Books

Review: Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding Rating 86%

Review: Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding

Lisa Harding is a celebrated actress, playwright and critically acclaimed author. Harvesting, her debut novel, was short listed for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Newcomer of the Year at The Irish Book Awards. It received the Kate O’Brien Award in 2018 and has been taken on by director Michael Lennox and producer Brian J Falconer to transform into film.

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Review: Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic Rating 77%

Review: Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic

Allegorical, metaphorical whilst also literal, Olivia Sudjic’s Asylum Road has much to unpack and take away from every read. Disturbing and unsettling, there is much about this novel that will compel you to read on. A taut, compulsive second novel rife with wit from the critically-acclaimed Olivia Sudjic, there is a definite Elena Ferrante influence on this work, but that makes it nothing less than riveting.

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Review: Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri Rating 82%

Review: Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

The new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author, Jhumpa Lahiri, Whereabouts is ghostly, unsettling but beautifully written. A haunting portrait of a woman, her decisions, her conversations, her solitariness, in a beautiful and lonely Italian city, this novel becomes more relative to the year gone by as we know it, which is perhaps what makes it all the more perturbed.

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Review: The Last Good Man by Thomas McMullan

With much acclaim Thomas McMullan has released his debut dystopian novel, The Last Good Man, which is dark and demoralising and will cause anyone to despair, most of all lead protagonist, Duncan Peck. With praise from Margaret Atwood and a head nod to Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, this title certainly stirs intrigue and raises question.

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Review: We Are Not Shadows by Various Rating 93%

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: Know Your Space by Iona Lee Rating 82%

Review: Know Your Space by Iona Lee

Iona Lee is a name that has been sitting at the core of Scotland’s spoken word and poetic scene for the last five years or so. Know Your Space, a poetic journal by Lee, published by Speculative Books is the first I have actually read of her work, despite knowing of her performance poetry.

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Review: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

In the follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead has written a novel that highlights another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. The Nickel Boys is the disturbing Pulitzer Prize Winner for 2020, based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and devastated the lives of thousands of children.

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Review: I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith Rating 78%

Review: I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith

Jordan Scott has written a stunning book that is primarily for children that are struggling to talk, with a speech impediment or stutter. Adding a layer of beauty to this unique condition, with the river metaphor, Scott and Sydney Smith have culminated a stunning title that aims to remove the barriers and pull any stigma that sits with speech impediments.

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