A Map of Days, Ransom Riggs

Some series just don’t know when to die. But I guess, if you get acclaim – and money – for it, why stop? Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine‘s series was enjoyable enough as a piece of popcorn reading. And the books were better than the awful film – but that’s not saying much. In the first…

The Comforts of Home, Susan Hill

How does Simon Serrailler recover from a vicious assault at the hands of paedophiles, which left him on the verge of death? How does Serrailler manage his post-traumatic stress disorder? Entry number nine in Susan Hill’s DCS Simon Serrailler series picks up where the previous novel, The Soul of Discretion, finishes: Serrailler is in hospital…

The Pisces, Melissa Broder

Why is it that the words of female sexuality – and of female anatomy – are either rendered taboo or fetishised in our society ? Vagina. Clitoris. Vulva. Menstruation. Compared to “cock”, there is a different quality in these words. A frisson of shock and challenge. And that is a frisson which Broder does not…

The Rosie Result, Graeme Simsion

I’m not a person with autism any more than I’m a person with lesbianism. I’m lesbian. I’m autistic. When I get a cold, I have a cold; I’m a person with a cold and I want to get rid of it. Medical help appreciated. But being autistic and lesbian—that’s who I am, and I’m not interested in anyone trying to cure me of who I am.

Circe, Madeline Miller

Divine days fall like water from a cataract, and I had not learned yet the mortal trick of counting them.

Edgedancer, Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive and the wider Cosmere is a fabulous creation interweaving various worlds into a universe with a coherent and cohesive magic system… if magic be the right word for the investiture process which borders on the scientific. It is certainly more precise in application than most magical powers in fantasy. As a rule,…

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

There are some books you want to love so much, but which – for some reason – you cannot. There’s a barrier between you and what you think you should feel about the book. And this is one of those books. There is so much about it that chimed wonderfully with all the things I…

My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

Next up, from the Women’s Prize Longlist came Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, an interesting parallel to Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater. It is an intriguing little novel – a mere 240 pages, for those for whom that is relevant, not much more than a day or weekend’s read – and remarkably effective in the…

Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi

I have lived many lives inside this body.
I lived many lives before they put me in this body.
I will live many lives when they take me out of it.