Top 5 Friday – Women in Translation

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, as I’ve had a lot of things on my plate of late, but I just had to do it for Women in Translation month! As many of you have probably realised by now, I am very passionate about translated fiction. So, I’ve compiled some of my favourite books by women in translation! See if you can spot the unintentional theme…!

Continue reading “Top 5 Friday – Women in Translation”

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, as I’ve had a lot of things on my plate of late, but I just had to do it for Women in Translation month! As many of you have probably realised by now, I am very passionate about translated fiction. So, I’ve compiled some of my favourite books by women in translation! See if you can spot the unintentional theme…!

Continue reading “Top 5 Friday – Women in Translation”

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Publisher: Granta Books
Publication Date:
02/05/2019
Length: 163 pages
Genre:
Translated Fiction | Japanese Fiction | Contemporary Fiction

CW: n/a

Blackwells.co.uk

Meet Keiko.

Keiko is 36 years old.

She’s never had a boyfriend, and she’s been working in the same supermarket for eighteen years.

Keiko’s family wishes she’d get a proper job. Her friends wonder why she won’t get married.

But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she’s not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store…

GoodReads
Continue reading “Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata”

Monthly Wrap Up – November 2020

This month was slow starting for me in terms of reading, I’m not sure why but I was in a bit of a slump! Maybe it was because I was being good and not doing a monthly haul this month so I didn’t feel that I had to race through to get to my new books. It definitely picked up 

I’ve tried to focus more on blog tour books and review requests this month in the spirit of ‘Galleyathon’ – even if they didn’t all come from NetGalley specifically! 

Books read this month

This month I read a total of 13 books (7 physical and 6 ebooks)

  1. The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray
  2. The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams (Blog tour)
  3. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff 
  4. The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn (ARC / Blog tour)
  5. There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
  6. The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo (ARC) 
  7. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  8. The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji (ARC)
  9. Fae Child by Jane-Holly Meissner (Blog tour)
  10. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  11. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  12. Nothing Good Happens After Midnight edited by Jeffery Deaver (ARC / Blog tour)
  13. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
www.blackwells.co.uk

Favourite books read this month

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This is the first in the Nevernight chronicle series which is definitely one that I will be finishing after such a strong start! I adored this fantasy novel, I loved the world, the characters and the tone of the novel. I wasn’t expecting this novel to have as much humour in it as it does which I really loved. 

There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
In this novel Tsumura brilliantly captures work burnout and jumping from job to job as a temp. I especially loved how each job wasn’t exactly what it seemed and there was some kind of mystery surrounding them. 

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
It’s no surprise that this made it onto this list as I loved The Poppy War. All the characters were wonderfully developed and you could clearly see how they were impacted from the first novel. This was a brilliant second instalment to the series and had me incredibly excited for the last novel The Burning God

The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
I do love a good detective fiction novel and this is one of the best that I have ever read. It simultaneously feels like a classic detective fiction novel but it also feels very contemporary and subversive in some ways, despite the novel originally being published in the 1980s. 

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
I can’t remember the last time a book left me as unsettled as this one. Alam has such a way with words and tone that you feel suffocated from the very pages, yet you can’t help yourself but keep turning them. Alam also clearly understands people as his characters don’t feel like characters at all, but people you have met in passing instead. 

www.blackwells.co.uk

Monthly Wrap Up – October 2020

Firstly in non-book news, this month I got a new addition to my family! After several years I have finally adopted a kitten – Yuki! He’s three months old and 90% fluff, he loves attention and sleep. He also makes an excellent alarm clock as he demands breakfast from 5am every morning.

This month I changed things up a bit on my blog with a fresh new theme and I have dropped the WordPress from my domain! I’m so happy with the changes that I have made and feel this blog is much more me and what I envisioned the site to be when I first started up again. 

I also joined the ‘bookstagram’ community, so you can now find me over there too! Whilst I’m not new to Instagram, I am new to bookstagram so if you have any tips, then please let me know!

You’ll notice that this month I did endeavour to read spookier novels to get into the spirit of things. It was quite refreshing to change up genres for a bit and I’ll be sure to sprinkle in some of these reads throughout my year in future. 

Books read this month

This month I read a total of 14 books (8 physical books and 6 ebooks).

  1. The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  2. The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey (ARC)
  3. The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett (ARC)
  4. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  5. Letters From the Dead by Sam Hurcom (ARC)
  6. Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (ARC)
  7. Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
  8. Dracula’s Child by J.S. Barnes
  9. A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden (Review request)
  10. The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry
  11. Mango Bay by Serena Fairfax (Blog tour)
  12. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  13. The Dead of Winter by Nicola Upson (Blog tour)
  14. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
www.blackwells.co.uk

Favourite books read this month

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
This is one of the most unique novels that I’ve read in a long time. It’s so mysterious and magical that it’s difficult to describe. For risk of saying anything that could be remotely deemed a spoiler, all I can do is urge you to check this novel out for yourselves – there’s nothing quite like it! 

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
Whilst this is only a short novel, so much is packed into it and it left me speechless by the end. I had no idea what to expect and as each page passed I became more and more surprised and gripped. I loved how complex the characters were and their situations, it was a very refreshing read. 

Dracula’s Child by J.S. Barnes
This spiritual successor of Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula could easily have been a sequel that Bram Stoker had written himself. Barnes captures everything that makes Dracula great and creates a sensational story. I loved how this novel didn’t feel like a contemporary novel at all and how it was just as gripping, perhaps more so, than its predecessor. 

The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry
The Ghost Tree feels like a classic dark fairytale, despite it being set in 1980s America. When two girls are found brutally murdered the most shocking thing about this novel is how the town reacts to the fact. In this novel Henry has created a wonderfully unsettling community which leaves you feeling intensely uneasy. 

On Earth Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong 
This novel is a beautifully written letter from the protagonist to his mother. It is a brutally honest letter which covers many important topics that should be spoken about. Covering the Vietnam war, sexuality and racism, this novel doesn’t shy away from the difficulties some people faced and still face to this day. 

How was your October? Did you focus on spooky reads too or do you read them throughout the year? Let me know in the comments!

www.blackwells.co.uk

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Firstly, huge thank you to Granta and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Publisher: Granta
Publication Date:
01/10/2020
Length: 247 pages
Genre:
Translated Fiction | Japanese Fiction | Contemporary Fiction

CW: underage incest, child abuse, child sexual abuse, cannibalism, violence, murder

Blackwells.co.uk

Natsuki isn’t like the other girls. She has a wand and a transformation mirror. She might be a witch, or an alien from another planet. Together with her cousin Yuu, Natsuki spends her summers in the wild mountains of Nagano, dreaming of other worlds. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the two children forever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what.

Now Natsuki is grown. She lives a quiet life with her asexual husband, surviving as best she can by pretending to be normal. But the demands of Natsuki’s family are increasing, her friends wonder why she’s still not pregnant, and dark shadows from Natsuki’s childhood are pursuing her. Fleeing the suburbs for the mountains of her childhood, Natsuki prepares herself with a reunion with Yuu. Will he still remember their promise? And will he help her keep it?

GoodReads
Continue reading “Earthlings by Sayaka Murata”