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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: 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: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Is it weird to read Love in the Time of Cholera in the middle of a global pandemic? Maybe not, but it is becoming a bit of a cliché. Gabriel García Márquez’s novel has had a resurgence in readership since the start of COVID-19, even inspiring the title of a TV show: Love in the Time of Corona. But is the book a comfort during times of illness, or an exploration of what happens when love goes too far? Continue reading Reading Corner: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Reviews in Retrospect: “Seasonal Velocities” by Ryka Aoki

‘Tell me the story one last timeof how we ran barefoot inthe just remembered downpour.’ -“Obon” These lines from Seasonal Velocities, Ryka Aoki’s 2012 collection of poems, stories, and essays, beautifully demonstrate Aoki’s skill for capturing the events that shape a person while refusing to let them fade from memory. Aoki writes unflinchingly of loss, love, and longing for home, while incorporating illuminating commentary on … Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: “Seasonal Velocities” by Ryka Aoki

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

Review: Beneath the Waves

As the mornings grow colder, the nights longer, and it feels like there are perpetual grey skies threatening months of rain, sometimes all you can do is put on your most threadbare pyjamas and snuggle up with a good book. However, with deadlines looming and online University being weirdly more stressful than the real thing, considering I’m attending in said pyjamas, what I really need is a slither of a good story. A short story, so to speak. Sculpting a believable and captivating world in a handful of pages is a difficult thing to get right, but fellow Exeter student Daisy Ella does just that in her first self-published story, Beneath the Waves. Continue reading Review: Beneath the Waves

Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

For many of us, reading has become a source of hope, providing a space for both refuge and clarity to help us navigate our present climate. As well as having new texts to look forward to, pre-ordering books also offers an opportunity to support authors and publishers alike during the uncertainty of lockdown. Dynamic, ambitious and uplifting, these are some of the most exciting and important titles to look out for in 2020! Continue reading Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

My Culture Comforts: Normal People by Sally Rooney

It’s hardly surprising, as a third year English student, that my main comfort at home is our family bookcase. My current favourite, which I’ve been rereading over the past week is Sally Rooney’s Normal People, published in August of 2018. Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends is also worth a read! Normal People is centred around the lives of two teenagers – Marianne and Connell, very much in love, whose ‘will they/won’t they’ conundrum becomes the tie which echoes throughout the novel, and is something that readers can’t help but become emotionally attached to. What’s more, the novel’s main themes of love and loss, endurance through hardship, personal growth and self-discovery are so prevalent, especially in our current climate. Watch out for the television adaptation of the novel which is said to be coming out soon! Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Normal People by Sally Rooney