The Pastor by Hanne Orstavik

Hello wordpress my old friend, it's time to write blog posts again... By the end of this novel I felt that it was a perfect, pristine picture of a depressed and empty person. And I loved it. My first impression of the book was how appealing the physical design was. It is not your normal …

Trieste, by Daša Drndić

I read this book back in May, and I have had to get some distance from it before I could write about it. It was very affecting, upsetting, and disturbing, as one might expect a book with such subject matter to be. The book follows the life story of Haya Tedeschi, whose son was taken …

The Blind Owl, by Sadegh Hedayat

Certain stories really stick in my head and haunt/influence me for years. This could be one of them. The story of how this book was translated, told in the preface to the book, was an interesting read in itself. Apparently the story was banned in Iran for many years, and there were several censored and …

Strange Hotel, by Eimear McBride

I don't know if I have ever identified so strongly with a character with who I share so little lived experiences. This was a powerful, sad, startling, sometimes funny, most times existentially upsetting, and overall extremely readable book. The story follows a woman through several brief moments during different periods in her life, each moment …

The Sundial, by Shirley Jackson

As with all the Jackson books I've read so far, this one features some people confined in a house, strange visions, and fear of the outside world. Aunt Fanny, of the Halloran family, has had a vision that the world will soon end. That is, it will end for anyone who is not safely inside …

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