Books

Review: I Live a Life Like Yours by Jan Grue Rating 86%

Review: I Live a Life Like Yours by Jan Grue

Jan Grue has written several books prior to this memoir though it always explores the theme of embodiment. I Live a Life Like Yours might just give the context behind why this is the focus of his work. Having been diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at the age of three, this is a memoir that focuses on this diagnosis and what it means as far as everyday living goes for Jan. A tale about love as much as it is about grief, suffering and a world that is full of obstacles for those not considered “normal.”

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Review: The Scorpion’s Head by Hilde Vandermeeren Rating 66%

Review: The Scorpion’s Head by Hilde Vandermeeren

From Children’s and YA writer, Hilde Vandermeeren, comes a fast-paced vivid thriller that will sit inside your head for long after you have put it down. The Scorpion’s Head is freshly out, published by Pushkin Press and translated by Larea Watkinson. The fourth book in the acclaimed Walter Presents Library, this fascinating psychological smorgasbord of plot, character, intrigue and determination will eat you up whole.

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Review: Maybe I Don’t Belong Here by David Harewood Rating 95%

Review: Maybe I Don’t Belong Here by David Harewood

When David Harewood was twenty-three, just as his acting career was taking off after leaving RADA, he had what he now understands to be a case of psychosis, and ended up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He was physically restrained by six police officers, sedated, then hospitalised and transferred to a locked ward where he was force fed sedatives such as Diazepam.

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Review: Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy Rating 75%

Review: Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy

Girl One is the second novel from Sara Flannery Murphy after The Possessions was published in 2017. A twisty supernatural thriller about female power and the bonds of sisterhood, this novel follows Josephine Morrow as Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead.

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Review: Brickwork – A Biography of The Arches by David Bratchpiece and Kirstin Innes Rating 80%

Review: Brickwork – A Biography of The Arches by David Bratchpiece and Kirstin Innes

Brickwork: A Biography of The Arches is the first book that has focussed on The Arches from its humble beginnings as the potential for an art venue, which soon became the venue that DJs such as Carl Cox, Daft Punk and David Guetta were all keen to perform in. Having attended several arts performances, gigs and club nights in this Glasgow institution this book throws me back into those gigs, the smells, the bass, the unkempt undergroundness of it all in the early noughties. Offering an uncompromised flavour of the Glasgow art scene, whether it was the nightclub, the theatre, the creative hub, it was one of the most significant and pivotal venues in Scotland, Britain and Europe: for almost 25 years, The Arches was the beating heart of Glasgow.

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Review: All The Names Given by Raymond Antrobus Rating 73%

Review: All The Names Given by Raymond Antrobus

Ground-breaking, visceral and transformative, Raymond Antrobus’ new collection meets any high expectation after his acclaimed much-lauded debut collection. His exploratory investigation into language, miscommunication, place, and memory is noted in All The Names Given, while simultaneously getting us to the think about accessibility and inclusivity.

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Review: The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal Rating 92%

Review: The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal

Pedro Mairal, born in Buenos Aires, dropped out of school at 18 and followed his passion for reading and writing. He would spend all day in the cafeteria absorbing the works of Borges, Salinger, Neruda and others. He viewed it as a way to learn the tricks and secrets of writing. He compares the skill of telling a story without giving every detail to a Picasso painting.

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Review: Here Is The Beehive by Sarah Crossan Rating 85%

Review: Here Is The Beehive by Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan, an Irish author, has written eleven novels between 2012 and 2020, and is noted for her commitment to young adult writing. Her YA novel, One, published in 2015, received four awards and the German edition of her novel Moonrise received an award in 2020. Here Is The Beehive is Sarah Crossans’ first adult novel, published in 2020 by Bloomsbury and shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Award.

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Review: Nina Simone’s Gum by Warren Ellis Rating 77%

Review: Nina Simone’s Gum by Warren Ellis

Faber have recently published a rare text by Warren Ellis, a book that considers the spiritualism that can exist within belongings that represent a moment, a pivotal point in someone’s career or even just a rare situation or privileged positions. Nina Simone’s Gum is a book precisely all about the preservation of a gum, which is actually a preservation of a moment and the legacy of this iconic and talented musician.

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Review: Misfits – A Personal Manifesto by Michaela Coel Rating 88%

Review: Misfits – A Personal Manifesto by Michaela Coel

From the refreshing and intimate mind of the creator and star of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum comes a passionate lecture about not fitting in, that will allow you to see moths in a whole new light. Misfits: A Personal Manifesto is a published version of the MacTaggart Lecture as part of Edinburgh’s TV Festival that Michaela Cole had to deliver in 2018, and as such holds many nuances but mostly opens up the room for honest, open and engaging provocations.

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Review: Be guid tae yer Mammy by Emma Grae Rating 65%

Review: Be guid tae yer Mammy by Emma Grae

From journalist and fiction writer, Emma Grae, comes this moral tale of legacy, family values, relationships and secrets that are intrinsic to many families. Be guid ta yer Mammy, published by Unbound, is a relative, life-affirming tale set in Glasgow, written in Scots, that opens the door for you to think about family dynamics, illness and the significance of living life.

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Vivien Churney: It chronicles the lives of two women who faced lives of conflict and suffering from WW2 onwards

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor has shared her mother’s story in a novel, Bound by the Scars We Share, which has been published by Troubador. Vivien Churney, from Liverpool, has written this novel tracing the lives of two young women surviving World War II, which is based on true events experienced by her mother, Sabine Spector. 

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