Vintage Didion, by Joan Didion (2004)

This little book is one of the Vintage Readers that were released in the early 2000s. As pointed out on the back cover, this is a small collection of Joan Didion's essays that are a good introduction to her work. The essays cover politics, crime, the war in El Salvador, crime and corruption in Miami,… Continue reading Vintage Didion, by Joan Didion (2004)

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A Broken Mirror by Mercè Rodoreda (1962)

I came upon this book entirely by chance in Waterstone's - it was the cover that made me pick it up, and I am so, so glad I did. A Broken Mirror is described on the inside cover as "A haunting classic of modern Catalan literature from one of Spain's most prestigious writers", but honestly… Continue reading A Broken Mirror by Mercè Rodoreda (1962)

In Praise Of: True Crime

Many years ago I worked as a bookseller for Borders and I have to admit that the true crime section was not one that I thought of as full of ‘literature’. All the books had sensational covers with big red letters and bad photographs. They were small fat books that didn't get many visitors, and while I… Continue reading In Praise Of: True Crime

If This is a Woman by Sarah Helm: A Reading Experience

More than one of my fellow reviewers on GoodReads wrote that reading this book is more than that - you 'live it' as well. It is an experience I will never forget. If This is a Woman took me ten days to read, which for me is a long time - but then it is… Continue reading If This is a Woman by Sarah Helm: A Reading Experience

Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O’Toole

I have read relatively little on feminism and gender since I left university, and so to that end I ordered myself a copy of Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O'Toole after seeing positive things about it on Twitter and various other blogs. It's a very appealing book - written by an academic but not… Continue reading Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O’Toole

In Which I Am So, So Glad I Finally Read The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

In brief, this is the story of a man who was once a Nazi officer, a story of his war; it is a fictional autobiography of an intellectual thrown into the horror of the Second World War. It is the War from 'the other side'. But it is so, so much more than that. Dr… Continue reading In Which I Am So, So Glad I Finally Read The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

In Praise Of: Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

To me, at least, the psychology of reading for pleasure is interesting - why do we do it? What do we get out of it? Why is pleasurable? Why do we like what we like? Different people will have different answers to these questions. Generally I know what I like, and I can judge relatively… Continue reading In Praise Of: Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

These days I can't help but worry that people won't always appreciate literature as they should - that everyone will have a Kindle and no one will have any books - that children will only want to read if it's on a screen - that people will forget the classics and anything that isn't new… Continue reading The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

Notes: Tom-All-Alone’s by Lynn Shepherd

Tom-All-Alone's caused a lot of (positive) fuss when it came out earlier this year, but I don't really have a good reason for not having read it before now, except that its association with Charles Dickens seemed to be a big selling point and I have honestly never been a fan of Dickens. I know, I… Continue reading Notes: Tom-All-Alone’s by Lynn Shepherd

Freshta by Petra Prochazkova

I was sent a copy of Freshta from Stork Press, and to be honest, I might not have chosen to read it otherwise. Despite now knowing it's rather good, I wasn't instantly drawn in by the words on the back cover: Welcome to Kabul: one family, countless secrets When Herra falls in love with Nazir,… Continue reading Freshta by Petra Prochazkova