Hen who dreamed

Two novellas for WIT month

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang Translated by Chi-Young Kim, Illustrations by Nomoco This Korean novella has been a huge bestseller and it’s easy to see why. For a start, the cover is divine, the book is physically lovely with French flaps, and Nomoco’s illustrations preface each chapter. All that before you get Read More

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“The extraordinary happens every day”

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness Having wept like a baby during reading Ness’s last crossover novel, A Monster Calls (my review here) – a story about a young boy coming to terms with love, death and grief, and incorporating magical elements and fables, The Crane Wife – his first full adult novel seems a natural progression. The Crane Read More

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Ancient Animal Antics

Kalila and Dimna: Fables of Friendship and Betrayal by Ramsay Wood The animal tales re-told in this volume originated in antiquity. Written in Sanskrit and known as the Panchatantra, they came out of India over 2000 years ago and were later absorbed into Persian and Arabic traditions. Told in five parts, this volume contains the first Read More

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It’s good to share …

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders This is a charming tale for children of all ages – a wonderfully quirky novella, that has been matched by equally bizarre illustrations and produced as a singleton in a neat slim volume. Three families live in a hamlet called Frip. They all keep goats and Read More

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This tale’s pinned on a donkey …

Caroline: A Mystery by Cornelius Medvei This short novel is a weird and wonderful thing, slightly surreal in parts, but utterly captivating. It is the story of Mr Shaw, who takes his family on their annual vacation where he tries to unwind from his day job in insurance, but is fretting internally (as is his Read More

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“A story of literature and obsession”

The Paper House by Carlos Maria Dominguez, Translated by Nick Caistor This beautifully illustrated novella by Dominguez, an Argentinian author, is about people who are obsessed by books, and whose houses become libraries, (much like Gaskell Towers then, but I jest). It starts with a death… One day in the spring of 1998, Bluma Lennon bought Read More

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Desert Island Books #2

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable Some may consider choosing an encyclopaedic dictionary a bit of a cheat, but I maintain that if you were on a desert island with no internet – there is no better book than Brewer’s for frequent dipping into for little nuggets of information. It is simply the original and Read More