Book Review: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

‘There’s the lovely power of being a stranger’, Smith went on, as pleasant as before. ‘I may as well have been born again when I stepped ashore. You’ve a new man before you, new-made. I’ve no history here, and no character: and what I am is all in what I will be.’ In Golden Hill…

Book Review: Tokyo Express by Seichō Matsumoto and translated by Jesse Kirkwood

My thanks to Penguin Press UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Tokyo Express is a Japanese mystery/detective novel by Seichō Matsumoto, first published in 1958 and in this version, translated by Jesse Kirkwood. Having only read two of Seishi Yokomizo’s Kindaichi mysteries so far, when this showed up on NetGalley, I…

Book Review: Of Sunshine and Bedbugs by Isaac Babel and translated by Boris Dralyuk

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Isaac Babel (1894–1940) was not an author I knew or had come across earlier but when this volume of Essential Stories appeared from Pushkin Press, I decided to (somewhat blindly) give it a try. Babel was an author, journalist, and translator…

Book Review: A Thing with Feathers by J John Nordstrom

My thanks to Booktasters for a review copy of this book. A Thing with Feathers is a story with many themes; at its heart a story about a man’s search for his ‘soulmate’, it is set in the background of politics, corruption, greed and power which seem to have replaced any compassion, care or finer…

Book Review: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa and translated by Stephen Snyder

The Housekeeper and the Professor is a beautiful and poignant story of maths and numbers, of baseball, but most of all of a deep bond of friendship and affection formed between three unlikely but in their own ways lonely souls—a mathematics professor who retains old memories and has a good brain but is unable to…

Book Review: Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo and translated by Louise Heal Kawai

My thanks to Pushkin Press and Edelweiss for a review copy of this book. Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo, first published in 1971 is the fourth of Yokomizo’s mysteries to be published in translation by Pushkin Press under their Pushkin Vertigo imprint, from the series featuring his detective Kindaichi Kosuke, which has 77…

Book Review: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis #Narniathon21

The penultimate book in the Narniad, The Magician’s Nephew (1955), like the previous entry in the series, The Horse and His Boy takes a leap back in time, but a much larger leap, all the way to the beginning, before there ever was a Narnia. (This post might be slightly spoilery for the book). Young…

Book Review: Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris

My thanks to Duckworth Books and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Black Butterflies is a beautiful, powerful, heart-wrenching, and haunting story of a city torn by war, and of its people, coping not only with the adversities of daily living, but also the helplessness and heartbreak of seeing the city they love…