South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami (Book Review)

I feel immensely strange writing this book review. South of the Border, West of the Sun is the first of Haruki Murakami's books that I have read. I had high hopes for it but was left bitterly disappointed. In fact, I don't think I've harboured such negative feelings towards a book for a long time.…

A Warm Welcome from Foyles, London

A Bookstore Tour of London

London is a paradise for book lovers. The iconic city is home to everything from small, dusty independent booksellers to giant retail chains. On a recent visit to the city, I set myself up around Covent Garden and Piccadilly to check out some of the capital's best bookstores. Similarly to my Bookstore Tour of Barcelona…

Cool Cafés to Visit in London

London is a huge city and has no shortage of good cafés. Between the many chain coffee shops there are plenty of quirky, interesting places if you know where to look. Most of the suggestions below are in central London (though exactly what constitutes central London in such a large city could be debated). Of…

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Book and Audiobook Review)

The Bell Jar is a relentlessly honest and haunting book written by Sylvia Plath. It tells the story of fictional character Esther Greenwood as she spirals into the depths of depression. The semi-autobiographical nature of the book makes it an even heavier read, given Plath's own depression and ultimate suicide in 1963, just a month…

Paradise by Adbulrazak Gurnah (Book Review)

Paradise, published in 1994, was written by Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah. Set in East Africa in the early 1900s, this wonderfully written tale follows Yusuf, a young boy who is taken from his parents to work for 'Uncle Aziz'. We soon learn that Uncle Aziz is not his uncle at all, but a merchant to…

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Book & Audiobook Review)

Arturo recently found an article called The 50 best audiobooks of all time. It's a great list, but the book that caught my attention was F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake Gyllenhaal is an outstandingly talented actor. I had no doubt that he'd make a great Nick Carraway, with his…

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Book Review)

I'll start with this: I think Wonder by R.J. Palacio should be compulsory reading at schools. Perhaps for children around the age of 10, which is the age of the main character, August Pullman. August ("Auggie") was born with severe facial disfigurement. Although his face is the first thing that others see, R.J. Palacio has…