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  • 21st Century,  General Fiction,  Postcolonial

    Lullaby (The Perfect Nanny) by Leïla Slimani – Translation by Sam Taylor

    A few weeks ago both my Twitter and Instagram feeds went crazy with a new crime fiction book. With a seemingly naïve cover portraying a blue dress with a peter pan collar and the line “The baby is dead. It only took a few seconds”, Leïla Slimani’s Lullaby – entitled The Perfect Nanny in the US – became the book everyone was reading. Marketed as the next Gone Girl (will it ever end?) and with a delightful translation by Sam Taylor, the novel published by Faber & Faber promised to be one of the books of 2018. Lullaby – Chanson Douce in the French original – tells the story of…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    When America Thought It was Great: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

    Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng had been on my radar for some time before I decided to make it my Christmas book. My favourite Bookrioter Wallace Yovetich had been posting pictures of on her Instagram account, and other readers had also been praising the book for its portrayal of American suburbia. Ng’s second book comes after the international success of Everything I Never Told You (2014), a novel about loss, trauma and family. I must admit I never got to read Ng’s debut novel, partly because I was not in a mood to read about family trauma when it was first released, and secondly because I never had the…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

    I first heard about Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler on Twitter, though I am not sure who mentioned it or why. So I did some research and while I do love my crime fiction, I thought it was time for a change. General fiction written by women is another passion of mine, especially debut novels by young authors. Sweetbitter offered me the promise of a coming of age story in contemporary New York City and food. What else could I ask for? So, I asked the publisher for a review copy and I got sent one with the European cover, which is to die for: Readers will get to know the…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction,  Medical Humanities

    Evening Primorse by Kopano Matlwa

    Evening Primrose by Kopano Matlwa was the first book that I got sent upon my arrival to England earlier this year. I first heard about it on Twitter, described as the perfect book to mix #readwomen and #readdiverse. So that was it for me. African literature was one of my favourite subjects during my degree, and for some time I even considered pursuing a PhD in the field (that is long before I realised that crime fiction studies were a thing!). So I was really excited to read Evening Primrose, especially after I read the blurb on the back cover: Maybe this was all my own doing. I should have…

  • When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy
    21st Century,  General Fiction,  Postcolonial

    When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

    When I arrived to England more than 4 months ago I only had two books with me, both of them in Spanish, and both of them intended to keep me company while travelling. But once I settled down I realised that my recent move was the perfect opportunity to request books to publishers that could not afford to send me their books all the way to Spain. So, seeing that everyone was showing off their new review copies of Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women, I wrote to Atlantic Books for a review copy. I soon got a reply from Sophie Walker kindly informing me that they were not publishing that book…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    How to be Both by Ali Smith

    How to be Both by Ali Smith became an instant success after its publication 2014. Back then all I could see on my Twitter feeds was praise for an author that I had never Heard about. So, after seeing that her latest book Autumn has also been welcomed with equal enthusiast for people I trust, I decided to finally read How to be Both. I borrowed this book from the Bristol Central Library. “Cause nobody’s the slightest idea who we are, or who we were”. How to be Both is a novel about fluidity and ambiguity. As the title suggests, a constant theme in both parts of the book is…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

    The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud had been on my radar for a long time. So much so that when I decided to do some second-hand bookshop in Cardiff last year I knew I would buy a copy of the book if I found it. For those of you who kept recommending the book to me: Thank You. The Woman Upstairs tells the story of Nora Eldridge, a middle-aged teacher who sees her conventional American class and life disrupted with the arrival of a new pupil from France. Nora describes herself in the first lines of the book as ‘a good girl’, and that is probably the description that best…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    I Love Dick (1997) by Chris Kraus

    I love Dick (1997) by Chris Krauss made an appearance on my Twitter feed thanks to Elizabeth Morris’ account last Autumn when she gushed about the book and the upcoming TV adaptation. She highlighted how the book dwells on women, sex, agency, and art: Have just finished rereading I LOVE DICK ahead of tonight! It's just amazing on women & art, & most importantly 'who gets to speak & why'. — Elizabeth Morris (@elizabethmoya) November 3, 2016 I was sold from that same minute. Not only because the book promised to be a landmark in my feminist reading, but because I had been reading about rape culture and forensics for…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

    The Portable Veblen came highly recommended on Twitter by Anna James and Elizabeth (then Preston) Morris and compared to the quirky Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, which I did not really enjoy when I first read it, but have come to appreciate as time goes by. So, when I learnt I would be spending a week in the UK, I made a list of books that I needed to purchase and The Portable Veblen was at the top. Luckily for me I found it for £2 with some minor damage to the cover. Veblen is a young woman about to marry Paul, the first man that she has ever…