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Showing posts from October, 2019

Horror Stories To Give You Chills, Without the Cheap Thrills

I've always loved a good spooky story with plenty of spine-chilling moments, but I haven’t really got the stomach for gore and graphic violence. Subtle hints are often so much more terrifying to me than having things spelt out in detail, which is probably why the Stephen King style of horror has never been my cup of tea. I want to be creeped out, but I think the most skilful writers will use the power of suggestion to lead you along gently, and let your own twisted imagination fill in the gaps. Check out the short stories and collections below if, like me, you prefer old-fashioned ghost stories, macabre twists, and psychological suspense. Then, let us know which of your favourite spooky stories you would recommend, over at The Brown Brontë's Book Club
Collected Ghost Stories, M. R. James In the best tradition of the English ghost story, these feature urbane, scholarly protagonists – usually Oxbridge academics or experts who acquire a suspicious artefact of some kind - who are fa…

“Small Country” – Gaël Faye

Today’s pick for Black History Month is a book I read recently for my foreign language book group. Gaël Faye’s “Small Country” (“Petit Pays”) won the French Prix Goncourt in 2016, and with good reason. Set in Burundi in the 1990s, it is told through the eyes of ten-year-old Gabriel, or Gaby. He lives in the capital, Bujumbura, with his Rwandan mother, his French father and his younger sister. It has all the ingredients of a typical coming-of-age story: an idyllic childhood, a naïve young protagonist, and a rude awakening to the harsh realities of the world. What makes it different, for me, to other books in this genre, is that the shattering of peace, the loss of innocence, and all the heartbreak, affect all of the characters – not just Gabriel.
The novel opens with the adult Gabriel, alone in Paris on his 33rd birthday and dissatisfied with his life in general, thinking about his childhood in Burundi.
This leads us into the first part of the novel which contains descriptions of the nat…

My 9 Best Books by South Asian Authors

Hello and welcome back to The Brown Brontë! In my last post I shared some of my recommended titles of black African, African American and Caribbean interest. Today, I’m looking at fiction rooted in South Asian or Indian backgrounds. The list below is made up of some of my favourite books by South Asian writers; they all deal with similar themes, such as identity and belonging, generational divides and family relationships - but in vastly differing genres and narrative styles. If you have read any of these then let me know what you thought of them, either in the comments or over on Facebook at The Brown Brontë’s Book Club!

1. Vikram Seth – A Suitable Boy I know, I know, it’s not a book, it’s a breezeblock! If the length doesn’t put you off, however, this is an immensely rewarding read, populated with characters that are witty, entertaining and engaging. While on the surface, it’s a tale about a Mrs Bennet-like mother trying to marry off her daughter (the Austen references abound), in re…

Seven Stories for Black History Month

Hello readers! It’s October, which means autumn, earlier evenings, and apparently RAIN. Of Biblical proportions. So what to do on all those rainy nights? WELL, as it happens, October is also Black History Month. So I thought I’d kick off my shiny brand-new blog with a (non-exhaustive) list of stories about interesting or memorable black characters. Several of them deal with slavery, only because I’ve read them fairly recently. However in future posts I will also be sharing titles by BAME authors on a variety of subjects and themes. The books here are not new titles, but they have all affected me deeply in different ways. If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to know what you thought of them! If you haven’t, I hope this post inspires you to try them.

Kindred – Octavia E. Butler
A time-slip novel you might enjoy if you liked The Time-Traveller’s Wife. Dana is an educated, independent, middle-class black woman from 1976 Los Angeles, married to the scholarly Kevin. One day, she finds hersel…

Welcome to The Brown Brontë blog!

Welcome to The Brown Brontë blog!  As a South Asian Yorkshirewoman with an addiction to literature, the name for this blog reflects both myself and the content I’ll be sharing on here. I read when I know I should be doing other things, and I talk incessantly about what I’m reading to anyone who will humour me, when I know they should be doing other things. But since I don’t have the will or inclination to change my ways, I’ve decided to channel my thoughts on here; as some wise person once said, “If you can’t beat it, own it.” I would love this little corner of the Internet that I’ve claimed, to be somewhere that fellow readers, both like-minded and unlike-minded, can come together for ideas on what to read, how to expand their reading, and have a natter about everything bookish, in the comments section and on our Facebook group. And if anything I write here helps any of you lovely people to find inspiration in your reading lives, I’ll be - to coin a Yorkshire phrase - “well chuffed!” I…