The last of 2021: Malve Von Hassel “The Amber Crane” and Martin Amis “Time’s Arrow”, plus favourite reads of 2021

Time flies. We’re already in 2022. Happy New Year! May it be filled with great, stimulating or pleasant reads. I’m here to post updates for the final reads I did in 2021.

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Walks with poets: Rilke

What poets or poems accompany you on your walks? What poems express what perhaps one might feel on a walk? I might post such poems once in a while. Walks are those moments when I feel connected to the sounds and sights around me. Especially in the mornings when I gather strength for the coming day, being here and now, in my surroundings as I move through them, is important.

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A short story: Two Turtle Doves

Suicidal teenager Rich Anthony was on his way to step in front of an express train when he spots a battered acoustic guitar left outside an Oxfam shop. Intrigued, Rich postpones his plans, takes the guitar home and teaches himself to play.
What happens next changes his life.

You can read it here:…

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Blackthorn Book Tours: The Warden, Jon Richter

  • Purchase link:
  • Genre: Psychological Thriller
  • Print length: 312
  • Suitable for young adults? This is an adult book but suitable for mature teenagers 16-
  • 18
  • Trigger warnings: Covid references; homicide with some graphic violence; references
  • to medical experimentation on humans; swearing; brief animal cruelty (goldfish left
  • to die); references to suicide and mental illness
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

About The Warden
The year is 2024, and the residents of the Tower, a virus-proof apartment building, live in a
state of permanent lockdown. The building is controlled by a state-of-the-art AI named
James, who keeps the residents safe but incarcerated. Behind bricked-up front doors, their
every need is serviced; they are pampered but remain prisoners.
This suits Eugene just fine. Ravaged by the traumas of his past, the agoraphobic ex-detective has no intention of ever setting foot outside again. But when he finds the Tower’s building manager brutally murdered, his investigator’s instincts won’t allow him to ignore the vicious crime. What Eugene finds beyond the comfort of his apartment’s walls will turn his sheltered existence upside down. To unravel the Tower’s mysteries, he must confront James… and James takes his role as the Warden very, very seriously.

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At night all blood is black – David Diop

The latest book I’ve completed is anything but light holiday reading. In fact, it’s one of the most harrowing books I could pick. This winner of the International Booker Prize, garnering accolades in France, is a brutal, visceral experience. I appreciate it most for its very effective use of first-person narrative, strong (and again, effective) theme of duality / the double and mesmerizing quality of writing featuring phrases recurring like in a religious litany or chant.

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