Lochanreads Bookish News Picks

Today I’d like to do something a little different and share with you some of the most interesting articles I’ve read this week in the world of books and publishing. Here are my 3 picks for bookish news stories this week.

  1. Molly Case, the NHS nurse who finds poetry on the wards
Molly Case

Molly Case, a cardiac nurse (pictured left) uses poetry as a means of enlightening people as to the N.H.S crisis in the U.K. Her poem, ‘Nursing The Nation’ is a deeply stirring, accessible rebuttal against the unfairly negative press about those in the medical profession.

2. ‘It’s a silent conversation’: authors and translators on their unique relationship

English language translator Flora Drew with Chinese author Ma Jian.

This interesting story gives a deeper appreciation not just of language, with the weight of nuance and culture behind it, but also the deep familiarity that makes book translations possible. This familiarity is perfectly exemplified through Chinese novelist, Ma Jian (pictured left), known for works such as ‘China Dream’. His translator, Flora Drew (also pictured left) is also his wife and therefore shares a level of intimacy with him that allows her to ‘become him’ in her translations.

3. Chinese writer Tianyi jailed for 10 years over gay erotic novel

The Chinese Supreme People’s Court, where a ruling used to convict the author was passed in 1998

A female Chinese writer, under the alias Tianyi is sentenced to 10 years in prison for writing a novel featuring homo-erotic scenes between two males. The novel is said to go against strict pornography laws. This overly harsh indictment is a stark reminder of the ever present homophobia that is sadly still widespread today.

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Thank you reading! Please feel free to comment down below about any of the articles featured in the post. I look forward to sharing more news related posts with you soon but for now, why not check out some of my latest reviews? Click here to read more! 📚

New Review: Blood Of Elves by Andrej Sapkowski

Blood Of Elves by Andrej Sapkowski is the second installment in the Witcher series, a fantasy world where Geralt a powerful sorceror protects and fights for the weak against fearsome beasts; monsters, dragons and elves.
Geralt takes on a more paternalistic role in Blood Of Elves being charged with the protection of Princess Ciri of Cintra whose home and city was sacked by the wrath of the Nilfgaardians. Geralt takes Ciri, our strong willed heroine on many adventures where she learns the way of the Witcher. This novel feels like a coming of age story as it is mostly told from Ciri’s perspective. As Ciri grows, learns to fight and discovers hidden secrets about her abilities, she comes to realize how rife with conflict the world is. She discovers the power of ignorance in breeding hatred and fear. Hatred towards Witchers who are to many unnatural and ungodly. And tensions running high between Elves and Men. Blood Of Elves is a very distinctive fantasy with a mature edge. It has all the winning attributes of prophecies, epic battles and magic. I’m still loving this series and can’t wait for the next part; Time Of Contempt! 🌟🌟🌟 Hey Bookworms! Thank you for reading this review and please don’t forget to vote for your favourite book of 2018 here Happy Reading! X

My 2018 In Books – Please Vote!

Last year was a year like any other. Full of highs and rife with lows. I experienced my fair share of both in equal measure despite how generic that sounds. Among other things, I’m so glad that I finally started this blog after years of procrastination and self-doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to figure this stuff out as sometimes I really feel so out of my depth. Nevertheless, its thanks to this little blog of mine that I have been able to read 50 books this year which I am extremely thrilled about!

c But those books which stood above the rest and affected me the most are those which I am going to share with you today. Here are my Top 5 books of 2018!

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Silent Companions by Laura Purcell “…This insidiously gothic horror story which I’ve been gushing over on various social media platforms, gripped me from the outset to the ingeniously sinister end.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay “… This book is without doubt unquestionably funny. Even at times when it shouldn’t be, the occasional tone of cynicism turns an otherwise dire situation into a witty anecdote.”⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini “… the writing style is flawless with imagery that is both scenic and vibrant. I loved reading his descriptions of Herat when Mariam first ventured there.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda “… the writing is atmospheric, placing you in the scene so vividly as though you were running alongside Tony on his morning jog, or walking alongside Sam and Blake in the oppressive heat of the desert.”⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata “… the way it injected an almost unopened newness into the banality of being a store worker through Keiko’s unusual perspective was perfection.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐


These were utterly brilliant books which I greatly enjoyed reading. They lingered on in my thoughts well after I had finished reading them. They opened my eyes in some way and changed my outlook and I can’t wait to read each one of them again. Please click on the titles above to read my reviews! If you’ve read any of these books, please tell me your thoughts about it in the comments 🙂 📚

⬇️ Now I want to hear from you fellow readers!


⬇️ Vote for your fave book of 2018 here!

Thank you so much for your support in 2018 and for your feedback! Have a fantastic 2019 you bibliophiles! And to keep updated with my upcoming reviews, please visit the Book Reviews page 🙂

Xx.

