Tales From A Master’s Notebook: Stories Henry James Never Wrote

Title: Tales From A Master’s Notebook: Stories Henry James Never Wrote Writer: Various ed. by Philip Horne Publishing House: Penguin Random House Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was now the end of September and sudden cold winds visited our lonely road and set the Norfolk pines sighing on their tortured stems. One such gust of…

Bellman & Black

Title: Bellman & Black Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Atria Date of Publication: November 5th 2013 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the few minutes since the boys had left the place, rooks had come. They circled above the oak, fifteen or twenty of them. More were arriving from all directions. They stretched across the sky, loose skeins of dark marks, converging…

The Children of Jocasta

Title: The Children of Jocasta Writer: Natalie Haynes Publishing House: Mantle Date of Publication: May 4th 2017 Rating: 3 stars ‘’When you have grown up as I have, there is no security in not knowing things. In avoiding the ugliest truths because they can’t be faced…Because that is what happened the last time, and that is why my siblings and…

The Therapist

Title:The Therapist Writer: Nial Giacomelli Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: August 1st 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’It’s as if someone is cutting into me while I sleep and gradually stitching weights into the muscles and tendons of my body. And though it’s not debilitating I find it harder each day to fight to the surface.’’…

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…

Things In Jars

Title: Things in Jars Writer: Jess Kidd Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Below her, streets and lanes, factories and workhouses, parks and prisons, ground houses and tenements, roofs, chimneys and tree tops. And the winding, sometimes shining, Thames- the sky’s own dirty mirror. The raven leaves the river behind and charts a…

The Barefoot Road

Title: The Barefoot Road Writer: Vivienne Vermes Publishing House: Troubador Publishing Limited Date of Publication: April 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Curse the funeral, curse the fact we have to die, curse the fact we have to love, curse the night and curse the day.’’ A dark night is violently lit by torches burning bright. Screams, people running, cries demanding…

Useless Magic

Title: Useless Magic Writer: Florence Welch Publishing House: Fig Tree Date of Publication: July 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars I mean, look at the endpapers!   ‘’Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don’t know what I’m trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn’t do…

The Haunted Dolls’ House

Title: The Haunted Dolls’ House Writer: M.R.James Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: 2008 (first published March 1923) Rating: 5 stars My first ‘’meeting’’ with M.R.James was through the marvelous Classic Ghost Stories series narrated by the living legend that answers to the name Robert Powell. The strange thing is that for some unknown reason I hadn’t actually read…

I Am Heathcliff

Title: I Am Heathcliff: Stories Inspired by Wuthering Heights Writer: Various curated by Kate Mosse Publishing House: The Borough Press Date of Publication: July 26th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Archetypes. Stories that seem bigger than the books that contain them. Wuthering Heights is such a book. Cathy and Heathcliff are such characters.’’ I have longed and dreaded to read this…

Folk

Title: Folk Writer: Zoe Gilbert Publishing House: Bloomsbury UK Date of Publication: February 8th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Listen, for the beat that runs through the gorce maze. It is an early twilight, the opening between last sun and first star, the door of the day closing until, soon, night will seal it shut. There are feet thudding in the…

The Poison Bed

Title: The Poison Bed Writer: Elizabeth Fremantle Publishing House: Penguin UK Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.’’             The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster May I just say that this is one of the most intriguing front covers I’ve ever seen?…

Wakenhyrst

Title: Wakenhyrst Writer: Michelle Paver Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: April 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustles and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I…

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…

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…

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…

Dylan Thomas – The Collected Stories

Title: The Collected Stories by Dylan Thomas Writer: Dylan Thomas Publishing House: New Directions Date of Publication: October 17th 1986 (first published June 1st 1983) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He would think that love fails on such nights, and that many of its children are cut down.’’ Dylan Thomas is the writer who made me love poetry with his dark imagery…

The Conviction of Cora Burns

Title: The Conviction of Cora Burns Writer: Carolyn Kirby Publishing House: Dzanc Books Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Cora Burns. Born to crime.’’ A young woman, named Cora Burns, hears the gates of Birmingham Gaol closing behind her. She is free from her incarceration but not from her past. A horrible dead has been haunting her…