BOOK REVIEW: SPRING BY KARL OVE KNAUSGAARD

Spring reads more like part of the My Struggle series; with the actual events happening over a brief period of time, Knausgaard weaves in memories, thoughts, and observations to create a complex narrative. This time, however, the story is more personal and emotionally nuanced, and one that his daughter will be unable to understand until many years later.

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Alice Piotrowska
BOOK REVIEW: FEEL FREE BY ZADIE SMITH

Why do we need libraries? How do different generations respond to Facebook? What’s so fascinating about Joni Mitchell? What’s it like for Justin Bieber to meet people? The questions in this collection of Zadie Smith essays range from artistic, to creative, to socio-political, to personal, and they are all explored with the same level of introspective curiosity and sensitivity. 

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Platon
BOOK REVIEW: SOUTH AND WEST BY JOAN DIDION

South and West is Joan Didion's first release since 2011’s Blue Nights and as the subtitle (From a Notebook) indicates, this is less of a narrative and more of a collection of notes which the author took on two separate occasions during her road trips in the South (and West) of the United States in the 1970s.

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Elisa Sabbadin
BOOK REVIEW: WINTER BY KARL OVE KNAUSGAARD

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s second volume of his Seasonal Quartet, Winter, follows on the same threads as Autumn, with three more letters to his unborn daughter (the last one written in the hospital just after her birth) framing a series of short observational pieces about his surroundings.

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Platon
BOOK REVIEW: SLEEP OVER BY H.G. BELLS

H.G. Bells imagines a world where the entire human race loses the ability to sleep all of a sudden. Mass insomnia starts off as an inconvenience, and develops into the deadliest threat to humanity’s existence. The novel is laid out in the “oral history” genre popularised by World War Z, giving you a different account of the Insomnia Apocalypse every few pages.

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Platon
BOOK REVIEW: ON BOWIE BY ROB SHEFFIELD

Published shortly after David Bowie’s death in January 2016, Rob Sheffield’s On Bowie is a self-proclaimed “love letter to Bowie, a celebration of his life and his music” (4). Sheffield traces the development of Bowie’s career and stage persona(s), interspersing the book with his personal responses to Bowie’s music.

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BOOK REVIEW: AUTUMN BY ALI SMITH

Autumn is a bit different from previous Ali Smith novels. There is the usual word play, clever puns, metafictional element, 60s nostalgia, and most of all, those moments of simple, everyday, human connection that Ali Smith does so well. But this one is a much more urgent novel then her previous work.

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STORY REVIEW: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER

"The Fall of the House of Usher" is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most well known and best crafter short stories. From the very first line until the end, Poe uses great detail to describe the story’s setting, which makes you feel like you’re actually ‘watching’ the story. Here's a look at an all time classic read perfect for Halloween.

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BOOK REVIEW: THE TRAVELLING COMPANION by IAN RANKIN

The Travelling Companion is a novella by Ian Rankin, who is mostly known for his crime novels featuring his hero, Inspector John Rebus. This novella however is not quite in the same vein. It contains elements from Rankins distinct style of crime/mystery writing, but it is much more contained. Would recommend The Travelling Companion for, well, travelling!

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BOOK REVIEW: THE SECRET HISTORY BY DONNA TARTT

The Secret History is Donna Tartt's debut novel, and it has now gained the status of a modern classic. Focusing on the lives of a group of privileged students and their eccentric and manipulative Classics professor, The Secret History is a study in morality, aesthetics, and intellectual vanity.

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BOOK REVIEW: GODSGRAVE BY JAY KRISTOFF

Godsgrave continues the thrill Kristoff set up in his 2016 novel Nevernight. The novel follows teenage assassin Mia Corvere as she further develops her plot to avenge the death of her parents. The sequel proves to be somewhat different from the original in terms of tone and setting, but is still true to the distinct voice that emerged from Nevernight.

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BOOK REVIEW: WINTER SMITH - THE SECRETS OF FRANCE BY J.S. STRANGE

In the sequel to his 2016 YA zombie novel Winter Smith: London’s Burning, Strange has once again shown talent for balancing a plot-driven narrative with character development. Does Winter Smith: The Secrets of France meet expectations for anyone who has read Strange’s debut novel?

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