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Reviews in Retrospect: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

When I first began writing this review of Zora Neale Hurston’s 1937 masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God, it was an understatement to say that I felt daunted. Many have said that the novel defined the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and prolific writers such as Alice Walker (author of The Colour Purple) have said that, “There is no book more important […] than this one”. Nevertheless, the reason why I jumped at the opportunity to write about it, is that when I read the book, on a rainy-day during quarantine, the sense of wonder I felt for the novel’s protagonist made me want to share it with everyone. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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Reading Corner: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Lisa Taddeo’s debut book charts the emotional and sexual lives of three women who, despite being radically different to one another in their circumstances and experiences, are bound together in ways that are difficult to pinpoint. Having heard a great deal throughout the year about how ground-breaking and excellent Three Women was, I decided to make it one of my lockdown reads. I was surprised … Continue reading Reading Corner: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

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Four Decades On, Patti Smith is Still the Godmother of Poetry and Protest

Few things match the feeling, as a fifteen-year-old girl, of hearing a woman in a classic rock song tell you: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” At once, you’re aware of the magnificence of living honestly and boldly. You also realise that if you’re too nervous to attempt that yourself, you can always turn up the volume, and ​live vicariously through someone who’s less afraid. Continue reading Four Decades On, Patti Smith is Still the Godmother of Poetry and Protest

Pride Culture Comforts: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other has already seen immense amounts of success for Bernardine Evaristo as the winner of The Booker Prize 2019 and the first female writer of colour to top the UK fiction paperback chart. As people work towards diversifying and decolonising their bookshelves, this seems to be a frequent favourite to start that journey. An aspect that I haven’t seen addressed as much though … Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

For many of us, reading has become a source of hope, providing a space for both refuge and clarity to help us navigate our present climate. As well as having new texts to look forward to, pre-ordering books also offers an opportunity to support authors and publishers alike during the uncertainty of lockdown. Dynamic, ambitious and uplifting, these are some of the most exciting and important titles to look out for in 2020! Continue reading Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

Reading Corner: Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett

In writing this I tried to narrow down Terry Pratchett’s novels to a particular book, or even a particular strand of books. Whilst the current political climate drew me towards the Watch novels (in particular Night Watch), each time I thought I had distilled the series down to my favourite book, I remembered another brilliant part of a different book. That, I think, is the joy of the Discworld books – they are broad enough to suit all occasions. Continue reading Reading Corner: Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett

Reading Corner: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Recently, I read, and loved, Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s uplifting, heartbreaking and downright genius. Eleanor Oliphant’s mind is complex and contradictory: simultaneously full of confusion and certainty, denial and acceptance, darkness and light. She evolves as the novel progresses, and it’s encouraging to see a character with such a distorted view of both life and of herself change in a positive way and confront her past and her fears. Continue reading Reading Corner: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman