And the Wind Sees All by Guðmundur Andri Thorsson, #NordicFINDS23

Translated by Andrew Cauthery and Björg Árnadóttir I come in off the sea and slide along the spit, and soon I will have vanished with the mist. I am the afternoon breeze; I visit at around half past four and an hour later slip away to my dwelling, made of the past: of the grass that stirred a Read More

Dirt by Sarah Sultoon – blog tour

I must confess, I know very little about the kibbutz movement at all. My knowledge is coloured by the media portrayal in the 1960s and 1970s of Utopian communes of hippy farmers which belies the hard work that farming actually is. Wikipedia tells me that the kibbutz volunteering phenomenon took off in the mid-1960s, peaking Read More

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup #NordicFINDS23

Translated by Caroline Waight I’ve had this book recommended to me by so many Scandi-crime afficionados, that it seemed a good choice to pick for a #NordicFINDS23 readalong… Hmm, maybe not such a good decision: for not only is it nasty, it is so twisty that it was nearly impossible to tweet as I went Read More

Trouble by Katja Ivar – blogtour #NordicFINDS23

I’m today’s stop on the Random Tours blogtour for Trouble, the third novel by Katja Ivar featuring Finnish detective Hella Mauzer. Set during the early 1950s, in the first novel, Evil Things, Hella was a sergeant in the Helsinki police; in the second, Deep as Death, she’s left the police to become a private investigator Read More

The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson #NordicFINDS23

Translated by Thomas Teal When I read The Summer Book for last year’s Nordic FINDS, I was overwhelmed by the unsentimental but understated beauty of Tove Jansson’s prose, so I had to read another book by her this year. I chose her 1982 novel The True Deceiver which she wrote when she was 68, again Read More

Our Man in Kuwait by Louise Burfitt-Dons – Blogtour

The town of Ahmadi in Kuwait was only established in 1946 after the discovery of oil there, and the town built up around the operations of the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) – it remains the KOC’s headquarters today. Many British and American ex-pats settled there and worked for the oil company, and entertainment centred around Read More

The Birds by Tarjei Vesaas #NordicFINDS23

Translated by Torbjørn Støverud and Michael Barnes I discovered the beautifully observed novella The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas (reviewed here) during last year’s Nordic FINDS, it was as much a hit with me as everyone else who had been reading it since Penguin brought out their new Modern Classics edition. Penguin followed up with another Read More

This Should be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle #NordicFINDS23

Translated by Martin Aitken Susan recommended this novella to me last year (her review here), so I acquired a copy – thinking ahead for this year! What an odd book this is. Our narrator, Dorte, chronicles her everyday life for us and remembers previous relationships – that’s it. It is simple, yet hypnotically compelling. The Read More

Review of the Year #3: 2022, Books of the Year!

I still award a score to all the books I read – recorded on my Reading List page. I score out of 10, including half points (so out of 20 really!). Those scores are only snapshots of course, and some books fade from your memory as others, which maybe scored lower initially, stay or grow. Read More

Review of the Year #2 – 2022 – Time for Book Stats!

I always say this, but this post really is my favourite of the year! The master spreadsheet is still going strong. I love playing with all the data, mining it for nuggets of information that will tell me if my reading habits have changed. In truth, they bobble along generally, but there are some general Read More

My Life in Books – the 2022 version

I spotted that Lizzy has started this off on its rounds again, so here goes. I’ve done different versions of this in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2011 and 2009. The questions vary sometimes, but I’m staying with last year’s set (with an amended Covid one!) for now. Using only books you have read this year (2022), answer these prompts. Try Read More

#TDiRS22 – The Dark is Rising Sequence Book 5: Silver on the Tree

And so we come to the final book in Susan Cooper’s fantasy adventure series for older children (and adults!), Silver on the Tree, published in 1977. Thank you to all those who have read along with me over the past five months, your company has been much appreciated. You can also catch up with the Read More

The Reviews that Got Away… Goldsworthy, Grudova & Pavone

My aim on this blog has always been to write at least a little about every book I read whether I loved them or DNF them. But, just occasionally, I read and love a book, but can’t find the hook to base my review on right away and the books then sit there waiting for Read More

Animal Life by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir – blog tour

