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  • 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

    Guest Post: Karixia Ortiz Serrano on Barataria by Juan López Bauzá

    Please give all a warm welcome to my good friend Karixia, who came to Books & Reviews to talk about the latest literary sensation on her native Puerto Rico: the novel Barataria by Juan López Bauza. I talked to her some time ago about writing this piece for the blog after the wonderful Diversify Your Shelves project. Could you name a Puerto Rican author? I couldn’t before I met her, but Karixia introduced me to this amazing postmodern novel that has captivated her native country: The author does not deny it, he reconfirms it*. His novel is based on the great literature piece  ‘Don Quixote de la Mancha’. The Puerto…

  • Crime fiction,  Nordic Noir

    Chilled to the Bone by Quentin Bates

    I encountered Chilled to the Bone by Quentin Bates at the “What’s New?” section at Book Depository. I loved the description so much that I asked the publishers for a review copy and they kindly sent me one. The book got a little bit lost on my TBR pile until last week, when I thought I really needed some Scandinavian crime fiction to get me through finals month. It did help. From Goodreads: When a shipowner is found dead, tied to a bed in one of Reykjavik’s smartest hotels, sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir of the city police force sees no evidence of foul play but still suspects things are not as…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    Nada by Carmen Laforet

    As many of you know, I am Spanish, but I am not a huge fan of Spanish literature. However, I had to take a subject on national identity and one of the professors teaches Spanish literature. That is how I discovered Nada by Carmen Laforet, a very inspiring, complex and overlooked book in 20th century Spanish literature. I fell in love with the excerpts we read in class so much, that I borrowed it from the school library and got ready to read my first Spanish novel since high school. From Book Depository: Eighteen-year old Andrea moves to Barcelona to stay with relatives she has not seen in years while…

  • 19th century,  20th century,  General Fiction,  Postcolonial

    Back from College readings!

    College has been keeping me busy for the last few months but that also means I have read lots of worthy books. Here they are: 1) The Secret River – Kate Grenville (Australian & New Zealand literature) 4/5 This story is set in London, 1807. William Thornhill, happily wedded to his childhood sweetheart Sal, is a waterman on the River Thames. Life is tough but bearable until William makes a mistake, a bad mistake for which he and his family are made to pay dearly. His sentence: to be transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. The Thornhills arrive in this harsh and alien land…