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Reading Corner: Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre

Dreamsnake: an under-appreciated novel for the ages and quite possibly my new favourite book. As far as I’m concerned, its main flaw is the lack of a sequel. Set far in the future, the events of Dreamsnake occur long after a nuclear war has decimated most of the world. The story is told from the perspective of Snake, a woman who uses modified serpents to heal … Continue reading Reading Corner: Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre

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Reading Corner: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

It has been a while since a book swallowed me up whole. House of Hollow did just that, opening wide into a dark, sweetly perfumed world of rot, decay, and sharp beauty. Krystal Sutherland’s novel tells the story of three sisters, each angular and devastatingly enchanting, with crescent silver scars stitched into their necks, black eyes, and strange white hair. However, they weren’t always that … Continue reading Reading Corner: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

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Reading Corner: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Recently, I finished reading American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, and I never imagined this day would come for two reasons: one, I forgot I had this book, and two it was 640 pages long. Was it worth it? Yes. I think I’m somewhat sentimental about this book because I found it in a little independent bookshop in London. The name of said shop eludes me … Continue reading Reading Corner: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Reading Corner: Eat, Pray, Love: To Burn or Not to Burn?

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: the cliché, the sensation, the purported tale of white privilege. This Christmas, I picked it up. What could be more intriguing than a book loved and widely hated in equal measure? This book is the memoir of freshly divorced 34-year-old Elizabeth Gilbert who sets out on a year of travel to rediscover herself and escape depression. Now, I’ve watched … Continue reading Reading Corner: Eat, Pray, Love: To Burn or Not to Burn?

Review: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down may be one of his less well-known novels, but for me it is his best. It combines all of the essential qualities of Hornby’s work: the dark comedy of About A Boy, the subtle humour of How To Be Good, and the characteristic literary style seen in his first novel, High Fidelity. I was left thinking about this book a long time after I had finished the last page, so much so that it even inspired one of my undergraduate creative writing pieces (but maybe don’t tell that to my tutors). Continue reading Review: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Reading Corner: Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett

In writing this I tried to narrow down Terry Pratchett’s novels to a particular book, or even a particular strand of books. Whilst the current political climate drew me towards the Watch novels (in particular Night Watch), each time I thought I had distilled the series down to my favourite book, I remembered another brilliant part of a different book. That, I think, is the joy of the Discworld books – they are broad enough to suit all occasions. Continue reading Reading Corner: Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett

Reading Corner: Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (audiobook)

Having tried audiobooks in the past, I have never actually been able to finish one – always getting bored or losing concentration for too long so the storyline no longer makes any sense. Something about listening to a thirteen-hour audio seems more daunting and time consuming that just simply reading the book. Now, however, since time is not an issue, and distractions from the outside world are near-impossible, I decided it was a perfect time to give them another try. Using yet another fake email (I know, I’m a cheapskate), I signed up for my third free audible trial, browsing the listings for a book that I both wanted to read and did not yet have a physical copy of. I’m a huge David Nicholls fan, having read all four of his other novels, and his latest release Sweet Sorrow has been on my to-read list since it came out last summer. Continue reading Reading Corner: Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (audiobook)

Reading Corner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

My sister and I gave The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse to our mum for Christmas – a wise present it turns out, seeing as I’ve now read it more times than she has. Looking at it again this past week has been a comforting escape. The book is formed from a collection of beautifully expressive ink illustrations with handwritten words, stitched together by a gently anchoring narrative. We follow four friends: an inquisitive boy who asks questions about the world and ponders his relationships with the others; a mole full of reassuring words, whose thoughts are also largely occupied by cake (which makes for some of my favourite moments); a fox who is reserved and quiet because of their past, yet loved by the others no matter what; and a wise horse who reveals an ability to fly. The story’s subtle linearity stitches the order of the pages together, but you don’t need to read it cover to cover. Each page is an isolated piece of art and storytelling in its own right, so dip in and dip out; you’ll never be lost in the story. Continue reading Reading Corner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy