REVIEW: MELISSA ALBERT, THE HAZEL WOOD (2018)

In Chapter Thirteen of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron and Harry find a small, thin book with a shabby black cover in the girls' bathroom—the one haunted by Moaning Myrtle. When Harry steps forward to pick it up, Ron stops him. "What?" said Harry, "Are you mad?" said Ron. "It could be … Continue reading REVIEW: MELISSA ALBERT, THE HAZEL WOOD (2018)

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REVIEW: SEALED, BY NAOMI BOOTH (2017)

Now that was an ending. The last twenty or so pages of Sealed are the closest thing a book has ever made me feel to that scene towards the end of a horror film when something horrific is about to happen or is happening and every fibre of your being wants to look away but your … Continue reading REVIEW: SEALED, BY NAOMI BOOTH (2017)

WHAT TO READ (& LISTEN TO) AFTER READING NAOMI ALDERMAN’S THE POWER (2017)

The beginning of a year is usually a time for me to catch up with the best of the previous year's books that I wasn't able to get my hands on. A few weeks ago, I finally read Naomi Alderman's The Power, set in a world where women and girls the world over discover they … Continue reading WHAT TO READ (& LISTEN TO) AFTER READING NAOMI ALDERMAN’S THE POWER (2017)

DOUBLE REVIEW: Sarah Hall’s MADAME ZERO and Patty Yumi Cottrell’s SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE

CN: suicide. It happened once before and it's happened again: I read two books in quick succession and I'm finding it hard not to think of them in relation to each other. They are, in many ways, very different: Sarah Hall's Madame Zero is a short story collection, Patty Yumi Cottrell's Sorry to Disrupt the … Continue reading DOUBLE REVIEW: Sarah Hall’s MADAME ZERO and Patty Yumi Cottrell’s SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE

DEATH METAL DANTE: MARY JO BANG’S TRANSLATION OF THE INFERNO (2012)

The Divine Comedy has been translated more than a hundred times into English between 1785 and 2017--more than any other book that's not the Bible or one of the Greek and Roman classics--but Mary Jo Bang's 2012 translation of the Inferno is almost certainly the only one that includes a reference to death metal. Her … Continue reading DEATH METAL DANTE: MARY JO BANG’S TRANSLATION OF THE INFERNO (2012)

REVIEW: MANDELBROT THE MAGNIFICENT, BY LIZ ZIEMSKA (2017)

I've read plenty of alternate histories, but I think this is the first alternate biography I've ever come across. Benoit Mandelbrot was a real person--a brilliant mathematician who, as the NYT review for his posthumous memoir put it, "coined the term 'fractal' to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes that uncannily mimic the … Continue reading REVIEW: MANDELBROT THE MAGNIFICENT, BY LIZ ZIEMSKA (2017)

REVIEW: A SKINFUL OF SHADOWS, BY FRANCES HARDINGE (2017)

Makepeace's nightmares are not like other people's. She dreams of spectral figures trying to claw their way through the window, inside her bedroom, inside her head. For Makepeace (who is twelve) has a strange gift: she has "extra space" inside her that can be inhabited by extra souls, and the souls of the dead--who want … Continue reading REVIEW: A SKINFUL OF SHADOWS, BY FRANCES HARDINGE (2017)

REVIEW: NAONDEL, BY MARIA TURTSCHANINOFF, TRANSLATED BY A.A. PRIME (2017)

TW: rape. From the very first page, we know how Naondel ends: seven women escape a life of imprisonment and oppression by sailing away on the eponymous boat; they live the rest of their lives on a magical island; on the island they create a feminist utopia where women and girls from across the world find … Continue reading REVIEW: NAONDEL, BY MARIA TURTSCHANINOFF, TRANSLATED BY A.A. PRIME (2017)