Women’s Prize for Fiction Winners – Books I Read and Want to Read

Susanna Clarke has been chosen as the winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction with Piranesi, a book I haven’t read yet but that I definitely want to. I don’t tend to pay much attention to literary prizes, to be honest. However, the enthusiasm that so many readers show for the Women’s Prize usually makes me at least want to know who has won and what the book in question is about.

Having taken a quick look at the prize’s website, I discovered that I’ve read three of the previous winners and am interested in reading not only Piranesi, but also other four in the future. None of the books ended up on my wish list because they were the winners of this particular prize. It was either the premise or the general work of the authors that first appealed to me.


Winners I Read


Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

A fictional story about the events surrounding the death of the son of a famous playwright, William Shakespeare, Hamnet was a worthy winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020. The feelings of the characters are tangible and duly intense. Agnes’s suffering in particular is poignantly portrayed. Set mainly around 1596, this book about grief, parenthood, love and family life also has some chapters set in previous decades, which allows readers to learn more about the characters and better understand their actions. Continue reading


‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My rating: 4 stars

It’s baffling how feminism still manages to be constantly misinterpreted and discredited in the 21st century. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a modified version of the TED talk that the author gave in December 2012. Having her personal experience as a starting point, she engagingly describes how feminism can benefit both men and women and how, in order to prevent change, some people continue to misjudge its purposes.

Although Adichie frequently gives as examples situations connected with life in Nigeria, women worldwide can surely relate to many of those instances of everyday sexism. She mentions many familiar topics: magazines telling women how to act in order to please men; marriage being a sign of success for women; children being raised according to stereotypes; and victims of rape being blamed for their assault.

Some of the topics mentioned could have been further developed, though. Being a version of a talk, this is obviously a tiny book. Adichie could have taken the opportunity to further expand her thoughts on certain issues. She mentions, for instance, that she likes wearing high heels, but, as many women find them uncomfortable and are pressured to wear them in many occasions, she could have further delved into this. Continue reading

Book Haul – September / October 2019

I was not expecting to buy as many books as I did during September and this month. However, after deciding not to finish four novels in the latest months, I was running out of books to read. I usually keep a relatively small number of unread books on my shelves. I tend to only buy new ones once I’ve finished a few of those that I already owned.

So, I acquired nine new books!


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Set in Paris and in London, it was described by Dickens as his best story. A French aristocrat and a dissolute English lawyer face chaos and fall in love with the same woman. I’m expecting it to delve into a variety of social issues that characterised the 19th century. Continue reading

‘The Thing Around Your Neck’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My rating: 4 stars

Each short story in the collection The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie presents the reader with an attribute of Nigerian society by focusing on a specific person or family. It delves into a variety of themes, including corruption, people that live between Nigeria and the US (both physically and culturally), religious differences, violence, women always being expected to have children and arranged marriages.

Various enthralling stories are set in American soil. In ‘The Shivering’, two Nigerians forge a friendship, in spite of not always being truthful. Their dialogues and the development of their connection is engrossing. Two Nigerian women that moved to the US take centre stage in ‘On Monday of Last Week’ and ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’. They are both remarkable and complex characters.

Although many of the stories share a similar tone, another of the themes delved into is the existence of people from different backgrounds in a country. In ‘Cell One’, young people from middle-class families steal things from each other’s houses, but the blame falls on people from the poorer parts of town. The brother of the narrator was irresponsible and kept getting into trouble. Soon he was accused of being part of a university cult, which was similar to a gang. The story portrays the good and bad in people. The paths of two people from different social backgrounds also cross in ‘A Private Experience’. Chika is caught in a riot and is helped by a woman from a different faith. Continue reading

Book Haul – June / July 2018

Ahead of my birthday (which is today!), I bought some books as a gift to myself. I have had almost all of them in my possession for a while now, as I ordered them online and they arrived much earlier than I had anticipated. Nevertheless, I decided to wait until today to reveal my new acquisitions to you. Some of them are representing certain countries at the ‘EU still 28’ reading project, others felt like the perfect books to delve into this summer, and a few were on discount and caught my attention.

Without further ado, these are the eight books that I bought recently:


Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

This is the third book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. After reading and enjoying the first two books (A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents) last year, I plan to read the Voyage of the Basilisk really soon. I am eager to be absorbed in another adventure of the famous dragon naturalist, Lady Trent. Continue reading