The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak Book Cover Image Sticky post

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: Rich & Understated Literary Fiction

Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: Literary fiction

Summary: Raised by her mother and three aunts in a bustling Istanbul home, Asya is tired of negotiating their multiplying expectations and dreams of fleeing to lead her own, unfettered life.

Across the continents, in America, Armanoush is also struggling to deal with the demands of her large and dissonant family. When the two young women cross paths, they will force their families towards a reckoning with the past that has been almost a century in waiting. Continue reading The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: Rich & Understated Literary Fiction

Stress Free Book Blogging Tips Cover Image

Stress-Free Book Blogging: 7 Personal Tips

I think we can all agree that before starting book blogging, we had no idea how time-consuming it would turn out to be! As well as actually reading books and writing posts, there are social media platforms to manage, photos to take, websites to design and emails demanding responses. It’s no wonder that many bloggers (myself among them!) have found themselves getting overwhelmed.

Over four years of book blogging, I’ve developed a number of strategies focussed on keeping me sane above making my blog uber-successful! I thought I would collect these tips together into an ultimate guide to stress-free book blogging… Continue reading Stress-Free Book Blogging: 7 Personal Tips

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson Book Cover Image

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson: Quirky Lesbian Coming-of-Age Tale

Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Literary, Semi-autobiographical

Summary: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a semi-autobiographical bildungsroman novel that draws upon the author’s own childhood and life experiences. In a small Northern town in the 1950s and 60s, Jeanette is being raised by her formidable mother as a good Christian girl who dreams of becoming a missionary.
However, after falling in love with one of her female converts, Jeanette embarks on a series of lesbian love affairs that will force her to confront the darker sides of her community. Determined not to choose between her love of women and her calling as a preacher, she must fight to retain her identity, sexuality, and faith intact. Continue reading Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson: Quirky Lesbian Coming-of-Age Tale

The Confession by Jessie Burton Book Cover Image

The Confession by Jessie Burton: Emotive Literary Drama

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Literary fiction

Summary: In 1980, Elise follows her lover Connie from London to LA, where Connie’s novel is being adapted into a major film. Their stormy love affair will leave its mark on the city.
Three decades later, Rose is on the trail of the mother who left when she was a baby. The only clue she has is a book by elusive novelist Constance Holden, who may hold the key to why her mother left everything behind. Continue reading The Confession by Jessie Burton: Emotive Literary Drama

10 Things I Learned from Studying a Literature Degree

10 Things I Learned from Studying Literature

Hi everyone – I’m back!!! I took a hiatus for the past few months as things got pretty intense while I was finishing my English Literature degree. I’ve now submitted my last assignments and I’m really looking forward to getting back into book blogging, and catching up on all of your lovely posts!

For the first post of my return, I wanted to share the 10 most important things I learnt from studying literature… Continue reading 10 Things I Learned from Studying Literature

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams Book Cover Image

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: Character-Driven, Witty and Vulnerable

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Literary fiction

Summary:

Following a sort-of breakup with her boyfriend, Queenie enters full rebound mode. But as she trawls dating apps, she soon realises that hooking up is hard enough without the added problem of racial fetishisation. To make things even worse her old-fashioned relatives view therapy as shameful and her boss at the magazine isn’t letting her write about anything she genuinely cares about.

As she bounces haplessly from one poor decision to another, Queenie realises that there’s nothing like hitting rock bottom to give you a whole new set of priorities. Continue reading Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: Character-Driven, Witty and Vulnerable

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The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer: Achingly Poignant Mental Illness Portrayal

Rating: 4.5 stars

Category: Literary fiction

Synopsis: The Shock of the Fall begins with nine-year-old Matthew experiencing a tragedy which he cannot tell us about. It’s just too painful. For the rest of the story, we follow him through the years of childhood, adolescence and into his first grimy flat and minimum-wage job.

All the while, Matthew’s grasp of reality fragments as he struggles to come to terms with what happened that fateful night on the coast. Continue reading The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer: Achingly Poignant Mental Illness Portrayal

The Last Man by Mary Shelley Book Cover Image

The Last Man by Mary Shelley: Bleakly Imaginative Dystopian

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

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes Book Cover Image

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes: Rich and Ambitious Retelling

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