Review: Brood by Jackie Polzin

Recently I have been lucky to receive books for review that discuss female issues. For a long time, such issues were not openly discussed in the books that I was reading, and it was not that long ago that I first encountered stories that talk about miscarriage and the uglier and traumatic side of womanhood. This has been my individual reading experience; I am sure that a lot of you have read more widely and diversely. However, this is something new for me, and I am cherishing every story that shows me that I, as a woman, am not alone and that my past, present and future experiences are shared throughout the world by other women and their stories. Brood by Jackie Polzin is one such story.

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Review: We Are Not Shadows by Various

It is often that books, readers, authors remind us to keep an open mind when it comes to literature and the importance of constantly expanding our reading horizon. I am not an exception to this, and I consciously try to read outside of my comfort zone. I do not read anthologies often – I can’t remember the last time I read one – but this is about to change all thanks to We Are Not Shadows. It was a revelatory read that once again proved that we should go and read all kinds of genres, all kinds of books. We Are Not Shadows is the first project of brand-new publisher Folkway Press. It features 34 female authors, and it was a great reminder to me, and hopefully to many other readers, that anthologies are a real joy to read and explore.

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Review: All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle

If there is one thing that the last year has taught us is that we, humans, need other humans. Whether it is chatting, embracing, laughing or crying, we all need people in our lives. “Loneliness kills more people than cancer.” says Ashleigh, one of the main characters in Gayle’s latest novel, and even though that is not truly proven, Ashleigh’s statement really shines a light on all these people who we may not notice, all the people who hide their pain and isolation. All the Lonely People gives us a timely meditation on life, love, race, and humanity. It is a wholesome and compassionate book, and it all starts with one character.

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Review: Only Human by Diane Chandler

Family relationships are tricky. We all know it. Even within the happiest and most seemingly perfect families, there are underlying tensions, stories from the past, remarks that still make us wince for years. However, Diane Chandler takes the structure and complexity of a family to a new level in Only Human. As the title suggests, in the end of the day we are only human, and mistakes happen.

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Review: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

It is one of life’s irony that the better the book you read is, the harder it is to put into a review exactly how much you enjoyed it. I usually take Booker Prize nominees with a pinch of salt, but Shuggie Bain is a worthy shortlisted nominee. The book is stunning and what is more it is Stuart’s debut, and I am amazed at his talent and craftsmanship.

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