Φίλιππος Μανδηλαράς (Εικονογράφηση: Ειρήνη Ηλιοπούλου) Εκδοτικός Οίκος: Εκδόσεις Πατάκη Ημερομηνία Έκδοσης: Οκτώβριος 2018 Rating: 5/5 Σε αντίθεση με τους σκοτεινούς μύθους της υπόλοιπης Ευρώπης, οι δικές μας ιστορίες δείχνουν οτι μάλλον δεν τρομάζουμε και τόσο εύκολα. Τα πλάσματα της νύχτας είναι εκεί, αλλά δεν μπορούν να κάνουν…

Μαγικές Ιστορίες από την Καρδιά του Μεσημεριού

Τίτλος:Μαγικές Ιστορίες από την Καρδιά του Μεσημεριού Συγγραφέας: Φίλιππος Μανδηλαράς (Εικονογράφηση: Ειρήνη Ηλιοπούλου) Εκδοτικός Οίκος: Εκδόσεις Πατάκη Ημερομηνία Έκδοσης: Μάιος 2017 Rating: 4/5 Θυμάμαι πολύ καλά το πατρικό της μητέρας μου. Εκεί πέρασα τα πιο όμορφα χρόνια της παιδικής μου ηλικίας. Όμορφα και μυστηριώδη μέσα σε μια πανέμορφη αυλή με δεκάδες γάτες, πηγάδι και συκιές….

Ernest Shackleton (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Ernest Shackleton (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (illustrated by Olivia Holden) Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: September 1st 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’To be brave cheerily, to be patient with a glad heart, to stand the agonies of thirst with laughter and song, to walk beside…