Book Review: The Marriage Portrait, Maggie O’Farrell

A technically fascinating account as Burnet adopts the different voices of his two protagonists as they invent and reinvent and lose their own identities; the reading experience was rather let down but how unlikeable those characters were.

Book Review: Demon Copperhead, Barbara Kingsolver

Whilst this is a shoe-in for all the literary prizes of the year - there is no doubting its profundity and energy, its anger and its literary mastery - I found it an incredibly challenging read, piling unrelenting misery upon misery on young Demon's shoulders, robbing him of every joy or success or moment of peace, with only the incredible power of the narrative voice to stave off the bleakness.

Book Review: Children of Paradise, Camilla Grudova

This is an extraordinary and very strange and elegiacal novel, a nightmarish phantasm of a read: it celebrates classic cinema and its creativity and originality; it lambasts the homogenised sanitised experience of modern cinema; it is cruelly loving of its characters and almost lyrical in its palpable sense of decay. This was unlike anything that I have read in a while...

Book Review: Stone Blind, Natalie Haynes

A highly entertaining and enjoyable read retelling Medusa's story, told with Haynes' trademark wit, erudition and caustic humour - although I wonder whether I come away from the book having learned anything new...

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2023 To-Read List

As I have said on this blog before, I don't really do to be read lists. Whilst I may intend to tackle a certain set of books, I am more than happy to pick up this other one that caught my eye in Waterstones or the library, or that one that I began and put down six months ago, or this book that a friend recommneded, or that one which is all over social media, or - let's face it - sometimes this random one which I opened on my kindle by mistake! But this time of year coincides with the release of the Women's Prize for Fiction and I do try to read along with that longlist each year - to varying degrees of success - and so this week I offer you that longlist which I hope to have read some or most of before the 14th June when the winner is announced.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023

After looking forward to future releases in 2023 last week, we are looking at bookish goals for the upcoming year - new year resolutions for the bookish.

Book Review: Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan

A technically fascinating account as Burnet adopts the different voices of his two protagonists as they invent and reinvent and lose their own identities; the reading experience was rather let down but how unlikeable those characters were.

Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house - a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are… Continue reading Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

Book Review: The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Helller

On a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the pond below 'The Paper Palace'—her family's holiday home in Cape Cod. As she dives beneath the water she relives the passionate encounter she had the night before, against the side of the house that knows all her darkest secrets, while her… Continue reading Book Review: The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Helller

Book Review: Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason

Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.So why is everything broken? Why is Martha - on the edge of 40 - friendless, practically jobless and… Continue reading Book Review: Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason

Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

1986: The teenage daughter of a wealthy Vietnamese family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father, and is forever changed by the experience. 2011: Twenty-five years later, a young, unhappy Vietnamese-American disappears from her new home in Saigon without a trace.The fates of both women are inescapably linked, bound together by past generations, by ghosts and ancestors, by the history of possessed bodies and… Continue reading Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

At 3.04 p.m. on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she's pregnant.She could tell her social worker Henry, but he's useless.She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won't understand.She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn't spoken to him in weeks.Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn't come… Continue reading Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics March 1: Books I Enjoyed, but Have… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own

Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the… Continue reading Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2022 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics February 1: Books with Character Names In… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2022 TBR

Book Review: No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood

This is a story about a life lived in two halves.It's about what happens when real life collides with the world accessed through a screen.It's about where we go when existential threats loom and high-stakes reality claims us back.It's about living in world that contains both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy,… Continue reading Book Review: No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood

Book Review: Luster, Raven Leilani

“I’m an open book,” I say, thinking of all the men who have found it illegible.” Synopsis Edie is just trying to survive. She’s messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all-white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting.… Continue reading Book Review: Luster, Raven Leilani

Book Review: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke

Oh my goodness! This was just sublime! It took a few chapters to get into and was not what I had expected at all from the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but once you were in, this was a novel that did not let go and which haunts the reader long after reading… Continue reading Book Review: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke

Book Review: The Golden Rule, Amanda Craig

There are people who read out of necessity, and people who read out of love. Hannah was one of the latter, and when she found a book she liked she sank into it as if into another world. Voices, music, pneumatic drills all became inaudible; she was the kind of child who would go off… Continue reading Book Review: The Golden Rule, Amanda Craig

Book Review: Small Pleasures, Clare Chambers

Small pleasures – the first cigarette of the day; a glass of sherry before Sunday lunch; a bar of chocolate parcelled out to last a week; a newly published library book, still pristine and untouched by other hands; the first hyacinths of spring; a neatly folded pile of ironing, smelling of summer; the garden under… Continue reading Book Review: Small Pleasures, Clare Chambers

Book Review: Exciting Times, Naoise Dolan

“I thought that if i let anyone in, they’d find out what was broken about me. And then not only would they know, I’d know too.” Meet Ava. Ava is a twenty-two year-old ex pat from Dublin, living in Hong Kong in a grubby Airbnb and teaching English as a Foreign Language to eight year… Continue reading Book Review: Exciting Times, Naoise Dolan

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. PREVIOUS TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS: February 2: Books Written Before I Was… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2021 TBR

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Deepa Anappara

“Believe me,” the badshah says, “today or tomorrow, every one of us will lose someone close to us, someone we love. The lucky ones are those who can grow old pretending they have some control over their lives, but even they will realize at some point that everything is uncertain, bound to disappear forever. We… Continue reading Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Deepa Anappara

Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell

“Anyone, Eliza is thinking, who describes dying as ‘slipping away’ or ‘peaceful’ has never witnessed it happen. Death is violent, death is a struggle. The body clings to life, as ivy to a wall, and will not easily let go, will not surrender its grip without a fight.”

Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

For the sisters & the sistas & the sistahs & the sistren & the women & the womxn & the wimmin & the womyn & our brethren & our bredrin & our brothers & our bruvs & our men & our mandem & the LGBTQI+ members of the human family