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

Book Review: White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

“But then, maybe “I don’t believe in you” is the cruelest way to kill a monster.” Oyeyemi has been on my radar for a while, but has been languishing on my bookshelf for longer than she deserves. There were words and phrases connected to her which tantalised - fairy tale, gothic, ghost, unconventional - and… Continue reading Book Review: White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

Book Review: The Redhead by the Side of the Road, Anne Tyler

“The only place I went wrong, he writes, was expecting things to be perfect. Abruptly, he signals for a turn, and when the light changes he heads east instead of continuing north.” After reading a number of heavily plot driven books this year, Redhead was a definite change of pace for me. I'd not read… Continue reading Book Review: The Redhead by the Side of the Road, Anne Tyler

Book Review: Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado

Stories can sense happiness and snuff it out like a candle. I have a certain weakness in my reading, and that is fairytales. Fairytales that cleave to the dark and unnerving quality of pre-Disney versions. Fairytales which are anything but children's stories. Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber is one of my favourite books and a… Continue reading Book Review: Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado

The Searcher, Tana French

“The morning has turned lavishly beautiful. The autumn sun gave the greens of the fields an impossible, mythic radiance and transformed the back roads into light-muddled paths where a goblin with a fiddle, or a pretty maiden with a basket, could be waiting around every game and-bramble bend. Cal is in no mood to appreciate… Continue reading The Searcher, Tana French

Book Review: Such A Fun Age, Kiley Reid

“I don't need you to be mad that it happened. I need you to be mad that it just like... happens.” I have been holding fire on reviewing this book for a few weeks because it is a - a difficult, problematic novel in my view. A novel which is almost good, almost dealt with… Continue reading Book Review: Such A Fun Age, Kiley Reid

Summer, Ali Smith

For a novel so deeply deeply contemporary, there is a timelessness about Smith's writing and prose, accentuated by the interplay of ideas and characters between the four novels in the Quartet. These are luminous books that recognise and celebrate the presence of the past in the present.

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.”

Daisy Jones and The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid

I remember seeing Daisy on the dance floor one night at the Whisky. Everybody saw her. Your eye went right to her. If the rest of the world was silver, Daisy was gold.

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

The Mercies, Kiran Millwood Hargrave

an extraordinary and breathtaking piece of writing which leaves only one question: why has it not been listed for the Women's Prize for Fiction?

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley

At first glance, this novel appeared to be treading familiar ground: the gaslit streets of a fogbound London, hanson cabs, Fenian plots. One expects to be run down by Sherlock Holmes at any moment whenever Thaniel Steepleton ventures outside. Yet, from the outset, Pulley's novel bursts with a lively prose and wry narrative voice which… Continue reading The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley

Women’s Prize For Fiction Longlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist 2020 Announced last night, the Women's Prize longlist looks both eclectic and challenging and is as follows: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa AnapparaFleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-AknerQueenie by Candice Carty-WilliamsDominicana by Angie CruzActress by Anne EnrightGirl, Woman, Other by Bernardine EvaristoNightingale Point by Luan GoldieA Thousand Ships by Natalie HaynesHow We Disappeared by… Continue reading Women’s Prize For Fiction Longlist

When Will There Be Good News, Kate Atkinson

Oh Kate Atkinson! The master of literary coincidence! There is something about Atkinson: I adore her writing style and love her books - both the very literary crime fiction of ex-policeman Jackson Brodie, and the more explicitly literary novels like Life After Life - but they need time to digest and ruminate on. And clearly… Continue reading When Will There Be Good News, Kate Atkinson

Top Five Saturday: Unreliable Narrators

Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. The list of themes currently runs at 1/4/20 — Funny Books1/11/20 — Books Over 5 years old1/18/20 — Unreliable Narrators1/25/10 — Books by Favorite Authors Ooooo I love me an unreliable narrator! The moment when we… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Unreliable Narrators

Quichotte, Salman Rushdie

This is the sort of novel I feel the need to reach for metaphor to describe, tired and cliched metaphors at that: it is a roller coaster, a kaleidoscope, a hall of mirrors, shifting sands.... It is dazzling - but being dazzled is not always the most comfortable experience!

Top Five Saturday: Books over Five Years Old

Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. The list of themes currently runs at 1/4/20 — Funny Books1/11/20 — Books Over 5 years old1/18/20 — Unreliable Narrators1/25/10 — Books by Favorite Authors My top five books that have celebrated their fifth birthday... goodness,… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Books over Five Years Old

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2020

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. Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics: January 7: Most Anticipated Book Releases… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2020

2019 Book Survey

Love the idea of this Survey, from Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey and having read a few, thought I'd (perhaps a little belatedly) upload my own. **2019 READING STATS** Number Of Books You Read: 40Number of Re-Reads: 0Genre You Read The Most From: Crime, Fantasy and Literary 1. Best Book You Read In 2019? The… Continue reading 2019 Book Survey

Blood Wedding, Pierre Lemaitre

One problem I have - and it perhaps says more about me than anything else! - is that I tend to rely on familiar authors so in crime I have been reliant on Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series, Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels and a few others: Anthony Horowitz,… Continue reading Blood Wedding, Pierre Lemaitre

Starve Acre, Andrew Michael Hurley

Wow! This was deliciously dark and disturbing! An ideal creepy read for that strange, unsettling time between Christmas and the New Year, where no one quite knows what day of the week it is or how long they have left on holiday! I'd listened to The Loney by Hurley as an audiobook a little while… Continue reading Starve Acre, Andrew Michael Hurley