Missing Words

Title: Missing Words Writer: Loree Westron Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: August 5th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Life is nothing without you in it.’’ Jenny works at the post office in Portsmouth during the time of the strikes in the 1908s. Having to cope with sexism, a husband who almost doesn’t acknowledge her…

Island

Title: Island (original title: Ø) Writer: Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen (translated by Caroline Waight) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: June 24th 2021 (first published August 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’She stands with her back to the low copse of planted trees, looking down the mountain to the village, blue in the August night,…

The End of the World is a Cul de Sac

Title: The End of the World is a Cul de Sac Writer: Louise Kennedy Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing Date of Publication: April 8th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The statue stood in the clearing. It was a wood nymph, lifelike yet diminutive, the height of an adolescent girl. A dappling of sunlight was flickering over her,…

Ten White Geese

Title: Ten White Geese (original title: De Omweg) Writer: Gerbrand Bakker (translated by David Colmer) Publishing House: Penguin Books Date of Publication: February 26th 2013 (first published 2010) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Now and then, at night, sitting on the window seat and looking out into the darkness through the tendrils of an old creeper, she…

The Master of Chaos

Title: The Master of Chaos Writer: Pauline Melville Publishing House: Sandstone Press Date of Publication: July 1st 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’All I wanted to do was hurt him. Death was my way of reviving his love for me, punishing him and finally gaining victory in the contest.’’ In Pauline Melville’s stories, chaos comes in…

Summer (Seasonal #4)

Title: Summer (Seasonal #4) Writer: Ali Smith Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: August 6th 2020  Rating: 3 stars ‘’No point in asking anyone else to hold your world.’’ In the last instalment of the monumental Seasonal Quartet, Ali Smith introduces to families that have to fight their own demons, siblings who view the…

The Port of London Murders

Title: The Port of London Murders Writer: Josephine Bell Publishing House: British Library Date of Publication: October 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was quite dark now, but lights twinkled everywhere, making bright oath across the black water. And far away on all sides, a red and orange glow covered the sky, shining steadily on…

There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In

Title: There Once Lived A Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In Writer: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (tr. by Anna Summers) Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics Date of Publication: 2014 (first published 2002) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Oh, great mother nature! Why do you have to trick us? Why do you need all this mucus,…

Βlue Postcards

Title: Blue Postcards Writer: Douglas Bruton Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 8th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ”Years ago in the blue mists of memory, there was a street in Paris called the Street of Tailors. Men sat outside their shops like kings on their thrones, and they nodded to each other or…

Taking Flight

Title: Taking Flight Writer: JT Torres Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 8th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Νana appeared by my bed, staring at me with vacant eyes that I felt responsible for filling. The pre-dawn moonlight sliced by the blinds iced her skin a soft blue.’’ A young boy has the unfortunate…

The Lost Storyteller

Title: The Lost Storyteller Writer: Amanda Block Publishing House: Hodder & Stoughton Date of Publication: July 8th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Then there had been his stories, which felt like memories because at the time she’d believed they were true. She’d tiptoed past a knobbly boulder on the moor because he’d whispered it was a…

The Eternal Season: Ghosts of Summers Past, Present and Future

Title: The Eternal Season: Ghosts of Summers Past, Present and Future Writer: Stephen Rutt Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: July 1st 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’You could walk into a wood on a summer’s day, pretty and green, and not know a thing was wrong if you didn’t know the signs to…

Wild Swims

Title: Wild Swims (original title: Kort Over Canada) Writer: Dorthe Nors (translated by Misha Hoekstra) Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication:  February 2nd 2021 (first published April 23rd 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Both fairground and field have been baking all day in the late-summer sun. It’s September now, and when she walks around the…

Golem

Title: Golem Writer: Pierre Assouline Publishing House: Gallimard Date of Publication: January 1st 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Where would I go, if I could go, who would I be, if I could be, what would I say, if I had a voice, who says this, saying it’s me?’’                          Samuel Beckett – The Unnamable Gustave Meyer…

The Custard Heart and Other Stories

Title: The Custard Heart and Other Stories Writer: Dorothy Parker Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’She felt a crazy solidarity with the big company of the voluntary dead.’’ New York. The exciting, glamorous Jazz Age. The time when everything had to be one big party, when…

The Collected Stories by Grace Paley

Title: The Collected Stories by Grace Paley Writer: Grace Paley Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: May 3rd 2018 (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Well, by now you must know yourself, honey, whatever you do, life don’t stop. It only sits a minute and dreams a dream.’’ Grace Paley’s stories are unique in their…

Into the Tangled Bank

Title: Into the Tangled Bank Writer: Lev Parikian Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: June 3rd 2021 (first published July 9th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There is nothing like nature to make you feel inadequate.’’ Nature. One of the most sacred words. Our mother, our home and shelter. And yet, how we abuse…

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….

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…

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…