Thomas Olde Heuvelt
September 21, 2021
Robert Grim #1 Rating:
Horror author Thomas Olde Heuvelt flexes his abilities to leave readers shaking in terror in his latest novel, Hex. Traditional hauntings, the reverberations of the US’s witch trials, and an exploration of the darker aspects of humanity are blended beautifully into a novel that is simultaneously unputdownable and will have you sleeping with all the lights on. Like many books that rise above their brethren, Hex is much more than the sum of its parts.
The Decagon House Murders By:
Ho-Ling Wong Release Date:
December 3, 2020
Author Yukito Ayatsuji is known for supporting a return to classic detective fiction—the sort of fare produced by the likes of Christie and Doyle—and his novel The Decagon House Murders is no exception. In fact, this novel is credited with beginning the shinhonkaku movement, a literary movement in Japan to restore Golden Age mystery novel plotting and style, while at the same time, influencing anime as well.
The Missing Word By:
Concita De Gregorio
One of the best explorations of grief, possibly ever written, is Concita De Gregorio’s The Missing Word. Originally written in Italian and translated into English by the fantastic Clarissa Botsford, The Missing Word is the true story of a woman whose two young daughters disappear, never to be seen again. It is a story of desperation and grief, told with all the urgency of a psychological thriller. It is a story that will rip your whole soul right out of your chest, laying everything bare for all to see. And it is a story that I cannot recommend enough.
Janet Hong Release Date:
October 7, 2021
Lemon is a slow, introspective story about a cold case murder expertly written by author Kwon Yeo-Sun and translated from the original Korean by Janet Hong. Despite being focused on a cold case, this isn’t so much a whodunit, traditional murder mystery, or thriller. Instead, we find a slowly paced, introspective tale featuring a myriad of people left behind after the murder of the nineteen-year-old Kim Hae-on: how they cope and do not cope, how they move on and how time stops in that moment forever.
The Cat Who Saved Books By:
Louise Heal Kawai Release Date:
December 7, 2021
Books about books is a genre that many if not most readers often find themselves drawn to. This is true for The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa’s novel as well. Translated from the original Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai, this is a Japanese novel about Rintaro Natsuki, a young man whose grandfather has recently passed away. His life is immediately upended, as his grandfather was also his guardian.
The Salmon Who Dared Leap Higher By:
Daniella Terrazzini Translator:
Deborah Smith Release Date:
April 9, 2015
Award-winning and bestselling poet Ahn Do-hyun brings us a classic fable in The Salmon Who Dared Leap Higher. Despite winning the 1981 Daegu Maeil Shinmun Annual Literary Contest with the poem “Nakdong River,” the 1984 Don-A Ilbo Annual Literary Contest for the poem “Jeon Bong-jun Goes to Seoul,” the 1996 Young Poet’s Award, and the 1998 Kim So-wol Literature Prize, this is the first work of Do-hyun’s to have been published in English.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold By:
Sunmark Publishing Inc (Cover illustration) Translator:
Geoffrey Trousselot Release Date:
September 19, 2019
Hanover Square Press
Before the Coffee Gets Cold (#1) Rating:
novel Before the Coffee Gets Cold is
a slight first volume in an ongoing series expertly translated from the Japanese
by Geoffrey Trousselot. The entire story takes place within a certain coffee
shop, the type of tiny, cozy place only known to locals. This shop is one
filled with secrets, though. A ghost occupies a certain chair, drinking her
coffee just as diligently in death as she did in life. People claim that on the
rare occasion she leaves her seat, the new chair’s new occupant is able to go
back in time and have one more conversation with a loved one.
If Cats Disappeared from the World By:
Leeann Falciani (Jacket Design); Henry Sene Yee (Jacket Illustration) Translator:
Eric Selland Release Date:
March 12, 2019
Genki Kawamura’s first
novel, If Cats Disappeared from the World,
has sold over two million copies worldwide, and it isn’t difficult to see why. A
storyteller in all forms, Kawamura isn’t simply a novelist. He has also
produced movies such as the famed Your
Name as well as done work as a screenwriter and showrunner. All of these
myriad of storytelling techniques leak into the novel, if not in method it was
crafted, then in our nameless main character, his hobbies, and his loves.
The Woman in the Purple Skirt By:
Lucy North Release Date:
June 8, 2021
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Natsuko Imamura’s debut English novel is a story that is at once a slow-burning character study and a tale of obsession and psychological intrigue. The Woman in the Purple Skirt has already won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in Japan, which Imamura was previously nominated for twice before.
August is Women in Translation Month, a month dedicated to promoting and reading women author’s whose works can be found in translation. Once again, the Women in Translation Readathon is upon us. The readathon begins August 25, 2019 and runs through August 31, 2019. This readathon is run by BookTubers Matthew Sciarappa and Kendra Winchester.