Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land

Title: Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land Writer: Benjamin Myers Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: April 25th 2019 (first published May 17th 2018) ‘’Let things settle. Let tress reach downwards, their curling roots grasping deep into the underworld. Let weeds wander, and life crawl and colonise and entangle.  Let the seasons set the pace….

The Disappeared

Title: The Disappeared Writer: Amy Lord Publishing House: Unbound Digital Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 Rating: 2 stars ‘’They didn’t want us to remember, to get ideas outside of their control.’’ Books are a threat. Books have always been a threat in totalitarian states. The Nazis and the Communists loathe the very existence of book because they signify knowledge…

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….

Madame Zero

Title: Madame Zero Writer: Sarah Hall Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: July 4th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The morning is clear, a few high clouds banking on the horizon. Dawn has come and gone, but it still feels fresh and damp and clean. You cycle through the hospital grounds, past the crematorium and across a small…

The Bookshop

Title: The Bookshop Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: January 30th 2014 (first published 1978) Rating: 5 stars ”A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life,” and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity. ” Sometimes you have to fight against…

Lanny

Title: Lanny Writer: Max Porter Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: March 7th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It would have been the head of a dolphin and the wings of a peregrine, and it would be a storm-watching beast, watching the weather while we sleep.’’ Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers has been on my list…

Suspended Heart

Title: Suspended Heart Writer: Heather Fowler Publishing House: Pink Narcissus Press Date of Publication: May 15th 2019 (originally published December 17th 2010) Rating: 3 stars If you follow my reviews, you’ll know that Magical Realism is a great love of mine, especially when combined with Literary Fiction.Short Stories collections are on the rise and justifiably so. The ambiguous closures and…

False Bingo: Stories

Title: False Bingo: Stories Writer: Jac Jemc Publishing House: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Date of Publication: October 8th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am a problem without a solution. I am a question without an answer. I am a poison without an antidote. I will never know what it is I’ve done.’’ I fell under Jac Jemc’s spell what I…

Russian Easter Stories

Title: ΡΩΣΙΚΕΣ ΠΑΣΧΑΛΙΝΕΣ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΕΣ Writer: Various edited by Laura Averbukh Publishing House: ΝΑΡΚΙΣΣΟΣ Date of Publication: March 2005 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Yes…today there is happiness…’’, Ieronimus said in a weak voice, like a sick man who has just started recovering. ‘’There is joy in the heavens and the earth, even in Hell itself. The whole creation rejoices. Yet, tell…

Occult London

Title: Occult London Writer: Merlin Coverley Publishing House: Oldcastle Books Date of Publication: May 1st 2018 (first published June 1st 2007) Rating: 4 stars ‘’London is a city whose origins remain obscure and whose identity remains bound up with the mythical and the legendary, the hidden and the occult.’’ One of my most beloved semi-urban myths/ modern fables/ occult instances/…

The Forest of Wool and Steel

Title: The Forest of Wool and Steel   (Original Title:羊と鋼の森) Writer: Natsu Miyashita Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: April 25th 2019  (first published September 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Inhale the scent of a forest close by. I can smell the earthy fragrance of autumn as night falls, the leaves gently rustling, I can feel the damp air…

Μystical Britain and Ireland

Title: Mystical Britain and Ireland Writer: Richard Jones (photography by John Mason) Publishing House: New Holland Australia Date of Publication: August 10th 2006 (first published 2003) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Those who pace its lanes and squares may yet hear the echoes of their footsteps on the sounding stones and read upon its gates…’’Who enters here leaves noise behind.’’ Charles Dickens…

Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon

Τitle: Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon Writer: Nicole Brossard (translated by Susanne De Lotbinière- Harwood Publishing House: Coach House Books Date of Publication: 2005 (first published March 19th 2001) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I take the opportunity to lend an ear to ambient life with an eagerness I never suspected. The idea of remaining calm doesn’t displease me. Some days I…

Flights

Title: Flights (original title: Bieguni ) Writer: Olga Tokarczuk (translated by Jennifer Croft) Publishing House: Fitzcarraldo Editions Date of Publication: May 17th 2017 (first published September 2007) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Each of my pilgrimages aims at some other pilgrim. In this case the pilgrim is in pieces, broken down.’’ This might very well be the first time that I have…

Magdalene: Poems

Title: Magdalene: Poems Writer: Maria Howe Publishing House: W. W. Norton Company Date of Publication: August 28th 2018 (first published March 28th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I liked Hell, I liked to go there alone relieved to lie in the wreckage, ruined, physically undone. The worst had happened. What else could hurt me then? I thought it was the worst,…

Fear and His Servant

Title: Fear and His Servant   (original title: Strah i njegov sluga ) Writer: Mirjana Novaković Publishing House: Peter Owen Publishers (originally published by Beograd:ReVision Publishing) Date of Publication:  April 1st 2018 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Like everyone else, I want gifts that come from the heart, the gift without a price. I’ve wondered this earth for such a long…

The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Théophile – Alexandre Steinlen

Title: The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Théophile – Alexandre Steinlen Writer: Susan Schaefer Bernardo (illustrations by Courtenay Fletcher) Publishing House: Inner Flower Child Books Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Where shall I start? How does an artist begin to make art?’’ Paris is a city forever linked with certain images in…

Mars

Title: Mars: Stories Writer: Asja Bakić (translated by Jennifer Zoble) Publishing House: The Feminist Press at CUNY Date of Publication: March 19th 2019 (first published 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Death is typically a European film. The scenes are evocative, the atmosphere and characters charged. But in my case, death took a different form.’’ When you start reading a book and…

The Dollmaker

Title: The Dollmaker Writer: Nina Allan Publishing House: Quercus Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In 21 cases there was death but no burial; in 10, funerals but no burials; in 8, funerals but no death.’’ Dolls never found a top spot in my favourite toys list. My mum didn’t like them at all but my…