[Review] The Year in Books 2021 – James McLoughlin

“As always, reading gives us the chance to escape, to imagine different worlds with exciting possibilities. Or sometimes it simply reflects the extant world back at us from an angle we have never seen ourselves. Either way, when you spend 99% of your time within the same four walls, reading is simply a way to avoid going postal.”

[Review] Slaughter by Rosanna Hildyard — Daunish Negargar

“Hildyard brings a nuanced perspective to both the realities of farming in the United Kingdom and female sexuality, as contradictions are not skimmed over, or resolved, but rather relished and dissected like a bloody carcass throughout this dark tale”

[Essay] Dickens’s Spirits — James Riding

“These ghosts keep returning in Dickens’s writing not just because of their practical uses, but also out of necessity: they are an intrinsic component of his craft. Dickens knew all too well that a writer must be a bodysnatcher.”

[Essay] To You — Christopher Impiglia

“A long time, one hundred years. A long time too since this first English edition, bought by my father at auction, was published: a half-century. Fifty years of annotations illuminating it, including his and my own.”

[Essay] The Teratologists — Louis Armand

“Post-war nuclear technologies represented the first instance in which direct transformation or even control of the planetary environment came into view as a scientifically achievable proposition.”