The Pull of the Stars: An Account of the 1918 Flu Which Feels Eerily and Uncannily Familiar

2020 has been a year shaped by a global pandemic, which has unsurprisingly in turn shaped my own reading, but something else has also happened. I seem to have read a startling number of books which feature or make reference to global pandemics. Of course the writers of these novels could have had no idea… Continue reading The Pull of the Stars: An Account of the 1918 Flu Which Feels Eerily and Uncannily Familiar

Reading and Empathy:Can reading fiction make you a more empathetic person?

Can reading help you to understand societal issues and the life experience/lived experience of those who are different from you?  Studies have linked reading fiction with an increase in charitable giving, improvements in wellbeing and better relationship building. Studies have also found that reading can hugely benefit society at large, and empathy is key to… Continue reading Reading and Empathy:Can reading fiction make you a more empathetic person?

Otterly Amazing Reads: What Makes Historical Fiction?

A slightly different Otterly Amazing reads coming at you today. Throughout May I am celebrating all things historical fiction. I’m a huge fan of the genre, but this has not always been the case. It’s only in the last 8 years or so that I have become interested in the books set in the past;… Continue reading Otterly Amazing Reads: What Makes Historical Fiction?

Otterly Amazing Reads: The Night Circus

Do you have any books which you put off reading? You just knew you’d probably love them, they sound so wonderful and you’re seeing it in every bookshop (or online but I found today’s book well before I found bookstagram). Everyone loves said book, but what if you’re that one anomaly who doesn’t. What if… Continue reading Otterly Amazing Reads: The Night Circus

The Popularity of Retellings: Why have they become our new literary obsession?

Bookworms tend to be slightly obsessive. I count myself among that number. I collect books at a rate which makes my bank balance dwindle and bookshelves sag. I talk about books with anyone who will listen and feel slightly uncomfortable when daily life requires me to be seperated from my current read. That scene in… Continue reading The Popularity of Retellings: Why have they become our new literary obsession?

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: An authentic, honest and fresh story about war and its effects

Having read Clemantine Wamariya  harrowing, human and ultimately hopeful account of her childhood as a refugee fleeing the civil war in Rwanda I’m genuinely unsure how to write a review. Partly because the central theme of this story is Warmariya attempt to find her voice, to take the pain and suffering of her young life… Continue reading The Girl Who Smiled Beads: An authentic, honest and fresh story about war and its effects