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Our bodies our punching bags: Roxane Gay’s ‘Hunger’

“We don’t necessarily know how to hear stories about any kind of violence, because it is hard to accept that violence is as simple as it is complicated, that you can love someone who hurts you, that you can stay with someone who hurts you, that you can be hurt by someone who loves you, …

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The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin (re-issue)

  A young mother feels her sanity slipping from sheer exhaustion. Her baby isn't sleeping and her husband's frustration nearly pushes her over the edge. To make ends meet, they take in a lodger. But when strange things begin happening, Louise and her husband both get the feeling they've seen this woman before. But where? …

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

IT book of the Summer: 2017 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman   I'm not normally one to read the IT books of the summer. When a book garners too much attention, I get suspicious. When I get suspicious, I reach for something else. The quality of popular books is too unreliable, too …

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Walter Scott Prize shortlist: Hannah Kent’s ‘The Good People’

  So much for leaving Hannah Kent's book for last, as I'd planned. Picking it up for a short peruse, I found it such an easy read I finished in a couple protracted reading sessions. The Good People is set in County Kerry, Ireland in 1825. Beginning with the sudden, unexpected death of Martin Leahy …

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Walter Scott Prize Shortlist: Rose Tremain’s ‘The Gustav Sonata’

  I've been trotting around Scotland over the past few days, traveling to the Isle of Arran and riding through the western coast of the mainland. Though I took along a book, I didn't have much time for reading. There's just been too much to see, like this:   And this:     Also, lots …

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Walter Scott Prize 2017 Shortlist: Graham Swift’s ‘Mothering Sunday’

  This year's Shortlist for the Walter Scott Prize consists of seven novels: four by female authors, and three by men. There's Sebastian Barry, who's Irish, Hannah Kent from Australia, and the rest are English. Interesting no Scots made the Shortlist - not that there must be. I am, as I said earlier, hoping to …

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The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler (A Nice Person)

  Knopf, 2012, Fiction, 208 pp., Library Copy.   My relationship with Anne Tyler has, as I said in my previous post, been a bit rocky. She's singular in the whole book universe for my feeling of disappointment that I can't enjoy her. She's sweet, looks utterly kind and she's so well-beloved in the U.S. …

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