Dark Days Lonely Nights by D R Nguyen

Dark Days Lonely Nights by author and poet D. R. Nguyen is a collection of free verse poems about unfulfilled dreams. The depressing and gloomy tone renders it both deeply relatable and at times a bit melodramatic.

I started reading these verses on my lunch break from the full-time 9-5 job I currently have; so such poems as I Wonder and Routine really resonated with me and I could empathize with the disillusionment, the sense of frustration and pointlessness that makes the pursuit of dreams seem altogether bleak.

This collection is very short and can easily be read within a day or two. Ironically, the only criticism I have with these poems is that they lacked any substantial poetry. Apart from A Dream Lost which likens dreams to lovers and the book’s clear sense of mood, it lacked the poeticism of imagery and symbolism. .

I personally related with many of these poems as they perfectly captured the occasional feelings of defeatism I sometimes experience, and this held my interest throughout. However, my overall enjoyment was thwarted by the overly pessimistic tone, so I rate Dark Days And Lonely Nights..

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New Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieAmericanah is the 2013 acclaimed novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about two young lovers from Nigeria who dream of a deeply coveted life together in the United States. Ifemelu, an outspoken and opinionated girl is the first to migrate awaiting Obinze to join her later. However, when he is denied entry to the States and winds up in England, the once strong romantic bond they shared starts to weaken as they learn to integrate into the unfamiliarity of Western culture.

This point of view story is told in a reminiscent style. Ifemelu’s narrative recounts life back in Nigeria with Obinze and her early migration to the States, where she recalls desperately trying to find work even by questionable means, struggling to assimilate into the alien customs around her and the spark of former lovers. These flashbacks all occur during the six hours Ifemelu has taken out of her day to get her hair braided. Obinze’s story takes on a similar style, frequenting flashbacks to life in Nigeria and his downward path in the U.K.

Americanah is an honest portrayal of the highly esteemed view of Western culture held by many Africans. An Americanah as they are called in Nigeria, are treated as superior beings for having lived in the States and they are exempted from the scrutiny of others. The book also addresses issues such as racial discrimination and stereotyping by way of Ifemelu’s blog posts and her almost too-good-to-be-true romance with Curt.

Americanah @lochanreadsinsta

As much as I appreciated the candid relevance of the book’s political message, I found it to be a bit too prosiac, especially the inclusion of entire blog posts and Ifemelu’s coverage of the Obama campaign, the dullness of which was very hard to read. I preferred reading Obinze’s POV chapters which conveyed the same political ideas but with less dogma.

I enjoyed the lengthy nature of the book as I would normally prefer reading something I can really sink my teeth into and Americanah afforded me that pleasure, through its skilfully developed characters. Even side characters like Aunty Uju and her son Dike are solid interesting characters, that take you on a journey and grow with every new trial. However, my overall enjoyment of this book was hindered by the dogmatic verbiage or long winded dullness of the pacing. For that reason I rate Americanah..

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(2.5 stars)

⬇️ To read more reviews like this one please click the link below! 📚 ⬇️

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New Book Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People by Sally RooneyWhat excites me about Rooney’s style of writing is just how well she can articulate thoughts and emotions. Her effortless skill to externalise in writing the nature of human relationships is deeply alluring and relatable. I loved the character-driven depth of Conversations With Friends so much so that I was especially keen to read Normal People which was recently published in August 2018. And on that note, if you try to loan it from any library in the next couple months, be prepared for an intimidatingly long queue of reservations and wait times.

In this coming-of-age novel, Connell and Marianne are estranged teenage lovers. They grew up in the same rural part of Ireland, they went to school together and attended the same college. Their strained relationship is a product of their difference in social class and popularity. Marianne’s affluent background affords her family the luxury of having their own cleaner; Connell’s mother, Lorraine to work in their lavish mansion. At school though, Marianne doesn’t fit in; she’s a social outcast whom her peers see fit to constantly taunt and ridicule. Even Connell hides his sexual involvement with her from his mates, pretending to be indifferent towards her in their presence.

The execution of the romance was enjoyable to read as it achieves what I believe a good romance should; it presents the relationship with a challenge, such as their difference in class for example, that must be overcome and in so doing giving the romance an almost forbidden, star-crossed lovers quality….

Head over to the Book Reviews page to view the whole review!

October Classic Read: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Hey Bibliophiles!

Let me start off with the question I ended my review with; Do you have a perfect Halloween read? If so, please tell me what it is in the comments as well as anything else you’ll be reading this October.

I kicked off this macabre month with the gruesomely ghoulish Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. (Alliteration aside, it’s not that gruesome..) Please do have a read and share your thoughts with me! You can do so by clicking >>here<< ~~(^O^)~~

Frankenstein Bizarrocomics
Bizarrocomics