Reading Ideas

“Three Daughters of Eve” by Elif Shafak

Mother and daughter together in the car, stuck in the thankless traffic of Istanbul, on their way to a dinner party. What appears to be an everyday situation soon turns into a hot pursuit. Peri’s, the mother’s, handbag has been stolen and she follows the thieves to a back alley. Among the many things that fall […]

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Am I Blue: A Review Taster for Story Café Special: Sister Creatures!

Alice Walker’s 1986 short work Am I Blue is a poignant and thought-provoking story which, at surface level, details a woman’s friendship with a horse she names Blue, while, on a deeper level, follows in the footsteps of Walker’s other works and plays easel to a canvas upon which the author paints a bleak yet […]

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The Lives of Girls and Women from the Islamic World in Early Modern British Literature and Culture by Bernadette Andrea

Bernadette Andrea’s historical text The Lives of Girls and Women from the Islamic World in Early Modern British Literature and Culture traces it back to explore the lives of various Muslim women who came to Britain from the Medieval period onwards, either willingly or unwillingly to see how these early women were changed by and changed the lands they came to.

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Join Us This Thursday for Utter: Raise Your Voice – It Might Just Help Your Mental Health.

Are you an aspiring singer? Looking for a fun way to meet new people or try something different? Or are you interested in boosting your own confidence or escaping the stresses of daily life in a safe and understanding environment? If so, this is just the session for you! Beginning this Thursday 14th September from […]

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Thoughts on Brand New Ancients

Kate Tempest’s Brand New Ancients pushes the idea of what poetry can be, telling a complete story through verse rather than serving as a collection of individual poems. It’s the kind of story that deserves to be read all in one go, preferably with tea, and lose yourself into the world of these characters whose lives intersect in ways that are recognisable to the reader.

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A Review of Marlena, the Debut Novel of Julie Buntin

Marlena is the stunning, intricately thought out début by young New Yorker Julie Buntin. Fresh with clearly remembered and intimately experienced details of the struggle and turbulence of adolescent life, Buntin pours herself into narrator Cathy, caught in a rut of reminiscing and fantasising on the life of her 15-year-old self, back when she had […]

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The ‘Abracadabra’ of a Novel – Ece Temelkuran

In the penultimate week of Women in Translation Month, we’re very excited to present a guest blog post from Turkish journalist and author Ece Temelkuran. Here she tells us about her most recent novel, Women Who Blow On Knots, and the strange sensation produced by life imitating art.

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Thoughts on The Hate U Give

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr, who witnesses her innocent best friend Khalil being shot wrongfully by police in her home of the “ghetto” of Garden Heights, and how she struggles to find her identity between her home and the suburban high school she attends. It describes how she handles her grief and how she deals with the legal enquiry to his death as the only witness to the incident.

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Thoughts on Are You My Mother?

Alison Bechdel’s second memoir, Are You My Mother?, explores her relationship with her mother and her quest for her to understand their relationship. It discusses her experiences of therapy in her attempts both to understand herself from a psychoanalytical perspective and the way she and her mother interact with each other. It also covers her parents’ relationship, and her mother’s marriage to a closeted gay man as detailed in her first memoir, Fun Home.

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Thoughts on Fangirl

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl tells the story of Cath and Wren, identical twin sisters who, until college, have shared everything together. Wren chooses the stereotypical college experience – parties, boys, and dancing – whereas Cath sees herself more as “the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight”.

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