Belladonna

Title: Belladonna Writer: Daša Drndić (translated by Celia Hawkesworth) Publishing House: New Directions Date of Publication: October 24th 2017 (first published November 1st 2012) Rating: 5 stars ‘’And the wind brought people who had let their plows rust; solitary people tiling the sky, reaping the harvests of summer nights, the fat grain of early straws, leaving it all unwinnowed. Instead…

Sping: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons

Title: Spring: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons Writer: edited by Melissa Harrison Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: February 18th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched courters’ – and rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the shoe-black, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-…

Za uvek i dan više (Forever and a Day)

  Title: Forever And A Day (original title: Za uvek i dan više) Writer: Milorad Pavić Publishing House: Dereta Date of Publication: April 2nd 2012 (first published 1993) Rating: 5 stars ‘’When someone dies, this means that a stranger wanted to tell us something important. Every death is, in fact, a word. And all our deaths create a long, unread…

The Conviction of Cora Burns

Title: The Conviction of Cora Burns Writer: Carolyn Kirby Publishing House: Dzanc Books Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Cora Burns. Born to crime.’’ A young woman, named Cora Burns, hears the gates of Birmingham Gaol closing behind her. She is free from her incarceration but not from her past. A horrible dead has been haunting her…

Wailing Ghosts

Title: Wailing Ghosts Writer: Pu Songling Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: February 26th 2015 (first published 1740) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I can make the seasons go backwards, and turn the order of nature upside down.’’ Pu Songling’s best known work is a collection of haunting stories with the title Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. I chose to…

Dark Quartet

Title: Dark Quartet Writer: Lynne Reid Banks Publishing House: Sapere Books Date of Publication: June 26th 2018 (first published January 1st 1976) Rating: 1 star ‘’You know, Charlotte, I sometimes think – don’t laugh, will you?- that Emily’s strength comes from the moors. She’s like a tree, planted tree, and if she’s uprooted it won’t matter how tough her…

The Snakes

Title: The Snakes Writer: Sadie Jones Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication:March 7th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’We were a family and now we’re not any more. We’re the wrong number. It’s all wrong. I can’t cry. I can’t.’’ The times we live in are uncertain, turbulent, obscure. Financial insecurity, fear caused by leaders who dream of…

Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology

Title: Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology Writer:  Françoise Rachmuhl, Charlotte Gastaut (Illustrator) Publishing House: Lion Forge Date of Publication: September 18th 2018 Rating: 3 stars Greek Mythology provides an endless wealth of inspiration for graphic novels, children’s books and every form of fiction. Most of the times, however, the results are not encouraging. This book narrates the stories of the Olympians,…

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories

Title: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories Writer: Tim Burton Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: October 4th 2018 (first published 1997) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The final gasp of his short life Was sickly with despair. Whoever thought that you could die From breathing outdoor air?’’ For most lovers of the 7th Art, Tim Burton…

Be With Me Always

Title: Be With Me Always Writer: Randon Billings Noble Publishing House: University of Nebraska Press Date of Publication: March 1st 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Be with me always – take any form- drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! ‘’              Heathcliff to Cathy, ‘’Wuthering Heights’’ These are the most beautiful,…

In the Full Light of the Sun

Title: In the Full Light of the Sun Writer: Clare Clark Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: February 28th 2019 Rating: 1 star ‘’You think knowing you can never change that the rottenness is too deep – rooted in you, that it’s part of who you are, you think that makes anything better, that it stops the guilt, the…

Cala

Title: Cala Writer: Laura Legge Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: March 7th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The four women of Cala sat in its dining room on the autumn equinox, wearing garlands of ash and hazel, visible to one another only by candlelight.’’ In a farmhouse somewhere in the Outer Hebrides, four women have decided to live…

Visitation

Title: Visitation (original title Heimsuchung) Writer: Jenny Erpenbeck (translated by Susan Bernofsky) Publishing House: New Directions Date of Publication: September 30th 2010 (first published February 2nd 2008) Rating: 5 stars ‘’In a household where a death has taken place, the clock must be stopped at once.’’ It is easy to stop the clocks when Death has arrived in a house. The…

The Iliad

Title: The Iliad Writer: Adapted by Gareth Hinds Publishing House: Candlewick Press Date of Publication: March 12th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’How I wish that Discord could be banished from the world.’’ There have been many novels that chose the greatest war story of all time as their setting. Trilogies, plays, you name it. This graphic novel by Gareth Hinds…

A Cat, A Hat and a Piece of String

Title: A Cat, A Hat and A Piece Of String Writer: Joanne Harris Publishing House: Black Swan Date of Publication: January 16th 2014 (first published November 8th 2012) Rating: 4 stars ‘’I see now that there can be no leaving. I am a broken clock, frozen forever at an impossible hour. Let others move on, if they must, if they…

The Familiars

Title: The Familiars Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: MIRA Date of Publication: February 19th 2019 (first published February 7th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Justice means fairness. Luck of prejudice.’’ I’ve always loved Pendle Hill and the stories of the women who were accused of witchcraft during one of the darkest moments in the history of Europe. The fascinating legends found…

The World of Lore: Dreadful Places

Title: The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Writer: Aaron Mahnke Publishing House: Del Rey Books Date of Publication: October 9th 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’Staring into the now-open cell, his heart froze. The walls inside, he said, were covered with faces. Dozens and dozens of faces, their expressions writhing with agony and horror.’’ The second installment in Aaron Mahnke’s series…

The White Book

Title: The White Book    (original title: 흰) Writer: Han Kang Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: November 2nd 2017 (first published May 25th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I hold nothing dear. Not the place where I live, not the door I pass through every day, not even, damn it, my life.’’’ In the beautiful, mysterious world of…

Once Upon A River

  Title: Once Upon A River Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published December 4th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Around Radcot they grow the watercress, harvest it, crate it up and send it to the towns in barges, but they don’t eat it. It’s bitter, they complain, so bitter it…

Imaginarium

Title: Imaginarium Writer & Illustrator: Giorgos Halkias Publishing House: Eκδόσεις ΦΑΡΦΟΥΛΑΣ Date of Publication: September 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’For years I was afraid to play The fool. So I built up walls Ten miles high And from this view I saw that I Had only played myself.’’ A beautiful surprise created by a Greek artist that results in a…

Village of Stone

Title: Village of Stone (original title: 我心中的石头镇 ) Writer: Xiaolu Guo Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: January 31st 2012  (first published January 1st 2003) Rating: 5 stars ‘’But the Village of Stone- that tiny corner of the sea that, on a map of China, appears as nothing more than a deep blue stain, with no air or shipping routes to…

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Writer: Various edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: September 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.’’ If we substitute the word ‘’witch’’ with the word ‘’woman’’, we will be able to understand the reasons and…

Blackberry and Wild Rose

Title: Blackberry and Wild Rose Writer: Sonia Velton Publishing House: Quercus Date of Publication: January 10th 2019 Rating: 3 stars ‘’But there are no secrets in London. Even the houses lean across the narrow alleys towards each other and offer up their scandals in the blink of an open curtain.’’ A woman is trying to break the norms of…

Chinese Ghost Stories

Title: Chinese Ghost Stories: Curious Tales of the Supernatural Writer: Lafcadio Hearn Publishing House: Tuttle Publishing Date of Publication:  September 10th 2011 (first published 1887) Rating:  4 stars “You will ask me who she was-beautiful Xue Tao…Gor thousands of years and even longer, the trees have been whispering over her stony bed. And the syllables of her name reach…

Christmas Dinner

Title: Χριστουγεννιάτικο Δέιπνο Writer: Various Publishing House: Νάρκισσος Date of Publication: November 2012 Rating: 5 stars ‘’…Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the evening papers. The buses rumble…

The Light In The Dark

Title: The Light In The Dark Writer: Horatio Clare Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Winter in the mountains is arresting in its drama, the light melting over the Brecon Beacons as though it carries cold in it, not heat. There are the lakes of mist, too, the sun riding high…

A Gentleman In Moscow

Title: A Gentleman In Moscow Writer: Amor Towles Publishing House: Penguin Random House Date of Publication:  September 6th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’On Saturday, the twenty-first of June 1946, as the sun rose high over the Kremlin, a lone figure climbed slowly up the steps from the Moskva River embankment, continued past St.Basil’s Cathedral, and made his way onto…

Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing

Title: Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing Writer: Edited by Emma Timpany and Felicity Notley Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: April 2nd 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’It was an Indian summer. Everyone said so. She enjoyed the sound of the words. In her mind they conjured a burning orange sky over parched hillsides and…

Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women

Title: Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women Writer: Dr. Sarah Bargiela, illustrated by Sophie Standing Publishing House: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Date of Publication: February 21st 2019 Rating: 5 stars Studying any material related to autism should be mandatory for all teachers. Apart from the actual teaching of a specific subject, we must support our students, we must…

The Invention of Ana

Title: The Invention of Ana Writer: Mikkel Rosengaard (translated by  Caroline Waight) Publishing House: Custom House Date of Publication: February 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’They never went hungry, but there was no electricity, and she remembered the long, dark evenings in the apartment, the afternoons when there was so little to do that she was reduced to padding at…

Race Me in a Lobster Suit

Title: Race Me in a Lobster Suit: Absurd Internet Ads and the Real Conversations that Followed Writer: Kelly Mahon Publishing House: Quirk Books Date of Publication:  March 26th 2019 Rating: 4 stars Many years ago in Greece, there was a superbly hilarious TV show, a political and social satire. One of my favourite sections in each episode was dedicated…

The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals

Title:The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals Writer: Aaron Mahnke Publishing House: Del Rey Date of Publication: May 29th 2018 Rating: 1 star ‘’ “I was born with the Devil in me’’, he wrote. “I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing. I was born with…

