Laughter in the Dark – Vladimir Nabokov

“A certain man once lost a diamond cuff-link in the wide blue sea, and twenty years later, on the exact day, a Friday apparently, he was eating a large fish – but there was no diamond inside. That’s what I like about coincidence.” ― Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter in the Dark This is the first novel…

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

“The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.” ― Daphne du…

The Idiot – Elif Batuman

I had been desperate to read this book ever since I saw it had been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize. The title also drew me in – it reminds me of Dostoevsky, and I love Dostoevsky. The story follows Selin, who has just started her studies at Harvard University. It is a story filled with…

Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh

“…any one who has been to an English public school will always feel comparatively at home in prison. It is the people brought up in the gay intimacy of the slums, Paul learned, who find prison so soul destroying.” I have read Brideshead Revisited once, many years ago, but apart from that had never read…

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.” I am so excited to finally be sharing this review with you. This book is long (635 pages!) and due to various commitments it took me about a month to read. But,…

Birds Without Wings – Louis de Bernieres

“Man is a bird without wings and a bird is a man without sorrow.” I adore Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The first time I read it was on holiday, sitting in the sun listening to the birds and the crickets, the scents of oranges and lemons filling the air. I am taken back every time I…

Brushstrokes in Time – Sylvia Vetta

“I come into this world Bringing only paper, rope, a shadow.” My Bank Holiday Monday has not quite gone the way I expected it to. I had planned a Spring clean, preparations for the coming week at work, perhaps a walk. None of this has yet happened. I have instead read, from start to finish,…

Top 10 Non-Fiction Books To Expand Your Mind

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot The value of non-fiction books is so often overlooked in favour of other, more instant sources of knowledge (cough…internet…cough), but sometimes there is nothing so beautiful and…

The Sense Of An Ending – Julian Barnes

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.” This book’s synopsis immediately drew me to it. It is a study of human memory, and whether the past as we recall it is actually what happened – and if it’s not, whether anyone can say what…

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

“It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we’d understood that back then-who knows?-maybe…

Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami

“We’re both looking at the same moon, in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line. All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me.” I had never heard of Murakami until my leaving party at my first ever proper job. I was moving away, and it was a sad…

30 Books To Read Before You’re 30 (part two)

This is part two of my list of 30 books to read before you’re 30 (the big day is coming around all too quickly for me…). If you haven’t read part one, you can find it here. So, without further delay, here are numbers 16 – 30: 16. The Old Man and The Sea –…