Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

I really had to put in a lot of effort to finish Ducks, Newburyport. At 1000 pages, it’s four times the length of your average novel, yet made up only of a single sentence. The sentence represents the stream of consciousness of a middle-aged American housewife, with thoughts wandering from school shootings to her pie…More

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

I simply had to read The Vegetarian after coming across this glowing review, in which the author, amongst other high praise, declares it as “the best book I have ever read”. The story is set in modern-day Seoul and follows the reactions of various family members as Yeong-hye, the central character, stops eating meat following vivid, blood-soaked dreams…More

Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

In her writings from 2016, the Year of the Monkey, Patti Smith, our poetic punk pilgrim, takes us on her travels across many US states. She cuts a solitary figure amongst the backdrop of the country’s increasingly polarising politics, travelling with ghosts of those she loves and the knowledge that she’s soon to lose two…More

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

A Boomer, my lovely Mum, kindly let her Millennial daughter know that Gen Z were raving about the Song of Achilles on TikTok. When I looked into it, I indeed found a myriad of videos with youngsters all expressing how Miller’s 2011 debut had tugged at their hearts. The story’s origins start many many generations…More

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

I recently stumbled across a post from 2015 titled Our Favourite Books and Why We Love Them, in which some of my co-workers shared their favourite reads. One Hundred Years of Solitude appeared twice. I knew of the book as a widely acclaimed, landmark novel that uses magic realism, a style of fiction that blurs…More

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

The Doll Factory is a compelling and well-written gothic affair, with the following ensemble of main characters: Silas, an obsessive epidermist and owner of a Curiosity Shop, who is entranced by all things strange and beautiful. Two twins, Iris and Rose, apprentices in a doll shop. Iris has a twisted collarbone which she is incredibly…More