Born OTD in 1934, English illustrator, cartoonist, graphic novelist & author, Raymond Briggs. Fungus the Bogeyman follows one day in the life of the title character, a working class Bogeyman with the mundane job of scaring human beings. The book follows a typical day for Fungus, starting when he wakes up & ending just before he falls asleep. As his day progresses, he undergoes a mild existential crisis, pondering what his seemingly pointless job of scaring surface people is really for.

He is a member of the Bogey society, which is very similar to British society, but Bogeymen enjoy things which … More

Queer Africa is a collection of unapologetic, tangled, tender, funny, bruising and brilliant stories about the many ways in which we love each other on the continent – In these unafraid stories of intimacy, sweat, betrayal and restless confidences, we accompany characters into cafes, tattoo salons, the barest of bedrooms, coldly gleaming spaces into which the rich withdraw, unlit streets, and their own deepest interiors.

Featuring twenty-six contributions from eight countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, and the USA – … More

Flights, a novel about travel in the twenty-first century and human anatomy, is Olga Tokarczuk’s most ambitious to date. It interweaves travel narratives and reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. From the seventeenth century, we have the story of the Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, who dissected and drew pictures of his own amputated leg.

From the eighteenth century, we have the story of a North African-born slave turned Austrian courtier stuffed and put on … More

The first novel by James Joyce, ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, was published OTD in 1916. It traces the religious & intellectual awakening of young Stephen Dedalus, a fictional alter ego of Joyce & an allusion to Daedalus, the consummate craftsman of Greek mythology. Stephen questions & rebels against the Catholic & Irish conventions under which he has grown, culminating in his self-exile from Ireland to Europe.

With an Introduction and Notes by Dr. Jacqueline Belanger, University of Cardiff. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young … More

OTD in 1843, Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, was first published. The new Laureate na nÓg, P.J. Lynch captures the spirit of Dickens’s beloved tale in a richly illustrated, unabridged paperback edition. A Christmas Carol has become as much a part of Christmas as trees, stockings and mistletoe. Ireland’s new Children’s Laureate P.J. Lynch breathes new life into Dickens’s classic ghostly tale for this magnificent paperback edition. Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean old skinflint, and our story opens on a Christmas Eve as cold as his heart.

In the dead of night, Scrooge is visited by the tormented ghost of his old friend Jacob Marley. Having led … More

Born OTD in 1945, English novelist who writes for children’s literature, Jacqueline Wilson. Her children’s novels frequently feature themes of adoption, divorce, and mental illness, and sometimes written from an historical perspective. Hetty Feather is a Foundling Hospital girl and was given her name when she was left there as a baby. When she is reunited with her mother, she hopes her beautiful new name, Sapphire Battersea, will also mean a new life! But things don’t always go as planned… Follow the twists and turns of Hetty’s adventure as she goes out to work as a maid for a wealthy man.

She longs to be reunited with her childhood sweetheart Jem – but also finds a new sweetheart, Bertie the butcher’s … More

Born OTD in 1916, English novelist, poet, essayist and biographer, Penelope Fitzgerald. The novel, set mainly in 1959, centres around Florence Green, a middle-aged widow, who decides to open a bookshop in the small coastal town of Hardborough, Suffolk. The location she chooses is the Old House, an abandoned, damp property said to be haunted by a poltergeist. After many sacrifices, Florence manages to start her business, which grows for about a year after which sales slump…

Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take … More