Translated by Brian Fitzgibbon One of the highlights of my Nordic reading back at the beginning of the year was discovering new to me authors, of whom Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir was one. Her first novel to be translated into English, Butterflies in November was quirky and delightful; an episodic road trip with added recipes. She’s Read More

Review Catch-up

In an effort to plan for Christmas and beyond (who am I kidding?), I’m aiming to clear the decks of my review pile, so this is the first of a couple of catch-ups. Shiny Linkiness My three latest reviews for Shiny … Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries – edited by Alan Taylor. Rickman’s diaries, Read More

Dashboard Elvis is Dead by David F Ross – blogtour

Anyone who knows me, knows I love a book with rock’n’roll at its heart. Dashboard Elvis is Dead is such a novel, but it is also a lot more too. This novel may have started out as the story of a Texan runaway who met a Scottish band on tour in the USA, but the Read More

A final #NovNov22 review for Contemporary Novellas week

The Night Interns by Austin Duffy The final week’s theme for Novellas in November hosted by Cathy and Rebecca is contemporary novellas. I actually read this back in late September, but was planning to pair it with Adam Kay’s Undoctored for Non-Fiction November. That didn’t happen, so I’ve had a quick refresh to remind myself what happened in this Read More

#TDiRS22 – The Dark is Rising Sequence Book 4: The Grey King

A bit later than originally planned, but I hope you’re still with me as we come to the fourth of the five books in Susan Cooper’s wonderful children’s adventure fantasy series, The Grey King, published in 1975. Catch up with the previous posts here: Introduction Over Sea, Under Stone The Dark is Rising Greenwitch This Read More

Two more classics for #NovNov Dürrenmatt & McCoy

I know the final week’s theme for Novellas in November hosted by Cathy and Rebecca is contemporary novellas, but today I have two more classic novellas for you instead. Contemporary ones to come soon! The Judge & His Hangman by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1950) Translated by Joel Agee (2006) I was keen to tie in #NovNov with German Read More

The Vicious Circle by Katherine St. John

It’s my turn on the blog tour today for this super psychological thriller, set mostly at a retreat in the steamy tropics of Mexico’s rainforest. Sveta loves Chase, Chase loves Sveta, Chase still loves his mum, and his mother is the one thing standing between them regarding their wedding. It must be on her old Read More

Nonfiction November Week 3: Stranger Than Fiction

This week is hosted by Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks. My immediate thought on reading the prompts for this week was to take me to one of my favourite TV series ever – Mad Men! If ever there was a profession where life imitates art it is the world of advertising in 1960s New York, Read More

Two short NF titles for #NovNov22

The third week of Novellas in November hosted by Cathy and Rebecca focuses on short non-fiction, so here are two short reviews for you, both in translation carrying on week 2’s theme also… Stalking the Atomic City by Markiyan Kamysh Translated from the Ukrainian by Hanna Lelive & Reilly Costigan-Humes Ever since I read the chapter on disaster Read More

Urgent Matters by Paula Rodriguez – Blog tour

Translated by Sarah Moses I’ve been reading a bit more Latin American literature in translation this year. All in translation from Spanish, but from a range of countries: Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina, to be precise. Most of these novels have also been noirish or had a psychological thriller feel, but all have been unashamedly Read More

A Very Thought-Provoking Novella in Translation for #NovNov22

I had hoped to write more posts, but a very busy week with school trips, reports to proofread, and our big fireworks event on Friday meant I was too tired to write, or read much this week. The fireworks were great! But, luckily, I got some serious novella reading in the previous week, so here’s Read More

NORDIC FINDS is back for Jan 2023

After the success of my first Nordic FINDS Reading Project this January (wrap-up post here, dedicated page here), I’ve been asked if I was bringing it back to make it a regular reading month. Well, I couldn’t resist! This year I dedicated the first five weeks of 2022 to one of the five countries per Read More

Two Modern Classics from Faber Editions #NovNov22

I adore reading novellas all year round, but particularly when we focus on them in November with the reading event hosted by Cathy and Rebecca. Week one concentrates on ‘classics’ – which are defined as pre-1980 for these purposes. Although one of the titles I’m including in this post was published after 1980 in 1982, Read More