The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

I hadn’t been expecting to fall in love with a fig tree upon opening this book, yet here we are. The Island of Missing Trees is my absolute favourite book from 2022. With it, Elif Shafak blends a glorious mix of magical realism, forbidden love, beautiful imagery, intergenerational trauma, and the musings of a fig…More

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

The traditional fairy tales that we know so well, including Bluebeard and Little Red Riding Hood, are told from an atypical perspective in Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. Carter has previously opposed the idea that these are retellings, but rather new tales that reveal the true quality of the originals. The resulting stories are filled with…More

The Velvet Fox and The Midnight Swan by Catherine Fisher

The Velvet Fox and The Midnight Swan are the final two books in Catherine Fisher’s Clockwork Crow trilogy. As with the first book, these both felt like a treat for my inner child. I devoured them on a train journey from North to South Wales, following a magical folklore-themed writing retreat. I was lucky enough…More

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

With Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason takes us on a journey of the impact undiagnosed mental illness can have. Martha, the main character, isn’t diagnosed until the age of 39. Her specific illness is never confirmed in the book, it’s only referred to as “_”, keeping the focus on the ripple effects rather than the…More

The Aerialists by Katie Munnik

Cardiff’s “Fine Art, Industrial and Maritime Exhibition”, or the “Great Exhibition” for short , was held in 1896. It was a six month extravaganza that attracted millions of visitors and numerous acts, including jungle scenes with exotic animals; “moving pictures” (a rare and new technology for the time); 9,000-seat concerts; and more. Amongst the exhibition’s attendees was…More

Atomic Habits by James Clear

I often find myself setting lofty goals and resolutions for “the start of next week”, “the start of the month”, or “New Year’s day”. I imagine myself waking up and being a brand new person, someone who is suddenly capable of sticking to all manner of brand new and super healthy routines. In Atomic Habits,…More