Review by

Stay With Me

Not flawless but pretty impressive nonetheless

Yejide and Akin fall head over heals in love when they meet at university in Ife, Nigeria in the 1980s. Marriage follows soon thereafter as should babies, but none arrive. The humiliation of childlessness (particularly strong in Nigeria) propels Yejide, Akin and the tenacious mother-in-law to go to extreme lengths to fix it, jeopardising their mental health and relationship on the way. I was gripped by 26-year-old Adébáyò’s storytelling, despite her sometimes uneven writing. An easy, accessible novel that should garner many fans.

Read the Full Review

Get Newsletters from Bookstoker

* = required field

News by

What are you reading over Easter?

Books are piling up next to my suitcase as the Easter holiday approaches. My ever ambitious holiday reading plans rarely match reality but, hey, as long as I have space in my suitcase…

Read more

Review by

Lincoln in the Bardo

Party down at the cemetery

Well, here’s something utterly different. A book with a cacophony of 166 different voices portraying the Bardo (a temporary state in between death and re-birth in the Buddhist faith) of President Abraham Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie. It’s an unusually structured and challenging book, and a moving portrayal of death and grief (and you’ll never walk through a cemetery at night in quite the same way).
Read the Full Review

Review by

One Night in Winter

If your children were forced to testify against you, what terrible secrets would they reveal?

The historian Simon Sebag Montefiore is well known and highly respected for his award-winning non-fiction bestsellers such as Jerusalem, The Romanovs and Stalin. However, this gripping historical novel also proves his expertise as a writer of fiction. A quicker, slimmer read than many of his other works, it is just as involving and darkly exciting.

Read the Full Review

News by

Why I love reading

Hisham Matar’s (author of The Return and In The Country of Men) article in The New York Times perfectly encapsulates why I love reading. I think he’s spot on when he says: ‘the most magical moments in reading occur not when I encounter something unknown but when I happen upon myself, when I read a sentence that perfectly describes something I have known or felt all along […] And the more foreign the setting, the more poignant the event seems. For a strange thing occurs then: A distance widens and then it is crossed.’ A great article.

News by

Man Booker International Prize 2017 Long-List

My favourite book award, The Man Booker International Prize, announced their long-list today and it is, as usual, an incredibly diverse list, geographically and thematically. We have books from Iceland to China, Argentina to Albania. I remember loving Albanian Ismail Kadare’s psychological thriller The Successor when it came out 10 years ago, so I’ll start with his new book The Traitor’s Niche. A pretty dark book by the sounds of it telling the story of a courtier in the Ottoman Empire responsible for transporting the severed heads of the Sultan’s enemies. Nice to see Roy Jacobsen, one of Norway’s most revered authors, on the list, although The Unseen is not considered to be his best, that accolade goes to Child Wonder. I was disappointed that The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis didn’t make it.  Wonder why… In any case, there’s plenty to choose from here. Which one would you like to read?

Read more

News by

Bookstoker Young Readers

Introducing Kirstin - Bookstoker's new children's book reviewer

I’m absolutely thrilled to tell you that Kirstin has joined Bookstoker as a childrens’ book reviewer. Kirstin worked for many years as a children’s bookseller in a large bookshop in Notting Hill and now works for an Oxfam Bookshop. She has a contagious enthusiasm for children’s books and knows what she’s talking about, helped by advice from her two children who are also avid readers. Kirstin has already written some reviews for us which you can find in our Young Readers Section.

Welcome Kirstin!

News by

Happy Women’s Day with Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction Long-list

What better day to publish The Bailey’s Women Prize for fiction long-list than today, International Women’s Day. With a list of 16 books by established authors and a few newcomers there’s plenty of choice. But which one to choose? I enjoyed Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, a love story set in Victorian England which is beautifully written, but at times a bit slow. Perry is definitively an author to look out for, though. I was less keen on Rose Tremain’s The Gustav Sonata, a post-WW2 story about a boy growing up in Switzerland which seemed to have too many loose threads at the end. I’m quite curious about The Power, especially on a day like today, which presents an alternative world where women have all the power…

Read more