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…

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…

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…

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…

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 Murder Is Announced

  Title: A Murder Is Announced Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: 2002 (first published June 1950) Rating: 5 stars ‘’People with a grudge against the world are always dangerous.’’ An idyllic village in the English countryside is waking up, its quirky residents about to start their day with their favourite newspaper, where an invitation to murder…

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Title: Chronicle of a Death Foretold Writer: Gabriel García Márquez Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: March 6th 2014  (first published 1981) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There had never been a death more foretold.’’ Santiago is murdered in the market of a Colombian town. The perpetrators are two brothers. His crime? The supposed defilement of their sister, whose marriage to a…

Achilles

Title: Achilles Writer: Elizabeth Cook Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: February 9th 2002 Rating: 5 stars ”We honoured you like a god while you were alive. No one could match you. Now that you’re dead we still speak of you as one who will never be surpassed.” Achilles. A name loaded with myths and History, a man who became…

Of Love and Other Demons

Title: Of Love and Other Demons Writer: Gabriel García Márquez Publishing House: Penguin House Date of Publication: May 1st 2008  (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Ideas do not belong to anyone {…} They fly around up there like the angels.’’ Neither Colombia nor Gabriel García Márquez need any lengthy introduction. One of the most fascinating countries of our planet,…

Οι Όχθες του Σάβου

*The English review is hiding below:) * H λογοτεχνία των Βαλκανίων είναι τόσο ιδιότυπη και ξεχωριστή όσο κι η Ρώσικη. Η έμφαση στην ηθογραφία, η γλαφυρότητα των καθημερινών χαρακτήρων, η μεστή γλώσσα χωρίς ιδιαίτερη ποιητικότητα αλλά γεμάτη ρεαλισμό είναι ξεκάθαρα γνωρίσματα της λογοτεχνίας της ΝΑ Ευρώπης. Είναι πάντα ευχάριστο να βλέπεις καινούριους εκδοτικούς οίκους να…

The Testament of Mary

Title: The Testament of Mary Writer: Colm Tóibín Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: October 1st 2012 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I have forgotten how to smile. I have no further need for smiling.’’ I’m not sure how this review is going to come through. This is a subject matter very close to my heart and a novel by one of my…

Sentimental Tales

Title: Sentimental Tales Writer: Mikhail Zoshchenko (translated by Boris Dralyuk) Publishing House: Columbia University Press Date of Publication: July 31st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’What do you think, Auntie, does man have a soul?’’ Mikhail Zoshchenko is considered one of the greatest Soviet satirists, a genre that flourished in the country, especially during the Soviet era. The six stories…

The Silent Companions

Title: The Silent Companions Writer: Laura Purcell Publishing House: Raven Books Date of Publication: October 5th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am not dead.’’ Goodness me! How can I write a coherent (and non-spoilery) review on a book that has stayed with me, haunting me (no pun intended) ever since I started reading? A novel that has definitely made it…

Love

Title: Love (Vintage Minis Series) Writer: Jeanette Winterson Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: June 8th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Love as the night-haunter, the blood-hunter, the body’s rack, antagonist of conscience. Love as the space between utility and despair. Love as the enemy of ease.’’ The Vintage Minis series is a wonderful new project by Penguin. Taken…

The Brontë Family: Passionate Literary Geniuses

Title: The Brontë Family: Passionate Literary Geniuses Writer: Karen Smith Kenyon Publishing House: Endeavour Media Date of Publication: July 1st 2018 Ratings:5 stars ‘’Must I from day to day sit chained to this chair, prisoner within these four bare walls, while these glorious summer suns are burning in heaven and the year is revolving in its richest glow…

Eight Stories: Tales of War and Loss

Title: Eight Stories: Tales of War and Loss Writer: Erich Maria Remarque Publishing House: New York University Press Date of Publication: May 29th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Only one cemetery for so many. Everywhere, in scores of places, lie the others. The white wooden crosses of the French, the black ones of the Germans.’’ With All Quiet on the Western…

The Ghosts (The Amazing Mr Blunden)

Title: The Ghosts (The Amazing Mr Blunden) Writer: Antonia Barber Publishing House: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Date of Publication: January 1st 1969 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Perhaps the strangest thing about the old gentleman was his upright walking, unbothered by the freezing raindrops.’’ Every summer, I revisit favourite books of my childhood. Most of them are children’s mysteries or…

Lincoln In The Bardo

Title: Lincoln In The Bardo Writer: George Saunders Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing Date of Publication: February 8th 2018 (first published February 14th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’My mother, I said. My father. They will come shortly. To collect me’’ Death is a cruel, cynical visitor. Sometimes invited, others unexpected, many more anticipated. Death is blind to age, race, religion, kindness or…