Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric

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Read 08/03/2019-10/03/2019

Rating 3 stars

Claudia Rankine’s reflections on American society and the advent of loneliness is a strange and wonderful thing. I have no recollection of why I reserved it at the library other than that I read an article that I can’t now find in which the writer of the article referred to Don’t Let Me Be Lonely in a way that made me want to read it. Continue reading

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The Break

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Read 01/03/2019-07/03/2019

Rating 5 stars

The Break is set in the North End area of Winnipeg, Manitoba, an area with a large First Nations and Métis population. It tells the story of a family of Métis women and the abuse they experience and witness at the hands of First Nations, Métis and white men. It’s an incredible debut novel and worthy of the list of accolades at the front of the book. Continue reading

Convenience Store Woman

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Read 28/02/2019

Rating 4 stars

I went to a Japan Foundation event at my local Waterstone’s bookshop last week to hear Sayaka Murata interviewed about her novella Convenience Store Woman. Another author, Yuya Sato, was also interviewed about his novel Dendera.

Both are prize-winning authors in Japan with many titles to their names. As ever, though, few have been translated into English.

I found the event strange but enjoyable. The interviewer seemed more comfortable talking about Sato’s novel and his approach to writing and asking Sato more probing questions than he did engaging with Murata. There was an awkwardness about his interactions with her. Fortunately, the audience seemed more interested in her writing and ideas, so the Q&A made up for the interviewer’s deficiency.

There was also an inbuilt awkwardness about the interview being conducted through a translator, with all its attendant pauses and whispers. The translator did an incredible job, making me realise that my own Japanese skills are far from adequate, never mind good.

I came away wanting to read both books, but more intrigued by the premise of Murata’s.

As luck would have it, when I started to tell my husband about the event when I got home, he revealed that he owns a copy of Convenience Store Woman and it hopped straight to the top of my list of what to read next. Continue reading

Omens

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Read 19/02/2019-27/02/2019

Rating 3 stars

I like to read widely, and Omens was a definite change in pace and style from what I’ve been reading recently. It’s a book that found me through LibraryThing’s take on Secret Santa. The first year I did SantaThing, my Santa bought me two books by Kelley Armstrong. I read one of them, City of the Lost, quite promptly and enjoyed it. For some reason, I left the other waiting. I think I knew what it would be like, just from the cover.

HER PARENTS ARE KILLERS NOW SHE’S THE TARGET Continue reading

Above Sugar Hill

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Read 17/02/2019-19/02/2019

Rating 4 stars

Above Sugar Hill is a collection of short stories by Linda Mannheim, set in the Washington Heights area of Upper Manhattan. I picked it up from the Influx Press stall at the Manchester Indie Book Fair at the start of the month because I have a good friend who used to live near Sugar Hill, in Hamilton Heights, and I visited her twice when she lived on St Nicholas Ave. Continue reading

Towards Mellbreak

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Read 13/02/2019-16/02/2019

Rating 4 stars

Towards Mellbreak is Marie-Elsa Bragg’s first novel. It’s set in a part of the Lake District that we love to visit, by Crummock Water and Buttermere.

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Crummock Water November 2017
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Buttermere March 2018

Continue reading