#14 (2020) Orchid and The Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes

My pre-lock down mosey around Chapters led to my buying Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy (thoughts here), and Caoilinn Hughes’s Orchid and the Wasp. I’d seen Hughes’s book while it was still in hardback and enjoyed the first few pages when I’d leafed through it in the shop. The end result, however, was not soContinue reading “#14 (2020) Orchid and The Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes”

#11 (2020) Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith

Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy was a lovely little slip of a book. A brief 161 pages of characteristically lovely writing and clever storytelling. Smith’s novels are always full of the unexpected and are all the richer for it. Girl meets boy. It’s a story as old as time. But what happens when an oldContinue reading “#11 (2020) Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith”

#10 (2020) A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

I was lured towards A Woman is No Man in Hodges Figgis at the start of the year thanks to its bright cover and striking title. The feminist in me got all prickly and I was interested to see what it was all about. Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitorsContinue reading “#10 (2020) A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum”

#9 (2020) Saltwater by Jessica Andrews

Sometimes, you pick a book up and want to buy it immediately. Sometimes, you can’t give into that urge, but the book waits in the wings, on wishlists or mental inventories. This was very much the case with Saltwater, which I remember looking at when it was published last spring. I ordered it in fromContinue reading “#9 (2020) Saltwater by Jessica Andrews”

#8 (2020) Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

I picked up a copy of Lost Children Archive while I was back home, as I’d been belatedly Christmas-gifted Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Horse, The Fox and The Mole and already had a copy. It was one of those impulse purchases as part of a buy one get one half price offer, and I’mContinue reading “#8 (2020) Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli”

#7 (2020) Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

I returned to fiction for my seventh read of the year. I can’t remember how I came across Gather the Daughters, but it was on my wishlist so I added it to my last library order. I still haven’t quite got used to being a member of a public library, and being able to orderContinue reading “#7 (2020) Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed”

#4 (2020): Resin by Ane Riel

Resin by Ane Riel was definitely my favourite January read. It drew me in quietly and by the end I was simultaneously anxious to know the conclusion and sad that it would all be over. Liv died when she was just six years old.  Her father knew he was the only one who could keepContinue reading “#4 (2020): Resin by Ane Riel”

#3 (2020): The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

My third read of the year was a book I’d been wanting to read for ages: The Mars Room. Crime novels aren’t something I typically gravitate towards, but this seemed more like a post-crime narrative that posed deeper questions about a woman’s place in society, and her right to feel safe and free from harassment.Continue reading “#3 (2020): The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner”

#2 (2020): Confession with Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach

My second read of the year, Confession with Blue Horses, took me Berlin and filled me with the desire to book flights and explore the city. (Fortunately or unfortunately, funds did not permit me to fulfil the impulse!) Tobi and Ella’s childhood in East Berlin is shrouded in mystery. Now adults living in London, theirContinue reading “#2 (2020): Confession with Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach”

#1 (2020): Shrill by Lindy West

My first read of the year was Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West. From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world,Continue reading “#1 (2020): Shrill by Lindy West”