The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort

Title:The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort Writer: Michel Faber Publishing House:Canongate Books Ltd Date of Publication:April 1st 2010 Rating: 5 stars ”Within minutes, of course (or was it hours?), her head was disjoined from her neck, and the seagulls were screaming.” Siân is a student of archeology and has recently joined an…

Patience, Miyuki

Title: Patience, Miyuki Writer:  Roxane Marie Galliez (illustrated by Seng Soun Ratavanah Publishing House: Princeton Architectural Press Date of Publication: October 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Blue earth, orange moon, Spring was all dressed up and ready for her first day of the year. Miyuki was ready, too. She was already up and running through the garden.’’ Little Miyuki is…

Humiliation

Title: Humiliation (original title: Qué vergüenza) Writer: Paulina Flores (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: November 7th 2019 (first published 2015) Rating: 4 stars ‘’I had the hope I would be able to forget. I longed for the freedom of a heroine, a life of my own, a happy one. Back then I ridiculously faced…

Starve Acre

Title: Starve Acre Writer: Andrew Michael Hurley Publishing House: John Murray Date of Publication: October 31st 2019 Rating: 2 stars ”He says my name sometimes. He tells me to come to the tree.” A young family moves to the moors, to a house where dreams and nightmares co-exist. The forest nearby hides secrets and strange apparitions. But the young…

Salt Slow

Title: Salt Slow Writer: Julia Armfield Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: May 30th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’At night, I fall asleep in shreddings and tatterings, my dreams shot through with shouts of violence, bitter notches like bad beads on a rosary. In the still-dark of early morning, I wake to wonder at my face in the wardrobe…

Swimming Lessons

Title: Swimming Lessons Writer: Claire Fuller Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: February 1st 2018 (first published February 7th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ”Black waves would lift the boat up and roll it with the swell, like mountains rising where there had been no mountains before.” Flora has an awful burden on her shoulders. Trying to pursue her studies, coping…

Baba Yaga Laid An Egg

Title: Baba Yaga Laid An Egg (original title: Život je bajka) Writer: Dubravka Ugrešić  (translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać, Celia Hawkesworth &  Mark Thompson (Translator) Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: July 1st 2009 (first published 2007) Rating: 2 stars ‘’Sweet little old ladies. At first you don’t see them. And then, there they are, on the tram, at the post…

On My Aunt’s Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed

Title: On My Aunt’s Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed (original title: Από Τη Μέση και Κάτω) Writer: Maria Mitsora (translated by Jacob Moe) Publishing House: Yale University Press Date of Publication: September 18th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’My tutor lived in a beautiful pinkstone house, enveloped in bougainvillea vines. I had heard a few things about his life…

The Collection

Title: The Collection (original title: Mise en pièces) Writer: Nina Leger (translated by Laura Francis) Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: September 3rd 2019 (first published January 12th 2017) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Gare de Lyon – exit left – pale neon lights. Jeanne stares at the tropical garden caged by glass walls. Dark, mordant greens; droplets of water…

My Footprints

Title: My Footprints Writer: Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran Publishing House: Capstone Date of Publication: September 1st 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’I want to be the biggest and scariest monster,’’ Thuy says, ‘’so that if kids at school make fun of me for having two mums, or tell me to go back where I came from, or call…

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…

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…

The Kite Runner

Title: The Kite Runner Writer: Khaled Hosseini Publishing House: Riverhead Date of Publication: May 29th 2003 Rating: 5 stars Title: The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel Writer: Khaled Hosseini, illustrated by Fabio Celoni & Mirka Andolfo Publishing House: Riverhead Trade Date of Publication:  September 6th 2011 (first published 2007) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There is a way to be good again.’’ Kite is a symbol of freedom,…

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…

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…

Brute

Title: Brute: Poems Writer: Emily Skaja Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication: April 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am sewn into a dress. On Broad Street, ravens Lurk on the Divine Lorraine Hotel.’’ A striking front cover depiction Gleipnir and Fenrir by Walton Ford is a telling dark introduction to this poetry collection by Emily Skaja, the winner…

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…

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…

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…