“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”— G.K. Chesterton
She sights a Bird – she chuckles –
She flattens – then she crawls –
She runs without the look of feet –
Her eyes increase to Balls –
Her Jaws stir – twitching – hungry
Her Teeth can hardly stand –
She leaps, but Robin leaped the first –
Ah, Pussy, of the Sand,
The Hopes so juicy ripening –
You almost bathed your Tongue –
When Bliss disclosed a hundred Toes –
And fled with every one –
– Emily Dickinson
Another sublime novel from one of my all-time favourite authors, Klara and the Sun could be seen as a companion piece to Ishiguro’s dystopian romance Never Let Me Go, exploring similar themes of love, the danger of unchecked technological advances, and what it means to be human and not-quite-human.
A unique and inventive collection of strange, unsettling, genre-defying short stories, where horror, science fiction and fairytales blend with the themes of sex and death.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining;— Anton Chekhov
show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Margaret Atwood returns to the dystopian world of Gilead in this addictive sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, which perhaps falls short of greatness but still offers a worthy follow-up.
This short science fiction novel takes a simple concept – what if your dreams could affect and alter reality – and spins it into a riveting and imaginative blend of psychological thriller and philosophical musings.
I don’t often buy books I’ve never heard of by the unfamiliar authors purely on a whim, let alone for a full price, but this novel by a Korean-American writer, a spontaneous pick while milling around a bookstore, totally justified the gamble (also, I’ve noticed I’m much more likely to buy anything when it’s in red). It’s a sign of a great book when, after spending time with its characters for over 600 pages, you’re sad to say goodbye as you turn over the last page.
I absolutely loved Kate Atkinson’s brilliant and inventive Life After Life from a few years back, a genre-defying novel that portrayed the many parallel lives of its heroine Ursula Todd in the first half of the 20th century. It also introduced the readers to the rest of the Todd family, among them Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy who becomes a bomber pilot in World War II. In the final “life” of the novel, Teddy gets a miraculous reprieve: presumed dead by everyone, he survives the war and comes back after having spent time as a POW. A God in Ruins takes that ending and runs with it, exploring Teddy’s war as well as his post-war life, a life that he never really expected to have.
“Holding this soft, small living creature in my lap this way, though, and seeing how it slept with complete trust in me, I felt a warm rush in my chest. I put my hand on the cat’s chest and felt his heart beating. The pulse was faint and fast, but his heart, like mine, was ticking off the time allotted to his small body with all the restless earnestness of my own.”