“Stranger in the Shogun’s City” by Amy Stanley

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Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Anyone who reads and researches a lot about Japan knows that there isn’t much tangible social history about those outwith the nobility. This book seeks to shine some light onto a life of an “ordinary” Japanese woman coming of age in the early 19th century. This was a time of huge political and social change in Japan and it was still largely closed off from the wider world and the social and cultural influences of the time. I say “ordinary” because Tsuneno was still rather privileged by the standards of the time, at the beginning of her life at least.

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“The Bass Rock” by Evie Wyld

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Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book tells the story of three women whose stories are cleverly interwoven across time. The main setting is the area around North Berwick where the Bass Rock looms eternal. Sarah and Ruth’s narratives are written in the third person and Viviane’s is in the first person. This was quite an interesting approach for the author to take but it took a little bit of getting used to as a reader. There is an element of the supernatural in the story but the living are scarier than the dead in this particular tale.

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“Antigone Rising” by Helen Morales

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Thanks to Headline and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to read this book when I first heard about it. I am currently doing my Masters in Classical Studies and I teach it at High School level too so anything which prompts deeper thinking or poses interesting questions I am 100% here for.

The book is split into eight chapters covering topics ranging from violence against women, war, dieting and body image, gender fluidity and…Beyonce. So far, so interesting.

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“Red River Girl” by Joanna Jolly

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Thanks to Little Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand the past few years, you’ve probably heard about the rampant abuse and murder of indigenous Canadian women and girls, if you’re interested in true crime at least. Despite the media focus, it is clear that the violence persists, and this book focuses particularly on the death of one young girl, Tina Fontaine.   

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“The Tenth Muse” by Catherine Chung

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Thanks to Little Brown and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

This book made me feel interested in and enthused about Maths which is really saying a lot. I know a lot of people say they hate Maths but I don’t, I just really, really struggle to understand it. A friend of mine who is now a Professor of Mathematics once told me to think of it like a language. Little did he know that I am crap at languages too.

Anyway, this book is something rather special. I was worried that it was going to be one of those awfully clever books that makes me feel thick, but I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved!). 

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“Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell

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Thanks to Headline and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

My husband and I have this thing where if we come across something amazing, be it a movie, song, book or even a person, we call it a “Crocodile Rock”. A Crocodile Rock (named after the Elton John song obvs) is something or someone truly amazing. God tier if you will. The Count of Monte Cristo is a Crocodile Rock. Keanu Reeves is a Crocodile Rock. Mozart’s Dies Irae is a Crocodile Rock. Botticelli’s Birth of Venus is a Crocodile Rock. 

You get the concept. 

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Things My Mother Told Me by Tanya Atapattu

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I know I haven’t updated in forever. In my defence, I am doing two Masters qualifications concurrently and I have a two year old child. My job is also insanely busy. I’ve still been reading a ton but my blogging has slipped unfortunately. Apologies all.

Thanks to Little Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

My expectations were already pretty high for this book because contemporary South Asian diaspora stories are my jam, but if anything, this book managed to exceed them. I tend to read multiple books at once, but when I was reading this I basically did not leave my bed until I finished it.

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“Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo

Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

So the media hype is most definitely real with this one. Quite simply, this is a book about the lives, loves and desires of three women. Maggie, a young woman who has become a local pariah, despite being a victim of a predatory teacher. Lina, a victim of abuse trapped in a loveless marriage, who still pines over a lost love, and Sloane, an enigmatic woman from a background of privilege who has a complicated relationship with her own needs and desires.

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