The Shortest Day

Title: The Shortest Day Writer: Colm Tóibín Publishing House: Amazon Original Stories Date of Publication: November 3rd 2020  Rating: 5 stars ‘’Thus, it was the strangeness of the night sky and the seasons that they loved and missed, the strangeness of fire and water, the strangeness they noted in each other.’’ It is Christmas and…

Sisterhood of the Infamous

Title: Sisterhood of the Infamous Writer: Jane Rosenberg LaForge Publishing House: New Meridian Arts Press Date of Publication: February 23rd 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’A body always begins a story such as this. My body, her body; mine to be burned, hers razed by violent action; to be discovered along a remote trail of russet…

Florida

Title: Florida Writer: Lauren Groff Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: June 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is terribly true, even if the truth does not comfort, that if you look at the moon for long enough night after night, as I have, you will see that the old cartoons are correct, that…

Unofficial Britain: Journeys Through Unexpected Places

Title: Unofficial Britain Writer: Gareth E. Rees Publishing House: Elliot & Thompson Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 Rating: 4 stars ‘’After a long trudge over a misty moor, you arrive at the crest of a hill and pause for breath by an oak tree. Initials have been etched into the bark by others who…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold (original title: コーヒーが冷めないうちに) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (tr. by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 19th 2019 (first published December 6th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The cafe’s name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, an account of time-travelling. But it wasn’t…

Revenge

Title: Revenge (original title: 寡黙な死骸 みだらな弔い) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (tr. by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication:  January 2nd 2014 (first published 1998) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Why was everyone dying? They had all been so alive just yesterday.’’ Yoko Ogawa creates a dark wonder of sadness, loneliness and unsettling desires in Revenge, a collection…

Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone

Title: Ghosts of the Tsunami Writer: Richard Lloyd Parry Publishing House: Jonathan Cape Date of Publication: August 31st 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’By the time the party came to an end, it was already becoming cloudy, but there was no wind. Not a single leaf was moving on the trees. I couldn’t sense any life…

Convenience Store Woman

Title: Convenience Store Woman (original title:コンビニ人間) Writer: Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: June 12th 2018 (first published July 27th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is the start of another day, the time when the world wakes up and the cogs of society begin to move. I…

It Would Be Night in Caracas

Title: It Would Be Night In Caracas Writer: Karina Sainz Borgo, translated by Elizabeth Bryer Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: October 15th 2019 (first published March 7th 2019) Rating: 5 stars *ANY political comments will be deleted. I do NOT discuss politics or religious or social issues with strangers. If you attempt to do…

Reputations

Title: Reputations Writer:  Juan Gabriel Vásquez (translated by Anna McLean) Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: September 20th 2016 (first published April 2013) Rating: 5 stars “The memory has a marvellous capacity to remember the forgotten, its existence and its stalking, and thus allow us to stay alert when we don’t want to forget and…

Midsummer Nights: Tales From the Opera

Title: Midsummer Nights: Tales from the Opera Writer: Various edited by Jeanette Winterson Publishing House: Riverrun Date of Publication: April 18th 2019  (first published January 1st 2009) Rating: 4 stars ‘’When we read, when we listen to music, when we immerse ourselves in the flow of an opera, we go underneath the surface of life….

Things We Say In The Dark

Title: Things We Say In The Dark Writer: Kirsty Logan Publishing House: Harvill Secker Date of Publication: October 3rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’A house is family. A house is history. A house is a body. One subject that comes up again and again in horror, both new and classic, is houses. Haunted houses, home…

Summerwater

Title: Summerwater Writer: Sarah Moss Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: August 20th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Dawn. There’s no sunrise, no birdsong. Light seeps over the water, through the branches. The sky is lying on the loch, filling the trees, heavy in the spaces between the pine needles, settling between blades of grass and…

Mouthful of Birds

Title: Mouthful of Birds (original title Pajaros en la Boca) Writer: Samantha Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: September 7th 2010 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Calderón, on the other hand, stands motionless. He can’t bring himself to lift his foot from the one he has killed. He is, perhaps, afraid of recognizing his girl’s…

The Harpy

Title: The Harpy Writer: Megan Hunter Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”Three. I’d said it out loud, after he did. It made a kind of neat sense, something religious about its structure. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Peter betrayed Jesus three times. A familiar number, for a good Christian girl like…

The Bass Rock

Title: The Bass Rock Writer: Evie Wyld Publishing House: Pantheon Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 (first published February 4th 2020) Rating: 2 stars ”The crow takes off and flies to the top branches of the monkey puzzle tree. It yells at me from there.” Three women, three different eras. Sarah, Ruth, Viviane. Witchcraft, abusing relationships, loss, depressions, danger…

The Voice In My Ear

Title: The Voice In My Ear Writer: Frances Leviston Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication:  March 19th 2020 Rating: 2 stars ”…asking tough questions of schools and other institutions, but you’re not questioning the institution you represent, which is the family, which is mothers and fathers. What role do parents play in a child’s abuse?” Ten stories centered…

The Nix

Title: The Nix Writer: Nathan Hill Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: May 2nd 2017  (first published August 30th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ”Αnd he used the ghost stories his mother told him, all those old Norwegian stories that terrified him. He wrote about a white horse that appeared suddenly, offering a ride, and if the reader decided to mount…

Elmet

Title: Elmet Writer:Fiona Mozley Publishing House: JM Originals Date of Publication: August 10th 2017 Rating: 3 stars ”I spend an evening laid out on a moor, watching the wind, the crows, the distant vehicles caught in memories of this same land, further south; earlier, another time; then likewise caught in memories of home, of family, of the shifts…

Ms. Ice Sandwich

Title: Ms. Ice Sandwich (original title: ミス・アイスサンドイッチ) Writer: Mieko Kawakami (translated by Louise Heal Kawai) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: May 7th 2020 (first published November 2013) Rating: 5 stars “If video games make you stupid, then what do mobile phones make you?” A young boy buys egg sandwiches every day. The reason? The mysterious young woman behind…