Books

Bleaker House By Nell Stevens

Posted 1:15pm Sunday 30th July 2017 by Jessica Thompson

“I am scared that the life I want to lead, the life of a writer, is inevitably built on loneliness, and I need to know if I can hack it.”   Bleaker House is Nell Steven’s first novel and she hit the nail on the head. The book is messy, unpredictable, and absolutely Read more...

Gilead

Posted 1:30pm Sunday 23rd July 2017 by Jessica Thompson

It took longer than I’d expected for me to get into this book. Marilynne Robinson has proven herself a talented, tender and transportive writer in her other novels, and over the years she has received a veritable feast of awards. Published in 2004, Gilead was the winner of the 2005 Read more...

The Panopticon

Posted 1:55pm Sunday 16th July 2017 by Jessica Thompson

I studied this book for an English paper last semester and thought it was worth a review. Set in Scotland and with Edinburgh vernacular to match, the Panopticon is a sharp novel that examines the lives of the down and outs, the uncontrollable criminal youths and the doomed-to-fail losers of the Read more...

The Essex Serpent Sarah Perry

Posted 1:23pm Sunday 9th July 2017 by James Bell

Sarah Perry’s second novel, The Essex Serpent, is an enticing Victorian gothic thriller. It was the winner of the British Book Awards Book of the Year, Waterstones Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award. Perry has created an extraordinarily wide-reaching and Read more...

The Vegetarian

Posted 1:40pm Sunday 21st May 2017 by Jessica Thompson Carr

Read this book and you’ll be put off meat for several weeks (not the worst thing in the world). Winner of the Man Booker International Prize and the Yi Sang Literary prize, this is Han Kang’s first book to be published in English and I am oh so grateful for it. Written in three Read more...

Misery

Posted 12:44pm Sunday 14th May 2017 by Jessica Thompson Carr

More often than not I come across a book I wish I had written myself. Stephen King’s Misery is one of those books - not for any clever reason, simply because it is quirky, weirdly relatable (to a writer), and shit scary. Word of advice folks: don't read when living alone in the Read more...

The Yield

Posted 2:41pm Sunday 7th May 2017 by Jessica Thompson Carr

Perfect timing. With the Dunedin Readers and Writers Festival upon us I thought it appropriate to give Sue Wootton’s most recent publication The Yield a go. I admit that I haven’t dabbled enough in modern New Zealand literature. In the past I’ve been prejudiced against it, Read more...

Swing Time

Posted 12:24pm Sunday 30th April 2017 by Jessica Thompson Carr

After being touted by several friends as one of the best writers alive today, I finally decided to pick up Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. She’s an incredibly accomplished writer, having won numerous awards for her five published novels, including the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Read more...

Room

Posted 1:14pm Sunday 23rd April 2017 by Jessica Thompson Carr

Winner of awards like the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and based on the infamous Josef Fritzl case of 2008, Room, by Emma Donoghue, captures everyone’s worst nightmare from a decidedly fresh perspective.  Told through the eyes of five-year-old Jack, who was born and raised in a Read more...

Bonjour Tristesse

Posted 1:18pm Sunday 9th April 2017 by Zoe Taptiklis

I read Bonjour Tristesse on my way back from France during a six-hour layover in Shanghai airport. I was pretty jetlagged. I won’t lie or mislead you; this is going to be an astral quest of a book review.  The Times cover quote reads “funny, immoral and thoroughly French,” Read more...

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