Lit Fic

The beginning of the apocalypse is here: Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam ★★★★

Two well-heeled Brooklynites, Amanda and Clay, have rented an Air Bnb in rural Long Island with their two adolescent children. Amanda overbuys at the supermarket, Clay smokes, the children swim in the pool. It’s an idyllic enclave, a place for them to ‘leave the world…

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5 literary fiction reads for AAPI heritage month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. I’m going to be doing a mini-series on books I’ve loved by AAPI authors in different genres, and coming up first are my favourite lit fic reads – to be enjoyed any time of the year!…

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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 Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr

It’s hard to know where to start with a book like this; a book so unflinching and devastating that it’s definitely not one I would recommend to everybody. So I better start with a warning: this isn’t for the fainthearted, and content warnings abound in…

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4 upcoming releases I’m excited for

It’s a funny old time. Not much is known for certain – I’m finding it hard to think much beyond the next 2 months! But in this great age of uncertainty, I find it comforting to know that there are new book releases on the horizon…

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Book Review | Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan

It’s 2012, and a directionless young girl falls head over heels in love with a troubled boy. If this feels like a familiar set up to me, surely it’s my own fault for gravitating to the same millennial relationship stories of woe. But here we…

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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 | Summerwater by Sarah Moss

Families at a remote Scottish cabin park are stuck inside on the longest day of the summer, while the rain hammers down. You haven’t experienced a proper British childhood if you didn’t spend at least one summer holiday in a perpetual rain-soaked, chilled-to-the-bone state. And…

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Book Review | Human Acts by Han Kang

It’s 1980, and a country has turned against its people. In Gwangju, South Korea, Dong-ho staffs the municipal gymnasium, tending to the bodies of the dead. “Apparently all the dead will be brought here from now on,” he is told. “They say there’s no room…

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Book Review | Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

The world of Fake Accounts is our world four years ago – a world on the brink of Trump’s election that is ‘ending, or would begin to end soon.’ It’s a world that feels both frantic and desperate but – or perhaps this is why –…

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Book Review | Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

This immersive, expansive and moving story begins in a coastal town in early nineteenth-century Korea, shortly after the Japanese annexation of the country. Hoonie, the disabled son of a fisherman, is married to fifteen-year-old Yangjin, and together they raise their daughter Sunja while running a…

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Book Review | Luster by Raven Leilani

Buckle your seatbelts for a wry, painful, immersive, smart and introspective ride. Edie is a Black woman in her early twenties living in New York, working in publishing where she has just one other Black female colleague. ‘We both graduated from the school of Twice…

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Book Review | Little Gods by Meng Jin

Liya is born on the last night of the infamous Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in Beijing, on June 4th, 1989. Her mother is the enigmatic and ambitious theoretical physicist Su Lan, a woman with ‘an extraordinary mind.’ Her father, Li Yongzong, vanishes into the night.…

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Book Review | Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey

The narrator of Topics of Conversation is acerbic, witty, dark. In a fragmentary narrative, we are guided – or perhaps pulled – through a 17-year period of her life, as seen through a fragmentary series of conversations. We get the impression that she’s excavating her inner life,…

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Book Review | Weather by Jenny Offill

Weather hums with a persistent, underlying anxiety. The hum is ‘in the air’, Lizzie remarks, a PhD dropout and now librarian who answers doomsday emails from listeners to a climate change podcast. And it’s the affliction of modern life, the interior and exterior concerns running…

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Book Review | When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

Christopher Banks is born in early twentieth century Shanghai to British parents. Growing up in the international quarter, sequestered from the somewhat shadier side of Shanghai life, he wiles away the hours with his Japanese best friend, Akira. Both of them vow to never leave…

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Book Review | The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

“When we are sad—at least I am like this—it can be comforting to cling to familiar objects, to the things that don’t change. Your descriptions of the desert—that oceanic, endless glare—are terrible but also very beautiful. Maybe there’s something to be said for the rawness…

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