Month: March 2017

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

I had no intention of getting on with this book. If it hadn’t been longlisted for the Baileys Prize then I would almost definitely carried on thinking ‘not for me’, just as I did with McBride’s feted debut novel, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (which I still have not read).  Written in a poetic, stream of consciousness style, this is a novel that … Read More The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

After having my mind blown by The Power I needed something a little lighter to read and so I turned to this next in my Baileys Prize TBR pile. The Woman Next Door is the story of two women in their eighties. As the title suggests, Hortensia and Marion live next door to each other in an affluent Cape Town suburb. Hortensia is black, originally from … Read More The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

The Power by Naomi Alderman

I often read quotes on book jackets and find them either so generic as to be useless, or the book doesn’t live up to the billing. In this case, Margaret Atwood’s quote is entirely apt. It happens slowly at first, but across the world teenage girls are discovering that they have a new ability. Their bodies can generate electricity which can be discharged through … Read More The Power by Naomi Alderman

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

George Saunders has won myriad awards for his short stories, and so perhaps it is no wonder that this, his first novel, was so highly anticipated. Set in 1862, the American Civil War is ongoing, Abraham Lincoln is president, and his eleven-year-old son, Willie is ill. The boy dies and is laid to rest. This is all fact, as is the documented knowledge that … Read More Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Over the years I’ve had this book recommended to me countless times. It’s a short novel, only 146 pages, but Jackson creates an atmospheric and unsettling world. The story is told by Mary Katherine Blackwood, nicknamed Merricat. She is eighteen years old and lives with her older sister, Constance, and her Uncle Julian in a big house on the outskirts of a village. Everyone else … Read More We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Last night I heard Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speak at the Royal Festival Hall, London (part of the Women of the World festival). Interviewed by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, she spoke brilliantly on this, her new book, and gave her thoughts on why feminism is important and what it means to her. Written as a letter to a friend who has asked for advice in bringing … Read More Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge

It took me a week to read this book. Brilliantly written, the stories Younge tells are so heartbreaking that I could only bear to read a chapter or two at a time. The premise is simple. Younge picked one day (Saturday 23 November 2013) and has reported on all the cases of young people shot dead in the US  he could find. This book focused … Read More Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge