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  • 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…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    The Muse by Jessie Burton

    Author Jessie Burton became an international sensation when her first novel The Miniaturist became a best-seller across Europe. Back then my Twitter feed was full of praise for Burton and her debut novel. However, the story did not appeal to me at all, and after discussing this with other bloggers I decided I did not have to read a book just because everyone loved it. When Burton’s next novel The Muse came out last June I knew it was the right time to discover the author everyone loves. Thanks to Picador for the review copy. The Muse tells two different stories, both with women as main characters. In 1967 Odelle…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

    One of my goals for this summer was to read one of the best American novelists, Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937). I was torn between two of her most famous novels The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence (1920), but I was keen on making use of the school’s library during the summer semester. One last hurried visit to the library helped me make the decision, as The House of Mirth was available on the public section and ready to be brought home. The House of Mirth has been a controversial and shocking novel ever since its publication in 1905. It tells the story of Lily Bart,…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    Shame by Melanie Finn

    When I read a quote from Shame by Melanie Finn on Elizabeth Preston’s and Simon Savidge‘s Twitter feeds, I knew I had to get my hands on it. After some research I found out that the book had been published last year and that the team behind it thought it was one of the best things they had ever published. Thanks to Weidenfeld & Nicholson for the review copy. The first pages of Shame describe how the main character, Pilgrim Jones, sees a small gesture between her husband and an unknown woman in a meeting in Switzerland. It was something small, maybe a smile, maybe the way they were too…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    The Ages of Lulu (1989) by Almudena Grandes

    Even though I am Spanish, I am not the biggest fan of Spanish literature. In fact, it is very seldom that I pick up a book either written by a Spanish author or translated into Spanish. However, last March I enrolled on a course about ‘Women in Literature’ that ended up being ‘Women in Spanish Literature’. Some of the authors rang a bell while others I knew: it is one of those times when you know the names and the titles of their works, but you have never read any of the novels. It was with this frame of mind that I realised I had to read The Ages of…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

    I heard of Emma Straub’s new book Modern Lovers – to be released by Michael Joseph on the 30th of June 2016 in the UK – thanks to Book Rioter and vlogger Wallace Yovetich. If you do now know who she is, then here is the video that made me request a review copy of Modern Lovers (thanks to Penguin Random House): Also, shortly after I started reading the book I mentioned it on Twitter and fellow bloggers like Noami from The Writes of Woman said they had loved Straub’s previous novel The Vacationers – you can read her review here. That is when I was a hundred per cent…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    Not Working by Lisa Owens

    I knew I had to get my hands on Lisa Owen’s novel Not Working when I saw it described as representative of the Millennial experience at MarinaSofia’s blog. As a Millennial I could not resist the opportunity to check a funny take on what it means to be one of the most self-centered generations in literature (so, yes, this post is very much an exploration of myself as it is a review). Thank you to the lovely people at Picador who kindly sent me a hardback review copy. It is gorgeous. Not Working tells the story of Claire Flannery who, in her late twenties,  decides to quit her job at…

  • 21st Century,  General Fiction

    The Girls by Emma Cline

    Last month I found out that almost everyone on my Twitter timeline was talking about a book called The Girls by Emma Cline, and it was not only my fellow and trusted bloggers, but non-literary vloggers as well, such as Lex. I did some research online and when I found out what the book was about I knew I had to get my hands on a review copy as soon as possible before Penguin Random House ran out of them in the summer. The Girls tells the story of Evie from two moments in her life: the present, and the 1969 fateful summer in California when she first saw Suzanne.…