Contemporary Fiction

True Biz by Sara Nović is an exuberant, revelatory story about Deaf culture ★★★★½

‘True Biz’ is an incredibly eye-opening read that introduced me to Deaf culture in all its exuberance. Centuries of marginalisation from the hearing world have led Deaf communities to form a strong cultural identity and myriad ways of successfully navigating the world around them. It’s…

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10 books on my winter 2021 TBR

Here’s another overly-optimistic list to see me through the dark winter months. ‘A darkly funny, soul-rending novel of love in an epoch of collapse–one woman’s furious revisiting of family, marriage, work, sex, and motherhood.’ ‘A brilliant debut novel that brings to life an abandoned hospital…

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Top 10 Tuesday | Books on my autumn 2021 TBR

I think by now I’ve come to accept that I don’t have the dedication to read all the books I optimistically put on a TBR. Shiny new books pop up on my radar and distract me; life gets in the way. But as I’ve mentioned…

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Book Review | The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

There’s something just so delightful about Beth O’Leary. You never know exactly what you’re going to get, but you know that it will be equal doses of funny and heartfelt; intensely readable with genuine characters and a solid storyline. The Road Trip doesn’t disappoint. Addie…

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Book Review | Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Our lives are inextricably shaped by the material facts of our birth. And for the young men living their gilded youths at Oxford University in the early 1990s, they’re pretty much untouchable. Our narrator describes the ‘smooth, smiling faces’ of ‘men who will sail through…

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9 Titles That Made Want to Buy the Book

This is another Top Ten Tuesday, but since I am at the mercy of these WordPress layouts I’m resigned to just go with 9. Have you read any of these? What books have you bought on the basis of their title alone? Books I’ve read…

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Book Review | Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage

It’s 2009, and Jonah is a broke and lost aspiring playwright who has recently moved to New York. He’s working for a predatory boss at an upscale restaurant and barely scraping by. Estranged from his deeply evangelical parents who believe being gay is an unforgivable…

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Top 10 Tuesday | Books on my Summer 2021 TBR

Summer TBR? It feels like I just wrote my Spring TBR (and let’s not talk about the fact that I only finished 4 of the 10 and DNF’d 2…) but I can’t resist a list, so here goes… I can’t even pick what I’m most…

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Book Review | The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

TW: depression, suicide Nora Seed is a thirty-something living in Bedford. A few days before she decides to end her life, she walks through the town centre, seeing a ‘conveyer belt of despair’. Feeling that nothing in her life has panned out the way she…

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Book Review | Just Like You by Nick Hornby

There is a nervousness that hums through the pages of Nick Hornby’s latest novel. Set in North London, against the backdrop of the 2016 Brexit referendum, the tension and divisions have never been more apparent. (You know it’s bad when you start to feel a…

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Happy Publication Day | Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Happy publication day to Ghosts by Dolly Alderton, a charming, funny and heartfelt piece of contemporary fiction. I read and reviewed this back in July, and my full review is here! Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with…

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Book Review | Pretending by Holly Bourne

TW: Sexual violence, PTSD April is thirty-something and jaded. Her work for a relationship advisory charity leaves her exhausted reading and responding to trauma on a daily basis; all her friends who are seemingly happily-married aren’t really that satisfied; and she’s broke from the aforementioned…

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Book Review | Bunny by Mona Awad

Warren, an elite New England University, is home to one of the most exclusive MFA programs in the country. It’s on this program that our protagonist Samantha is studying, along with a clique in her cohort who name themselves the ‘bunnies.’ (Bunnies, finding themselves a…

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Book Review | The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Leena is in her late twenties and working a high-powered job in London. Eileen, her grandmother, is in her late seventies and stuck in a rut after her loveless marriage fell apart. When Leena takes a ‘forced sabbatical,’ they come up with the hairbrained idea…

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Book Review | Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Nina is in her early thirties, a successful food writer living in London. She’s got just one single friend left, Lola, and everyone else is married and starting families. She caves to pressure and downloads a dating app called Linx. The line-up of potential mates…

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Book Review | My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Vanessa is fifteen years old, attending a seemingly idyllic and prestigious boarding school set in the rolling mountains of Norumbega, Maine in the early 2000s. Jacob Strane is her English teacher, in his forties. And the two, Vanessa insists, embark on a romantic relationship. This…

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Book Review | Olive by Emma Gannon

Childfree Olive is adrift in a sea of her best friends – and a society – obsessed with motherhood. As she turned into a thirty-something, the questions only became more insistent – talk of shrivelling up eggs and the perils of geriatric motherhood. Olive has…

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Book Review | Normal People by Sally Rooney

Marianne is bookish, friendless, and impervious to the opinions of others. Connell is popular, athletic, and preoccupied with his public perception in their small West Ireland town and amongst their other sixth-form classmates. On paper, they’re an unlikely pairing, but there’s an undeniable magnetism that…

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Book Review | The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Tiffy needs a place to live. She’s in London, and her meagre Assistant Editor salary isn’t going to get her very far. She also needs to get out of her toxic ex-boyfriend’s flat, finally accepting that things are over between them. And that’s when she…

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Book Review | Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Like so many of us, Emira is in her mid-twenties and feeling adrift. She works part time as a typist and the rest of the time as a babysitter – not a nanny – for the wealthy Chamberlain family and their 3-year-old, Briar. She’s about…

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Book Review | Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Rural Gloucestershire is six thousand miles and a lifetime away from Los Angeles, where Sarah has made her home for the past two decades. But she’s drawn back, every summer, for something of a pilgrimage – returning to the site of a tragic accident that happened…

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