Outlawed by Anna North: Badass Feminist Western!

Outlawed by Anna North Book Cover Image

Rating: 4.5 stars Genre: Literary, Historical Fiction Summary: When Ada fails to conceive a child with her new husband, she becomes increasingly desperate. Barren women in her village are often hanged as witches. Fearing that she is cursed, neighbours start refusing to let her attend their births, meaning she can no longer put her expertise as a midwife to use. Frustrated and afraid, Ada runs away to find refuge with a band of outlaws and their charismatic leader known only as the Kid. In this makeshift and marginalised family, women like Ada are finding power beyond the status of their wombs - and taking revenge on the society that has rejected them.

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey: Alluring Magical Realism

Rating: 4 stars Genre: Literary fiction, magical realism Summary: When David sets out in his fishing boat from the island of Black Conch, on a morning that seems the same as any other, the last thing he expects is to come face-to-face with a mermaid. He always thought such creatures existed only in rumour and legend, but here one stares at his boat in the vulnerable reality of flesh and blood, and he must step in to protect her when American tourists arrive for a hunting trip like no other. David nurtures trust and then love between himself and the mermaid, desperate to carve out a life for them among the richness and darkness of his island home. Yet it remains to be seen whether this fusion of woman and myth can ever be his to hold onto.

Maurice by E.M. Forster: Should We Ever Overlook Misogyny?

Maurice by EM Forster Book Cover Image

Maurice Hall appears to be the prototype of the English gentleman - educated at a prestigious school, he will inevitably go on to study at Cambridge then take his place alongside London's wealthy financiers. Yet when he falls in love with a fellow male student at Cambridge, Maurice feels the ground of convention pulled from beneath his feet. He is forced to make an agonising decision: betray his true self in exchange for a place in polite society, or risk turning his back on this safe and familiar world to live authentically.

Subtly Creepy Books to Enjoy this Halloween!

Subtly Creepy Books for Halloween Featured Image

Confession: I'm a massive wimp, and for me full-on horror films or books are an absolute no-no. When I was younger I was traumatised by E.T. the alien for weeks, and my Mum once had to walk me sobbing out of the cinema when I freaked out over Dobby in The Chamber of Secrets. If you share my cowardly streak, you'll love this list of books that sit safely outside of the horror genre, but still provide a creepy and unsettling vibe to get you in the mood for spooky season...

Stress-Free Book Blogging: 7 Personal Tips

Stress Free Book Blogging Tips Cover Image

I think we can all agree that before starting book blogging, we had no idea how time-consuming it would turn out to be! As well as actually reading books and writing posts, there are social media platforms to manage, photos to take, websites to design and emails demanding responses. It's no wonder that many bloggers (myself among them!) have found themselves getting overwhelmed. Over four years of book blogging, I've developed a number of strategies focussed on keeping me sane above making my blog uber-successful! I thought I would collect these tips together into an ultimate guide to stress-free book blogging...

10 Things I Learned from Studying Literature

10 Things I Learned from Studying a Literature Degree

Hi everyone - I'm back!!! I took a hiatus for the past few months as things got pretty intense while I was finishing my English Literature degree. I've now submitted my last assignments and I'm really looking forward to getting back into book blogging, and catching up on all of your lovely posts!

For the first post of my return, I wanted to share the 10 most important things I learnt from studying literature...

Book Awards: Love Them or Loathe Them? Join the Debate!

Book Stack

For our December meeting, my book club had the theme 'Best of 2020' and voted on an award-winning book to read. We ended up choosing Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams which won the British Book Award - I loved it and you can read my review here! However, the time I spent trawling through different book award shortlists to put our poll together got me thinking - do book awards really matter?

Top 10 Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2021!

Happy New Year! For my first post of 2021, I decided to put together a list of the 10 books I am most excited to read this year. January is brightening up just thinking of them! Wishing you all a year of happiness in both the real and fictional world...

My Top 10 Books of 2020!

Well, 2020 has been a year I think most of us would rather forget! I hope you and your loved ones are all safe and well. In the midst of the chaos, we've all come to appreciate books even more, with their reassuring constancy and the opportunity they provide to escape reality for a bit. 

So without further ado, in no particular order (because I am extremely indecisive!) here are the top 10 books that helped me survive 2020...

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe: Classic Breaking Eighteenth-Century Moulds

Rating: 3 stars Category: Classics Synopsis: “I am giving an account of what was, not of what ought or ought not to be.” If she's to get on in the world, Moll Flanders must rely only on her own wit, toughness and experience. And, as one misfortune after another is thrown her way, that's precisely what she intends to do...