The Mermaid of Black Conch

Title: The Mermaid of Black Conch Writer: Monique Roffey Publishing House: Peepal Tree Press Ltd Date of Publication: April 2nd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’That morning David played her soft hymns he’d learnt as a boy, praising God. He sang holy songs for her, songs which brought tears to his eyes, and there they stayed,…

Strange Weather in Tokyo

Title: Strange Weather In Tokyo (original title: センセイの鞄) Writer: Hiromi Kawakami (translated by Allison Markin Powell) Publishing House: Granta Date of Publication: August 6th 2020 (first published 2001) Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the autumn there are dead leaves all over the place and in winter the bare branches are bleak and dreary.’’ A woman and…

Mabon: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Autumn Equinox

Title: Mabon: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Autumn Equinox Writer: Diana Rajchel Publishing House:  Llewellyn Publications Date of Publication: July 1st 2015 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Harvest festivals celebrated more than finished work for the season; they celebrated the capacity to survive the winter.’’ Mabon is arguably the most obscure tradition of the Old Ways…

Shoko’s Smile

Title: Shoko’s Smile (original title: 쇼코의 미소) Writer: Choi Eunyoung (translated by Sung Ryu) Publishing House: John Murray Press Date of Publication: August 19th 2021 (first published July 7th 2016) Rating: 5 stars “I dig my hands into the cold sand and gaze at the black, shimmering sea. It feels like the edge of the…

Hurricane Season

Title: Hurricane Season (original title: Tempradas De Huracanes) Writer: Fernanda Melchor (translated by Sophie Hughes) Publishing House: Fitzcarraldo Editions Date of Publication:  February 19th 2020  (first published May 12th 2017) Rating: 3 stars ‘’They called her the Witch, the same as her mother; the Young Witch when she first started trading in curses and cures,…

Earthlings

Title: Earthlings (original title: 地球星人) Writer: Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Publishing House: Granta Date of Publication: September 29th 2020 (first published August 31st 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Magical powers. I have to summon my magical powers. The power of darkness, the power of wind – any magical power will do, but I…

Things We Lost In the Fire

Title: Things We Lost In the Fire (original title: Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego) Writer: Mariana Enríquez (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: February 21st 2017 (first published February 10th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The gaucho is good,’’ he said. ‘’But the other one isn’t.’’  He said it…

The Met Georgia O’Keefe

Title: The Met Georgia O’Keeffe: She Saw the World in a Flower Writer: Gabrielle Balkan, illustrated by Josy Bloggs Publishing House: DK Children Date of Publication:  August 24th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’My painting is what I give back to the world for what the world gives to me.’’Georgia O’Keefe, 1940 Wisconsin, November 15, 1887….

This One Sky Day

Title: This One Sky Day Writer: Leone Ross Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: April 15th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’When people die alone, without proper burial rites, the carcass wandered for years, rudderless, rotting and shrinking. They had all seen these ghosts, rebuilding their bodies with bits of rubbish, hanging on, half-maddened….

Lughnasadh: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas

Title: Lughnasadh: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas Writer: Melanie Marquis Publishing House:  Llewellyn Publications Date of Publication: June 1st 2015 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Like the promise of a rainbow, our first harvest of the season reassures us that if all continues to go well, we can expect more wholesome treasures own the road that…

Jerusalem Beach

Title: Jerusalem Beach (original title: חוף הים של ירושלים) Writer: Iddo Gefen (translated by Daniella Zamir) Publishing House: Astra House Date of Publication: August 17th 2021 (first published August 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’A month and a half later, he packed a bag, stuffing it with four undershirts, five pairs of underwear, a flashlight, two…

Women In Translation Month

August is already preparing to knock on our doors and we know what this means, right? It’s Women In Translation Month, the time when we discover – and re-read (he, he, he!) outstanding women whose work has been translated into English from every corner of our beautiful planet. These are the books I’ve read and…

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…

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 –…

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…

Mythopedia

Title: Mythopedia Writer: Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors Publishing House: Laurence King Publishing Date of Publication: September 15th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The Elves explained that this chain, called Gleipnir, was made from six ingredients: The sound of a cat’s footsteps The roots of a mountain The beard of a woman The…

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Title: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 (original title: 82년생 김지영) Writer: Cho Nam-Joo (tr. by Jamie Chang) Publishing House: Scribner UK Date of Publication: February 20th 2020 (first published October 14th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Help out? What is it with you and ‘’helping out?’’ You’re going to ‘’help out’’ with chores. ‘’Help out’’ with raising…

The International Day of the Girl: Celebrating Girls Around the World

Title: The International Day of the Girl Writer: Jessica Dee Humphreys and the Hon. Rona Ambrose, illustrated by Simone Shin Publishing House: Kids Can Press Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars Nine stories celebrating the International Day of the Girls. Nine girls who demonstrate the strength, the determination, the intelligence, the love…

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….

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…