The Whatever Happened to 2020 and Do We Really Want it Back Book Tag

Almost time to say goodbye to this year and who will mourn the passing of 2020?    It’s been a year when we have been forced to confront the fragility of life on our beatiful blue planet. Has anyone gone down the lets-fill-this-gaping-hole-in-our-lives-where-our-jobs-used-to-be-with-a-new-puppy route?  Mr. Rune and I have thought hard about another dog.  Mmm!  […]

King Kong Theory – If Only it Was All Just History

If it had not been for Women in Translation month I might never have got to these books, so it’s been a valuable lesson for me. I’m still waiting for my copy of Kiki’s Delivery Service. Meanwhile, here are two more books from Indie presses: a translation from the French of Virginie Despentes’ book, King […]

Winter in Sokcho

The town was entombed in frost …. Winter in Sokcho is a debut and already prizewinning novel from Elisa Shua Dusapin with a strong sense of atmosphere and place.   At 154 pages it’s a quick to read and an engaging story set in the seaside resort of Sokcho on the border of South and North […]

Don’t Look for Lemon Trees or Cafe Society in this Wintry Version of Italy

A Review of Grove, by Esther Kinsky.  Trans, Caroline Schmidt.  (Fitzcarraldo Editions) Nothing happens in this book – at least nothing that will not happen to every single one of us at some time in our lives.  Esther Kinsky’s writing underlines the temporary  and porous nature of the divide between those who have passed and […]

This Fight Belongs to Us All. Diary of a Young Naturalist, Dara McAnulty

As we all go quietly crazy during this crisis it is worth remembering that for some the  constant routine, walking the same route day in, day out, knowing exactly what comes next,  is a positive, necessary even, for stability and mental health.  But things are not going to be the same for anyone.  Regardless of […]

When writerly technique stares at you with bloodshot eyes …

It’s not often I rant on this blog.  But there are a number of things I feel very strongly about: income inequality for instance,   surveillance,   online giants who put bookshops out of business – oh and punctuation! I am not talking about ‘correct’ punctuation or the efficacy of semi-colons or full stops or commas or […]