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Bookriot’s Read Harder – Reading Challenge

Bookriot’s Read Harder – Reading Challenge

I saw Byron talk about the Bookriot “Read Harder” Reading Challenge and it sounded like the perfect way to read more diversely. Feel free to fill in the list for yourself! And let me know if you decide to take on the challenge yourself! An epistolary novel or collection of letters I’ve been meaning to read Persuasion by Jane Austen. What a happy coincidence that this one happens to be an epistolary novel. An alternate history novel The Underground Railroad…

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Book review: Grief is the thing with feathers – Max Porter *****

Book review: Grief is the thing with feathers – Max Porter *****

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to…

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Book review: The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller *****

Book review: The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller *****

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go…

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Book review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne *****

Book review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne *****

Nine year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution or the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country.All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the…

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HHHH – Laurent Binet *****

HHHH – Laurent Binet *****

Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich – chief of the Nazi secret services, ‘the hangman of Prague’, ‘the blond beast’, ‘the most dangerous man in the Third Reich’. His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says ‘Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich’, which in German spells “HHhH”. All the characters in “HHhH”…

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Top 5 Wednesday: Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

It’s been AAAAAAGES since I last did a Top 5 Wednesday. But here I am and here we go! This is my Top 5 Most Disappointing Reads of 2018. The Power by Naomi Alderman (review) A case of hype-disappointment. I had heard amazing things about this book. Everyone seemed to be raving about it. It didn’t manage to convince me. I think I wanted more than what I got. People usually say this is a super feminist book. I didn’t…

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Book Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton *****

Book Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton *****

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. The only way to break this cycle is to identify…

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Book Review: Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor *****

Book Review: Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor *****

“I turned my nightmares into fireflies and caught them in a jar.” The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of…

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Book Review: Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders *****

Book Review: Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders *****

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president…

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Book Review: The Hurricane Party – Klas Östergren ****

Book Review: The Hurricane Party – Klas Östergren ****

Hanck Orn’s son is dead. When they come to the door they tell him it was a heart attack, he knows they are lying. So he travels to the archipelago at the outermost reaches of the land to find out what really happened. He lands on an island and is met by a young woman, hair streaked with blood, raving like a lunatic. She is one of the sisters, who tell him the story of how his son died in the…

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