You Will Never Be Found by Tove Alsterdal – #NordicFINDS23

Translated by Alice Menzies It’s fitting to end my Nordic reading for January with this Swedish crime novel – for it was published today! You Will Never be Found is the second in a series featuring Police Assistant Eira Sjödin. I very much enjoyed reading the first volume, We Know You Remember last year, set 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

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

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

Looking forward to #WITMonth 2022

August is #WITMonth – celebrating Women in Translation, hosted by Meytal, who has been flying the flag for WIT for many years now. It has a dedicated website HERE. Traditionally, in preparation I look back at my reading of books by Women in Translation since the end of last summer, and I was surprised that even without Read More

A Friday Miscellany – Tags, Shiny & a new Readalong

Now School’s out for me, I can breathe and get in some serious staying in bed with a book (and cats) in the mornings (fan on at the moment and through the heatwave), so I hope to ramp up my #20BooksofSummer22 books – I’m up to 10 already (by including recent backlist book group reads), Read More

Two reviews in short & 20 Books of Summer Plans

Firstly, a few words on my plans for 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. Cathy is such a forgiving host, allowing us to choose our books, be it 10, 15 or 20 however we want; cheating and swaps are allowed – even encouraged! Consequently, I’m not going to nominate 20 specific Read More

#1954Club & #Narniathon21

It’s always nice when one book covers two tags, namely this month’s read in Chris at Calmgrove‘s Narniathon and The 1954 Club in the biannual year’s reading week hosted by Karen and Simon. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis This month we come to the fifth book in published order – in 1954 Read More

Japanese Literature Challenge 15

Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura Translated by Philip Gabriel I just managed to squeeze in a Japanese read in time to catch the end of this year’s Japanese Literature Challenge 15 hosted by Dolce Belezza Lonely Castle in the Mirror was a prize-winning bestseller in Japan and it’s easy to see why Read More

#Narniathon21: The Silver Chair

And so in the #Narniathon21 hosted by Chris at Calmgrove to my childhood favourite of the Narnia books, the 4th to be published, 6th in the chronological order, The Silver Chair. Is it still my favourite? I’ll tell you later. A full synopsis with comments follows, so if you don’t want to know the plot Read More

My Year in Irish Lit

It’s Week 2 of Reading Ireland Month, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books and Raging Fluff. The prompt for this week is ‘My Year in Irish Lit’, and it is a pleasure to go back through the year to last March and see how many books by Irish authors I read – I was pleasantly surprised by the Read More

My Top Five Irish… Authors

I know, I’m a day late in posting, but I started writing this post last week. March is, of course, Reading Ireland Month, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books and Raging Fluff. This year, they’ve come up with some weekly prompts and the first is My Top Five Irish… anything to do with Irish culture. Read More

#ReadIndies – Three chapbooks from Nightjar Press

I don’t know why, but faced with a book of short stories by a single author, I tend to baulk after I’ve read a few, finding it hard to return to a collection. As a consequence, I read few short story collections. I’m a great fan of novellas, which gives more space to develop plot Read More

#NordicFINDS – It’s a wrap!

Phew! What a great start to the reading year I’ve had. Dedicating one week per Nordic country has been fascinating and I’ve been astounded by the variety of books covered between us – a huge thank you, (but especially to Lizzy and Liz who’ve read loads each). Thank you also to those who visited and Read More

#NordicFINDS – Iceland Week – a final quirky novel

Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir Translated by Brian Fitzgibbon My final read of #NordicFINDS is a quirky novel that slightly took me back to nearly the beginning of my project this year, for Butterflies in November has some similarities in its narrator with Bess in The Murder of Halland, except that this time Read More

#NordicFINDS – Iceland Week – living the dream?

Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss Novelist Sarah Moss fell in love with Iceland during a trip with a friend as a student. Years later, she was beginning to get itchy feet at the University of Kent and began looking for a job abroad. It just so happened that her husband lost his job Read More

#NordicFINDS – Finland Week – a quirky mystery

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen Translated by Lola M Rogers I remember when Pushkin Press first published their edition of this novel, it was all over the blogosphere. Although I soon acquired a copy, I didn’t have time to read it then, but have now, and what a treat it was! Read More

#NordicFINDS – Finland Week – a long-time Finnish best-seller

The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna Translated by Herbert Lomas, 1995 Apparently this slim volume first published in 1975 is a cult novel in France and has been translated into many languages including English, twenty years after publication. In Finland, it is much loved, and was Paasilinna’s personal favourite of his 36 novels. Read More

#NordicFINDS – Finland week – a cli-fi, spec fic, dystopian noir crime thriller

The Healer by Antti Tuomainen Translated by Lola Rogers I discovered Tuomainen last year when I read his latest novel The Rabbit Factor, a dark comedy thriller which I loved. I decided to go back to his first available novel in English for #NordicFINDS, (first published in 2010, translated in 2013), which in now typical Read More

#NordicFINDS – Finland Week – My ‘Would-be’ Gateway Book

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson Translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal Because until this week, I’d read so few Finnish books, I didn’t have a definite gateway book that led me into the country’s literature. But it would have been The Summer Book by Tove Jansson, because when Sort Of Books started their Read More

#NordicFINDS – Sweden Week – A new to me grumpy detective

The Mind’s Eye by Håkan Nesser Translated by Laurie Thompson As so often happens with crime series, The Mind’s Eye published in Swedish in 1993 – the first in Nesser’s Inspector Van Veeteren mystery series, wasn’t the first to be translated into English later in the late noughties. That was the second: Borkmann’s Point. Why Read More

#NordicFINDS – Sweden Week – a novel of letters and longing

Some Kind of Company by Nan Östman Translated by Julia Rivers We have to thank Aspal Press for finding this hidden gem of Swedish literature and making it available in English translation for the first time. Östman, who died in 2015, is a much loved Swedish children’s author, often writing about girls and horses, and Read More

#NordicFINDS – Sweden Week – A Workplace Drama

The Room by Jonas Karlsson Translated by Neil Smith There’s a well-worn office cliché: ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps!’ Something that definitely applies to the employees of the Authority in Jonas Karlsson’s engaging novel. What the Authority does is never specified, but the higher the floor you work Read More

#NordicFINDS – Sweden Week – My Gateway Book – a different take

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist & its movie adaptations Although a rather baggy novel at over 500 pages, Let the Right One In, translated by Ebba Segerberg, blew me away when I read it back in 2009. My full review from back then is here. At the novel’s heart is the Read More