The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell

IMG_0456.JPGCategory: Short Stories
Rating: 3/5
Author: Jen Campbell

I finally got around to reading The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, an eclectic collection of stories that sadly, didn’t impress. Much as I adore Jen’s book tube channel and I truly wanted to love her collection, I couldn’t let it jade my actual experience and thoughts. Not to sound the least pretentious, but having read a decent number of collections, I feel much more confident in determining if a collection is for me and pointing out what worked & didn’t. So here’s discussing all my thoughts. Continue reading

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

fullsizeoutput_4cdf.jpegCategory: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Author: Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is the story of a young woman who leads a life of extreme seclusion and a chance encounter in helping an elderly gentleman on the road sets off a series of events that allow her to come undone and eventually, exorcise the demons of her past. My reaction, to some extent was also coloured by the context in which read this book, as a nomination for a literary prize. Continue reading

Sight by Jessie Greengrass

IMG_0300Category: Literary Experimental Fiction
Author: Jessie Greengrass
Rating: 4/5

I struggle to write a review that adequately captures the complexity of this 193 page book. Sight, very simplistically, is a pregnant woman’s ambivalence towards motherhood rising from her own unconventional upbringing. It slides seamlessly between the narrator’s life and the lives of historical figures responsible for the discovery of X-rays, the emergence of psychoanalysis and the birth of modern surgery for reasons that gradually become apparent. Continue reading

The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

IMG_0056Category: Literary Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Author: Abi Andrews

This is a very tricky one to write a review for as my overall experience was rather conflicting. This novel is part adventure, part travel writing, part philosophical musings, part coming-of-age and rediscovery, speckled with feminist ideals, the myth and beliefs of the Native Peoples of North America and vilifying of patriarchy and it’s societal repercussions. That’s a handful. And it works to the advantage and disadvantage of this novel. It’s far too ambitious, with too many ideas, that none of the ideas felt fully realised.  Continue reading

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge

IMG_0176.JPGCategory: Non Fiction, Investigative Journalism
Rating: 4 to 4.5/5
Author: Gary Younge

As of March 8th, there have been at least 14 incidents of school shootings in the United States in 2018. This roughly sums up to 1 to 2 incidents a week, and that is only considering shootings that have taken place in school grounds and ones in which children or teens have been the victims or perpetrators. In the current climate, this piece of investigative journalism by Gary Younge is incredibly relevant, eye opening, Continue reading

The Liveship Traders Trilogy by Robin Hobb

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACategory: Epic Fantasy, Literary Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Author: Robin Hobb

Do you know that feeling of being so immersed in a story that when it ends, you’re suddenly at a loss of what to do next with your life, that’s pretty much what I felt after reading the Liveship Traders Trilogy. This is the second trilogy following the Farseer books set in the Realm of the Elderlings, however, this trilogy does not follow Fitz and the Fool, Continue reading

The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon

fullsizeoutput_4257.jpeg
Category: Graphic Novels, Standalone
Rating: 4/5
Author: Glyn Dillon

There’s danger in writing a review for a book that is so unlike anything I’ve ever read, but one that managed to secure a spot in my heart. This graphic novel centres around Nao Brown, a ‘hafu’, half Japanese half English girl in her mid twenties, treading a knife-edged balance of normalcy, whilst trying to keep her illustration career afloat, and struggling to put forth a brave front while silently suffering from uncontrollable morbid, violent, obsessive thoughts.

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Snow in May by Kseniya Melnik

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACategory: Short Stories, Realist stories
Rating: 4/5
Cultural: Russia
Author: Kseniya Melnik

This realist short story collection turned out to be such a pleasant surprise! Snow in May is a collection of stories set in and around the Siberian port town of Magadan situated closer to Alaska than to any other major Russian city. Despite a bustling hub, Magadan has a dark and tumultuous past, as it was once a gateway to the Gulag network, Stalin’s cruelest labour camps and stories resonate with a tinge of the town’s dark past.

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