What we're reading - 19 July 2019

Opinion - Books Friday, 19 July 2019

The BookBrunch team reveal what's on their bedside tables


Julie Vuong
While I've purposely steered clear of reading A Little Life to avoid an emotional bruising, I've long admired Hanya Yanagihara as a writer - she seems as smart and stylish as they come. So I'm currently half way through her debut The People in the Trees. It's the kind of novel I love: beautifully written (and at times extremely grotesque) told by an unlikeable and unreliable narrator. I’m hooked.

David Roche
One of my excursions into non-fiction as I battle through 1,000 pages of Arundhati Roy's essays and articles in My Seditious Heart (Hamish Hamilton). Penetrating, direct, and morally on the side of right, they wear well at the moment. Her frustration that people accuse her of not writing anything in the 20 years between her two novels is understandable! I will need some fiction breaks along the way...

Lucy Nathan
This week I'm reading Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane (HarperCollins). There is no better time to read a romantic comedy than summer, and this is a perfect example of the genre. It's fierce and funny, character-driven and intensely recognisable, with a huge amount of depth and intelligence, and I am enjoying it immensely. I've already ordered all her other books and can't wait to read them as well.

Jo Henry
I've recently taken to audiobooks and have discovered that the narrator can make or break even the very best books. So I’ve been very much enjoying listening to the author herself read her seminal novel The Color Purple - though ashamed that it’s taken me so long to get to it!

Neill Denny
After all the heaviness of Tim Bouverie's Appeasing Hitler, my historical palate has been in need of some light relief. So I have turned to an old favourite, my mother's ancient Fountain Library edition of 1066 And All That, by Walter Sellar and Robert Yeatman. A true joy, a spoof history of England without which Horrible Histories probably would never have been written.

Nicholas Clee
For review: Vesna Main's clever, intriguing, teasing Good Day? (Salt). Reading it didn't feel like work, though trying to do it justice did.

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