The Wheel by Jennifer Lane | Book Review

“In the world we live in, we have been taught from a young age that traditionally masculine traits are what will make us succeed; intelligence is measured logically through tick-box tests, the loudest voice in the room tends to win the debate and we are told to be cruel to fight our way to the […]

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No Touching by Ketty Rouf | Book Review

“Today , I don’t exist. Tomorrow, I probably won’t, either. (…)Today is the first day of school.” “Exhausted. (…) Do your job. Hang on. (…) It is a truly wretched existence, one that drove me to seek stimulation by reading the great philosophers. Where the hell did I get the ludicrous idea of finding happiness […]

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Invisible Ink by Patrick Modiano | Book Review

“It comforted me to think that even if you sometimes have memory gaps, all the details of your life are written somewhere in invisible ink.” “I did not want to quantify my life. I let it flow by, like mad money that slips through your fingers. I wasn’t careful. When I thought about the future, […]

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The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak | Book Review

‘Where do you start someone’s story when every life has more than one thread and what we call birth is not the only beginning, nor is death exactly an end?’ ‘People on both sides of the island [Cyprus] suffered – and people on both sides would hate it if you said that aloud. Why? Because […]

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The Memory Monster by Yishai Sarid | Book Review

The Memory Monster by an Israeli writer Yishai Sarid is an excellent novel, one of the best books I have read on the banality of evil, memory, how we process the past, how we relate to the darkest chapters of the human history, how we understand human brtutality. Do we learn from the history, especially […]

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The German Room by Carla Maliandi | Book Review

“No matter where I go, I’m still broken. And now I’m thousands of miles from home, in a place where I barely speak the language and I have no idea what to do.”  “Even if I crossed the whole world looking for a place to feel at home, I wouldn’t belong anywhere.”  The German Room […]

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The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun | Book Review

“Not all disasters catch your eye. The ones that become real issues are distinct. (…) The disaster has to be on a certain scale for busy people to take the time to sympathise or pay attention. (…) The empathy can fade too. (…) If you compared several disasters that had occurred at similar times and […]

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Fresh Water For Flowers by Valerie Perrin | Book Review

Fresh Water for Flowers is the most extraordinary, moving tribute to the resilience of human spirit. I must admit that I don’t remember when last time I was so deeply touched by a story. This book hugs YOU, offers comfort and numerous moments of tenderness, as well as it evokes the spirit of profound emotions […]

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The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout | Book Review

“Books — the closeness of them, their contact, their smell, and their contents — constitute the safest refuge against this world of horror. They are the most pleasant and the most subtle means of traveling to a more compassionate planet.” Tahar Djaout (1954 – 1993) was one of the most talented Algerian writers of the […]

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North Korea Like Nowhere Else by Lindsey Miller | Book Review

North Korea Like Nowhere Else is a photographic exploration of the life in North Korea from the unique perspective of the Westerner living in the capital city of Pyongyang between 2017 and 2019. Through a series of evocative as well as informative stories, anecdotes and captivating photos accompanied by the author’s very sensitive, insightful and […]

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Internat [The Orphanage] by Serhiy Zhadan | Book Review

Internat also published in English under the title ‘The Orphanage’ by the Ukrainian writer Serhiy Viktorovych Zhadan (Serhij Zadan) is my favourite book I have read so far this year and definitely one of the best books I have ever read. Yale University Press published an English translation of this magnificent novel in April 2021 […]

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A Bookshop in Algiers by Kaouther Adimi | Book Review

A Bookshop in Algiers by the Algerian writer Kaouther Adimi is a literary feast. This book might be small in size, just under 150 pages, but it is dense with captivating literally anecdotes related to both Algerian and French titans of literature as well as with many unique perspectives on the history and culture of […]

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A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar | Book Review

“I found something in Siena, for which I am yet to have a description, but for which I have been searching, and it came (…) at that strange meeting point of two contradictory events – the bright achievement of having finished a book and the dark maturation of the likelihood, inescapable now, that I will […]

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Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman | Book Review

If you are not familiar with a wonderful Dutch historian, Rutger Bregman, I would highly recommend you to watch his 2017 TED Presentation: ‘Poverty Isn’t a Lack of Character, It’ s a Lack of Cash.’ Also, I would encourage you to watch his now viral talk at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos where […]

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Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri | Book Review

Whereabouts was originally written in Italian by the Bengali-American writer, Jhumpa Lahiri who also translated the book herself.   “Solitude: it’s become my trade. (…) It’s a condition I try to perfect”.   Written in forty-six short vignettes, Whereabouts portrays daily wanderings and inner workings of the narrator’s mind who is a solitary unnamed woman […]

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