Category Book Reviews

Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh

I read My Year of Rest and Relaxation over a couple of days while I was ill last week, and there’s definitely something quite claustrophobic and nightmarish about certainly the story of a woman trying to sleep for a year, while you yourself are unwell and sleeping a lot. I had been wanting to read […]

Review: Fen, Daisy Johnson

It took me a while to get into the stories of Fen by Daisy Johnson, and then it took me a little while to get out of them again. Reading these stories is like getting lost in the blurry, muddy fenland that Johnson is writing about. At some point you begin to question what is […]

Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

Sometimes you want to read something easy, fun and light-hearted. In may ways it’s funny that I chose a book about a serial killer in order to fulfil this. I’m sure you’ve all heard that My Sister, the Serial Killer is all of these things and more – it’s short and snappy, darkly funny and […]

Review: Mouthful of Birds, Samanta Schweblin

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything as creepy, compelling and utterly bizarre as Samanta Schweblin’s collection of short stories, Mouthful of Birds. From the titular story about a father who discovers his daughter’s compulsion to eat live birds, to stories about fanatical hair-plucking women and the lengths a couple will go to get […]

What I read in 2019

This year I challenged myself to read 30 books which I was very proud to have achieved until my friend told me she was on her 80th in November! I wanted to make more time for reading, for reflecting on what I read, and to record every book that I read. So here’s my list […]

Review: Once Upon a River, Diane Setterfield

I’ve been reading a lot of clever and ‘concentrate-y’ books (read: lit fic?) recently and was really missing the power of a novel of good length and brilliant story. In came Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield at just the right time. Set in a rural village community upon the banks of the river […]

Review: Autumn, Ali Smith

Have I mentioned that Autumn is my favourite time of year? Seven years of writing about Autumn on this blog later, I think it’s fair to say I’ve made my feelings about this season pretty clear. So it seems apt that the most recent book I read was the beautiful Autumn by Ali Smith which […]

Review: Under the Greenwood Tree, Thomas Hardy

Sometimes it’s nice to go back to an author where you know exactly what you’re going to get. As I make my way through Hardy’s rural back catalogue, I am conscious of the fact that I am knowingly avoiding the most depressing and shocking of his titles, Jude the Obscure. And, of course, it’s often […]

Review: Faces on the Tip of My Tongue, Emmanuelle Pagano

Reading books in translation is something I don’t do often enough, so a huge thank you to Peirene Press who kindly me sent a copy of this book and encouraged me to try something new. Faces on the Tip of My Tongue is a collection of stories set mostly in rural France, with a range […]

Review: An American Marriage, Tayari Jones

I’m not often so organised in my reading and rarely have I read a prize winner so quickly after it received a prize. But a short trip to Prague/Dresden this month meant that I plenty of opportunity to get stuck into something new, and Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage was my first pick. The way […]