Cover image for Address Book by Neil Bartlett

Address Book by Neil Bartlett: Seven stories of love and belonging

It was its structure that attracted me to Neil Bartlett’s Address Book. It’s a set of seven loosely linked short stories each of which takes place in London in different times and different situations, all sharing the themes of home, belonging and love. I usually pick out the best of the bunch with short story …

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Cover image for Tunnelling to the Centre of the Earth by Kevin Wilson

Tunneling to the Centre of the Earth by Kevin Wilson: ‘I don’t think I belong here’  

I spotted Kevin Wilson’s Tunneling to the Centre of the Earth on Netgalley, reminding me of how much I enjoyed his novel, Nothing to See Here. It’s a new edition of his first short story collection comprising eleven pieces. Knowing that many of them were written when Wilson was a student, my expectations weren’t particularly …

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Cover image for Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen

Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen (transl. Owen F. Witesman): Fertility for sale

This is one of those instances when, rather than reading the novel by an author sitting unread on my shelf since I can’t remember when, I plumped for their bright, shiny and new book, although bright might not be the best way to describe Sofi Oksanen’s Dog Park. Opening in Helsinki in 2016, Oksanen’s novel …

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Cover image for The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal

The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal (transl. Jennifer Croft): One day in the life

I’m not sure what it was that attracted me to Pedro Mairal’s The Woman from Uruguay. Perhaps it was simply that it’s a novella or that I’ve not read anything by a Latin American writer for some time. Whatever it was I’m glad I decided to read it. This short piece of fiction reads almost …

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Cover image for My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson: ’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are born equal’  

Lots of brouhaha surrounding Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s My Monticello which, as I know from experience, doesn’t always lead to a satisfying read. I wasn’t entirely sure whether to accept when I was offered a copy but decided to give it a try given it’s a Harvill Secker title, one of my favourite lists. Set against …

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Cover image for Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan: ‘To get the best out of people, you must always treat them well’

It’s a mystery to me why I’ve not read anything by Claire Keegan before given my predilection for Irish writing, particularly as Cathy over at 746Books has spoken so highly of her work. Small Things Like These is the briefest of novellas, a mere 124 pages with a good deal of white space thrown in …

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