Rating: 4.5 stars
Category: Literary fiction, retellings
Synopsis: “Sing, Muse, he said, and I have sung … I have sung of the women, the women in the shadows. I have sung of the forgotten, the ignored, the untold.”
The names of the Trojan war heroes echo down the centuries – Achilles, Odysseus, Agamemnon – while the women drawn into its devastation remain a footnote in all these songs and stories.
In A Thousand Ships, Natalie Haynes attempts to imagine, not one, but many voices for these women. From the most powerful goddess to the lowliest priest girl that serves her, each is irrevocably changed by the men’s war, each has a story. And that story deserves to be told. Continue reading A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes: Rich and Ambitious Retelling
Rating: 2.5 stars
Category: Classics, Dystopian
Synopsis: In an England of the future, Lionel Verney is a poor shepherd boy when he is befriended by Adrian, Earl of Windsor and Raymond, a favoured candidate for the Lord Protectorship – the pinnacle of political achievement.
Lionel is soon moving in the same circles as the most powerful, wealthy and intellectual men in the world. Yet this Romantic paradise of virtue and conversation is under threat when a plague begins to decimate the world’s population, and Lionel is helpless to protect all that he has come to treasure of life’s riches. Continue reading The Last Man by Mary Shelley: Bleakly Imaginative Dystopian
I recently finished listening to the audiobook of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. A traditional, analytical review felt as though it would somehow detract from the invaluable messages that are at the core of DiAngelo’s work. With that in mind, I am instead going to list the 5 most important lessons that I took away from reading White Fragility. Continue reading Most Important Lessons from White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Required reading can push us out of our comfort zone, open our eyes to new authors and genres, and create first encounters with favourites that will stick with us long after we finish the course. With that in mind, here are my recommendations of required reading books that I actually enjoyed! Continue reading 10 Required Reading Books I Actually Enjoyed!
External link to Bristol Girl Book Group Reads: Me & White Supremacy (Magazine Article)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Category: Crime fiction
Synopsis: Victor Van Allen is proud of the ordered life he has created for himself. He runs a sought-after printing press, holds a respected position in the town, and is the father of a precocious little girl.
The only taint to this perfect facade is his wife, Melinda. Their relationship is tenuously held together by Vic sleeping in a separate room and pretending to ignore her involvements with other men. Yet a new arrival in the sleepy town of Little Wesley means Vic may not be able to look the other way for much longer… Continue reading Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith: Crime Fiction With Character
Racism isn’t just about overtly bigoted white nationalist groups – it’s everyone’s problem. I’ve written an article about my book group’s experience of reading Me & White Supremacy. This non-fiction book by Layla F. Saad acts as a powerful call for white people to interrogate our relationship with racism and uncover the depths of our silent complicity. Continue reading Bristol Girl Book Group Reads: Me & White Supremacy (Magazine Article)
Rating: 2.5 stars
Synopsis: Most of us have heard of the bystander effect. It can be a major limitation to moral action in a variety of situations, from life-threatening emergencies to sexist comments in the workplace. But what actually is the bystander effect? How does it occur? And why is challenging it so important for communities and social justice?
In her book The Bystander Effect, Catherine Sanderson uses decades of research to answer these questions, outlining the psychological basis of the bystander effect in a way that empowers us to step up, challenge harmful behaviour, and become active ‘moral rebels’ rather than passive bystanders. Continue reading The Bystander Effect by Catherine Sanderson: Data-Driven Moral Bravery
I was over the moon to be nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award in May by NottsReader! I think it is a wonderful idea to find out more about the bloggers whose posts we read every day. My answers are below… Continue reading The Mystery Blogger Award (III)
External link to 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Your Local Library (from a library assistant!) Magazine Article
Rating: 3 stars
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: Hester Prynne’s husband is missing, presumed dead. Most believe he drowned on the voyage from Amsterdam to join her in New England. Yet getting pregnant out of wedlock is still enough to earn Hester a lifelong punishment – wearing the scarlet letter ‘A’ embroidered on her clothing so her shame can never be forgotten.
Cast to the margins of her Puritan village community, Hester lives in solitude and tries to raise her daughter Pearl away from prying eyes. When a newcomer to the village brings old secrets, she is forced to choose between a life of piety and redemption, or following her perilously taboo passions. Continue reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Psychologically Driven Classic
“And besides, libraries aren’t just about books. They are one of the few public spaces we have left which don’t like our wallets more than us.”
― Matt Haig, Notes on a Nervous Planet
Libraries are a much-loved haven for so many of us book bloggers, but they are about so much more than books as well. They offer key services and provide a vibrant space that everyone in the community is welcome to enjoy.
The best way you can support your local library is to use it! With that in mind, this articles gives you just a few ideas for how to make the most of the services on offer. Continue reading 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Your Local Library (from a library assistant!) Magazine Article