The Great Fortune (The Balkan Trilogy 1)

Title: The Great Fortune (The Balkan Trilogy 1) Writer: Olivia Manning Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: July 30th 2020 (first published 1960) Rating: 4 stars ”A pine forest came down to the edge of the track: the light from the carriages rippled over the bordering trees. As she gazed out into…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer:  Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (illustrated by Ashling Lindsay) Publishing House:Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication:April 7th 2020 Rating:5 stars ”Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” (quote from the 2014 film The Imitation Game) Alan was a shy boy. His brain could work in such mysterious,…

Russian Short Stories (1918 – 1941)

Τitle: Ανθολογία ρωσικού διηγήματος του μεσοπολέμου Writer: Various (selected and translated by Tania Rahmatoulina Publishing House: Πλέθρον Date of Publication: December 2005 Rating: 5 stars *All extracts translated by me, taken from the original edition translated by Tania Rahmatoulina* ‘’All beauty in this world was born out of the love for a woman.’’ During the turbulent years in the…

Tales Of Old Prague Houses

Title: Tales of Old Prague Houses Writer: Magdalena Wagnerová (translated by Lucie Mikolajková) Publishing House:  Nakladatelství PLOT Date of Publication:2017 Rating:5 stars ‘’Every house has a story to tell and a history behind it. The old houses of Prague, once the home of plain townsmen and burghers, now seem to us like small palaces, enchanted and full of…

22 Czech Legends

Title: 22 Czech Legends Writer: Alena Ježková (illustrated by  Zdenka Krejčová) Publishing House: Práh Date of Publication: 2007 Rating: 5 stars The literary journey to the Czech Republic continues… Who was the brave squire that fought against the bandits and led to the founding of Krumlov Castle? In a beautiful fortification, the White Lady of Krumlov appears to soothe the…

Old Prague Legends

Title: Old Prague Legends Writer: Based on legends retold by by Magdalena Wagnerová (translated by Ivan Guittierez, illustrated by Nemcova Lucie) Publishing House: Plot Publishing House Date of Publication: 2010 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The city was named Praha- ‘’threshold’’ – and just as long ago people would bow before the threshold when they entered a house, they bow today…

Prague In Legends

  Title: Prague In Legends Writer:  Anna Novotná (illustrated by Jan Klimeš) Publishing House: Práh Date of Publication: 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is said that the St Vitus bells can change their sound according to the mood of the nation.’ In Prague, History and Legend walk hand in hand and greet you in every corner. The Golden City created after…

By Night Under the Stone Bridge

Title: By Night Under the Stone Bridge (original title: Nachts unter der steinernen Brücke. Ein Roman aus dem alten Prag) Writer: Leo Perutz (translated by  Eric Mosbacher) Publishing House: Arcade Publishing Date of Publication: April 1st 1990  (first published 1953) Rating: 5 stars “They say a deaf man heard a dumb man talking about a blind man who saw a…

Transcription

Title: Transcription Writer: Kate Atkinson Publishing House: Black Swan Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 (first published September 6th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ”In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” Winston Churchill 1950. Juliet is a BBC producer, responsible for the children’s zone. Intelligent, energetic and a talented writer,…

Redemption

Title:Redemption (original title: Искупление) Writer: Friedrich Gorenstein (translated by Andrew Bromfield) Publishing House: Columbia University Press Date of Publication: October 23rd 2018 (first published January 1st 1979) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There are ten thousand lying in the porcelain factory quarries…They were killed by fascism and totalitarianism but my dear ones were killed by my neighbour with a…

Gingerbread

Title: Gingerbread Writer: Robert Dinsdale Publishing House: Harper Collins Date of Publication: February 13th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Once, all of the world was covered in forests. But, slowly, over the years, those forests were driven back – by people just like us. They chopped them down to make timber, and burned them to make farms. But this little corner…

In the Shadow of Wolves

Title: In the Shadow of Wolves (original title Mano vardas – Marytė) Writer: Alvydas Šlepikas tr. by Romas Kinka Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 Rating:2 stars ‘’People appear as if emerging through a mist, a snowstorm, a winter fog; they grow dark, casting a shadow on the trampled, blood-soaked earth, and then are gone.’’…

The Hotel Tito

Title: The Hotel Tito (original title Hotel Zagorje) Writer: Ivana Simić Bodrožić Publishing House: Seven Stories Press UK Date of Publication: September 21st 2017  (first published 2010) Rating: 1 star Some of my favourite writers are Croatian. Talented, intelligent people whose objective view on such a delicate matter as the 1990s conflicts delivers stories that are heartfelt, evocative and…

A Column of Fire

Title: A Column of Fire Writer: Ken Follett Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication: September 12th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ‘’People should hear Bible stories from their parish priest. If they start reading for themselves, they’re sure to get the wrong idea.’’ Some things never change… 1558, Kingsbridge. Europe is once again in disarray, torn by trivial religious differences. The…

Captain Rosalie

Title: Captain Rosalie Writer:  Timothée de Fombelle, illustration by Isabelle Arsenault (tr. by Sam Gordon) Publishing House: Candlewick Press Date of Publication: June 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Dogs bark in the distance, out there by the farms. The dead leaves whistle their way across the school yard.’’ 1917, a cold autumn day in France. WWI has darkened Europe….