Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

In My Stacks, May 2016

How much of your reading is non-fiction? Does it fluctuate, or are you committed to reading (or not reading) it?

When others were participating in non-fiction November last year, and actually reading a lot of the books that I’d been kinda-half-sorta thinking about reading, I realised that tending towards fiction had shifted into reading almost […]

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Ania Szado’s Studio Saint-Ex (2013)

“There’s no backstitching in stories. Nothing can be locked in place.”

So says a character in Studio Saint-Ex, but readers of Ania Szado’s second novel might disagree; she seems to have no trouble locking a good story in place.

She began where all good stories begin, with a fascination.

In her Acknowledgments, she writes:

“To conclude […]

María Dueñas’ The Time In Between (2011)

Atria Books, 2011

The Time In Between is essential reading for those who thought that reading about the Spanish Civil War meant Hemingway and Orwell.

In her lush and sprawling novel, María Dueñas presents the era via the perspective of  “an independent woman in difficult times”.

There was no room for a seamstress like Sira in the […]

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1983)

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1983) Women’s Press, 1984 

Celie begins writing letters to God because the man who is married to her mother has said that’s all who will listen, all who should be bothered with listening.

(It’s just wrong to call him her father, after he has raped and abused her, but some […]