Christmas Stories

Title: Χριστουγεννιάτικες ιστορίες Writer: Hans Christian Andersen, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Bowen, Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Michel Tournier edited by Κατερίνα Σχινά Publishing House: Ερατώ Date of Publication: November 2001 Rating: 5 stars ‘’One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant…

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3)

Title: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) Writer: Katherine Arden Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: January 10th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Yesterday she saved your life, slew a wicked magician, set fire to Moscow and then saved it all in a single night. Do you think she will consent to disappear, for the price of…

Ways To Hide In Winter

Title: Ways to Hide in Winter Writer: Sarah St.Vincent Publishing House: Melville House Date of Publication: November 6th 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’If this were the last thing you ever saw, would you be happy?’’ Kathleen, a young woman who lives with her ailing grandmother, has buried herself in a town hidden in the beautiful wilderness of Pennsylvania. In a…

Odette

Title: Odette Writer: Jessica Duchen Publishing House: Unbound Date of Publication: 29th November 2018 Ratings: 5 stars ‘’Now I talk but you don’t believe me.’’ My mother and I have a Christmas tradition that we try to follow religiously every year.  Both being avid lovers of ballet, we have associated Christmas with this beautiful form of Art. Usually,…

Russian Christmas Stories

Title: Ρωσικά χριστουγεννιάτικα διηγήματα Writer: Edited by Evgenia Krichevskaya, Eleni Bakopoulou Publishing House: Narkissos Date of Publication: November 2004 Ratings: 5 stars *All quotes translated by me, taken from the Greek original.* ”The great days were approaching.”- this is how a narration or a story about Christmas often starts. […] For the adults these days are indeed ”great”. But they…

Almost Famous Women

Title: Almost Famous Women Writer: Megan Mayhew Bergman Publishing House: Scribner Date of Publication: January 6th 2015 Rating: 2 stars There is currently a plethora of books that aim to bring women whose stories deserve to be more widely known to surface. If you ask me, I think it was about time. However, what makes me apprehensive is the fact…

A Vintage Christmas

Title: A Vintage Christmas Writer: Various Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: October 4th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The week before Christmas, when snow seemed to lie thickest, was the moment for carol-singing; and when I think back to those nights it is to the crunch of snow and to the lights of the lanterns on it.’’ In…

Dusk: Stories and Poems from Solstice Shorts Festival

Title: Dusk: Stories and Poems from Solstice Shorts Festival 2017 Writer: Edited by Cherry Potts Publishing House: Arachne Press Date of Publication: 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’On he ambles, down the avenue where the bark of the beech trees traits silvery, lichen beards. Their dark, wind-sculpted branches reach out for the sky, wild as the hair of Macbeth’s crones.’’…

Ivris

Title: Ivris Writer: Dubravka Lalić Publishing House: IGAM Date of Publication:2010 Rating: 4 stars *All quotes translated by me. Taken from the Greek edition of the original written in Serbian, translated by Nadica Mihailović. * ‘’My soil has been spilled. The soil of my country has been spilled. What will become of my poor flower now? How will it…

Miracle on 34th Street

Title: Miracle on 34th Street: A Storybook Edition of the Christmas Classic Writer: Valentine Davies, illustrated by James Newman Gray and adapted for picture book by Susanna Leonard Hill Publishing House: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Date of Publication: October 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Mother says there’s no such thing as Santa Claus or any of the other silly things children are…

A Light of Her Own

Title: A Light of Her Own Writer: Carrie Callaghan Publishing House: Amberjack Publishing Date of Publication: November 13th 2018 Rating: 1 star Holland, during the 17th century. Judith and Maria are two women who are struggling to find their footing in a society that closes all doors to the ones who don’t fit in the religious images cultivated by an…

Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons

Title: Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons Writer: edited by Melissa Harrison Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: October 20th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Quickly, days short, somehow we all adjust and welcome the dark, for it is neither threatening nor smothering. Darkness becomes a thing of joy and vivid beauty in its own right. When early…

Bottled Goods

Title: Bottled Goods Writer: Sophie van Llewyn Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 11th 2018 Rating: 5 stars *If you attempt any political comments, think again. You can’t win an argument with me, thank you.’’ ‘’Twenty years later, an icon of the Saviour will hang in this spot, but in 1975, it’s Ceaușescu’s depiction that the…

The Blue

Title: The Blue Writer: Nancy Bilyeau Publishing House: Endeavour Quill Date of Publication: December 3rd 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’London is alive. And so am I.’’ 18th century, England. Genevieve comes from a Huguenot family that found shelter in England, persecuted in their own country due to their religious beliefs. In a time when the war with France is raging,…

Unbury Carol

Title: Unbury Carol Writer: Josh Malerman Publishing House: Del Rey Books Date of Publication: February 5th 2019 (first published April 10th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’To someone outside the coma [….] I appear…dead. Hardly a heartbeat. Far from fogging a mirror. And a pulse as slow as a slug. There’s no light in there, John. I can hear the world…