Gods of Jade and Shadow

Title: Gods of Jade and Shadow Writer: Silvia Moreno – Garcia Publishing House: Quercus Books Date of Publication: July 23rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Some people are born under a lucky star, while others have their misfortune telegraphed by the position of the planets. Casiopea Tun, named after a constellation, was born under the most rotten star imaginable in the…

Fairy Tales for Fearless Girls

Title: Fairy Tales for Fearless Girls Writer: Retold by Anita Ganeri & illustrated by Khoa Le Publishing House: Arcturus Publishing Ltd Date of Publication: July 2019 Rating: 3 stars I believe that we should never stop narrating the so-called ‘’classic’’ fairy tales of our childhood. Yes, for many (including me) Cinderella and the rest of the squad may seem…

Paper Butterfly

Title: Paper Butterfly Writer: Diane Wei Liang Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Date of Publication: January 1st 2008 Rating: 5 stars ‘’This land offered nothing but harsh wind and dry yellow earth. Under the dome of the sky, snow-peaked mountains stood like unwanted burdens of the past. This was the province where the Great Wall ended, where the Silk Road…

Strange Pilgrims

Title: Strange Pilgrims (original title:Doce cuentos peregrinos Writer: Gabriel Garcia Márquez (tr. by Edith Grossman) Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: November 14th 2006 (first published 1992) ‘’A continent conceived by the scum of the earth without a moment of love: the children of abductions, rapes, violations, infamous dealings, deceptions, the union of enemies with enemies.’’ Father…

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,…

#FairytaleFriday: Japan

                           The Lantern and the Fan Japan…A country whose myths are unparalleled to any other culture. Their legends about deities like Amaterasu, Susanoo and Tsukuyomi, the underworld, the creation of the universe, the sea and the mountains. The stories of the glory and…

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns Writer: Khaled Hosseini Publishing House: Bloomsbury Date of Publication: September 1st 2007 (first published May 22nd 2007) Rating: 5 stars *If you attempt any political or religious comment, you’re in trouble. Trust me, you don’t want to mess with one of my rants…’’ ‘’Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter. Like a compass…

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Title: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World Writer: Pénélope Bagieu Publishing House: First Second Date of Publication: March 6th 2018 Rating: 5 stars There are dozens of books dedicated to women (well-known and less so) who defined their field and couldn’t care less about what society and established norms had dictated for them. Many of these books are successful,…

Death of a River Guide

Title: Death of a River Guide Writer: Richard Flanagan Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: May 26th 2016 (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh. But what connects the two? What remains? What abideth in the earth forever?’’ My introduction to Richard Flanagan’s work was the award-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep…

Through the Water Curtain

Title: Through the Water Curtain Writer: Cornelia Funke Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Fairy tales break all the rules of a good story and yet they find such powerful images for the deepest human emotions and fears that we sense deep layers of meaning in a poisonous apple or the grueling setting…

Walking the Himalayas

Title: Walking the Himalayas Writer: Levison Wood Publishing House:  Little, Brown and Company Date of Publication: May 24th 2016 (first published March 1st 2016) Rating: 5 stars Sometimes, it is better to let the extracts do the talking… ‘’If you keep walking on the north bank of the Thames, past the Putney Bridge Premier Inn there’s a medieval church with…

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…

Desire

Title: Desire: Vintage Minis Writer: Haruki Murakami (translated by Jay Rubin, Ted Goossen and Philip Gabriel Publishing House: Vintage Classics Date of Publication: June 8th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ”Which is to say that wrong choices can produce right results, and vice versa. I myself have adopted the position that, in fact, we never choose anything at all. Things happen….

Wailing Ghosts

Title: Wailing Ghosts Writer: Pu Songling Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: February 26th 2015 (first published 1740) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I can make the seasons go backwards, and turn the order of nature upside down.’’ Pu Songling’s best known work is a collection of haunting stories with the title Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. I chose to…

The White Book

Title: The White Book    (original title: 흰) Writer: Han Kang Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: November 2nd 2017 (first published May 25th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I hold nothing dear. Not the place where I live, not the door I pass through every day, not even, damn it, my life.’’’ In the beautiful, mysterious world of…

Village of Stone

Title: Village of Stone (original title: 我心中的石头镇 ) Writer: Xiaolu Guo Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: January 31st 2012  (first published January 1st 2003) Rating: 5 stars ‘’But the Village of Stone- that tiny corner of the sea that, on a map of China, appears as nothing more than a deep blue stain, with no air or shipping routes to…

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Writer: Various edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: September 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.’’ If we substitute the word ‘’witch’’ with the word ‘’woman’’, we will be able to understand the reasons and…

Chinese Ghost Stories

Title: Chinese Ghost Stories: Curious Tales of the Supernatural Writer: Lafcadio Hearn Publishing House: Tuttle Publishing Date of Publication:  September 10th 2011 (first published 1887) Rating:  4 stars “You will ask me who she was-beautiful Xue Tao…Gor thousands of years and even longer, the trees have been whispering over her stony bed. And the syllables of her name reach…

Christmas Dinner

Title: Χριστουγεννιάτικο Δέιπνο Writer: Various Publishing House: Νάρκισσος Date of Publication: November 2012 Rating: 5 stars ‘’…Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the evening papers. The buses rumble…

The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals

Title:The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals Writer: Aaron Mahnke Publishing House: Del Rey Date of Publication: May 29th 2018 Rating: 1 star ‘’ “I was born with the Devil in me’’, he wrote. “I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing. I was born with…