Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders | Book Review

Lincoln in the Bardo was the 2017 Man Booker Prize winner, and it’s been on my to-read list since then. It tells the story of Abraham Lincoln during the loss of his son, which came at a time when the American Civil War was in full swing. Little Willie Lincoln is just 11 years old when he dies, and he finds himself trapped in a ghostly realm between life and rebirth, along with a bunch of bickering, whinging, whining ghosts. The novel is told through a series of excerpts from newspaper reports, books, journals and diaries, as well as the first-person narration of various ghosts who witness Lincoln entering his son’s crypt and cradling his body. Continue reading “Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders | Book Review”

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review

Alice’s reclusive grandmother is the renowned writer of Tales from the Hinterland, a book of dark fairy tales, but Alice has never really known her. Instead, she has spent most of her life on the road with her mother, running from bad luck which always seems to find them whenever they try to settle down. When her mother is snatched by unsavoury characters from the Hinterland, Alice must delve into the fantastical world of her grandmother’s stories in an attempt to break the curse of bad luck for good. Continue reading “The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review”

An Incarceration | Short Story

The cretins have locked me in again. I can only assume it is down to the cold, white fluff which is falling from the sky. It may be chilly, but it’s awfully pretty to look at and rather fun to frolic in. I suppose it will have to suffice that I watch it through the window, since I have been unjustifiably incarcerated.

The worst thing about the locked door? Having to shit in sawdust, like a damn rodent. I don’t think the humans quite understand the importance of feeling grass beneath my paws when I relieve myself. Imagine if I took their strange, porcelain throne away from them; they’d feel degraded. Perhaps one day, if I ever manage to sprout opposable thumbs, I’ll do exactly that and present them with a plastic box instead. I think they’d soon realise that it pays to let a cat keep to his normal toileting habits. Continue reading “An Incarceration | Short Story”

Sourdough by Robin Sloan | Book Review

Sourdough tells the story of Lois Clary, an overworked robotics software engineer whose sanity is saved by sourdough and spicy soup provided by a local sandwich shop. When the owners of the sandwich shop decide to leave the country, they offer Lois the starter of their delicious bread so that she can make her own. She soon embarks on a bizarre new career path, blending robotics with baking in a strange new food market, while attempting to understand why the microorganisms in her sourdough starter seem to have a mind of their own. Continue reading “Sourdough by Robin Sloan | Book Review”

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | Book Review

During the middle of an unprecedented snowstorm in 1964, Dr David Henry delivers his wife’s baby with the help of a nurse in his empty clinic. It turns out to be twins. The first baby is a perfect little boy. The second is a girl with Down’s Syndrome. Believing that he is doing the right thing for all involved, David hands the child off to the nurse and asks her to take it to an institution out of town. He tells his wife, Norah, that the baby girl died. The nurse, Caroline, can’t bear to leave the little girl in the cold, clinical institution for the rest of her life. Instead, she goes on the run, starts a new life and raises the child as her own. Continue reading “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | Book Review”

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy | Book Review

Aila’s mother has died and her father has been drafted to fight in the war. She and her brother have been shipped off to Sterling, a small town where their mother grew up, to be cared for by a family friend. But Sterling has some secrets.

Every seven years, something goes missing. The town has lost its sense of smell, its ability to see the stars, its reflections and its ability to dream. Aila’s mother was always suspected as a potential cause of the Disappearances, which makes Aila guilty by association. Can she get to the bottom of the bizarre curse and clear her mother’s name? Continue reading “The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy | Book Review”

I Published a Book!

I published a merry bloody book!

And now that we’ve got Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way, I’m finally able to flog it. It’s Christmas-themed, y’see. Yes, sensible old me thought it would be a cracking idea to make my first foray into the self-publishing world with a seasonal book that folks will only ever want to buy for around 6 weeks of the year. I mean… you live and learn, right?

Merry Bloody Christmas is a multi-genre short story collection which I originally wrote and posted on this blog last year. I was reasonably chuffed with the stories then, but I knew they weren’t as polished as they could be. Not only that, but they soon got buried as I continued to post new stories and book reviews. So, I pulled them from the site, dusted them off, whipped them into shape, and published them. Continue reading “I Published a Book!”

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin | Book Review

The Immortalists tells the stories of four siblings who, as children, visit a fortune teller who predicts the dates of their deaths. We follow them through their lives as they find themselves both consciously and subconsciously affected by the prophecies. Continue reading “The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin | Book Review”

Anxiety Girl by Lacey London | Book Review

Sadie Valentine is a beautiful young woman who, upon first look, seems to have it all. She has gorgeous flat in the most sought-after part of Cheshire, a wonderful best friend, and a successful career as an artist. But when things in her life start going wrong, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks begin to take hold and cause her to lose control. Continue reading “Anxiety Girl by Lacey London | Book Review”

Slade House by David Mitchell

There’s a little alleyway round the corner from a rough pub in the middle of London where, every 9 years, a beautiful country home called Slade House turns up. It just so happens that every 9 years, somebody goes missing after last being seen near the very same alleyway, and some sinister immortal twins are to blame. Continue reading “Slade House by David Mitchell”