In Gratitude Jenny Diski Diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, Diski looked back on her life and wrote about it. More specifically, she wrote about her lesser know experience of being taken in by Doris Lessing, aged fifteen, and their subsequent long and complex friendship. She died a week after publication so how lucky we are […]
Thus Bad Begins Javier Marias £8.99 A new novel from Marias is always an event and this is no exception. Marias’ prose is stylish and enigmatic and yet the world he creates is entirely believable. Set in Spain just post the death of Franco. it tells the story of the young Juan De Vere who […]
Empire of Things by Frank Trentmann This is a detailed and well researched look at how we have come to be defined by what we buy. From Renaissance Italy and late Ming China to a time when debt is no longer a faux pas but rather indicates a certain kind of moral rigour and investment in […]
Shtum by Jem Lester Shtum is the story – though with autobiographical undertones – of the trials of the family of an acutely autistic boy named Jonah. Always compassionate but never mawkish, the novel is a nuanced balancing act: whilst there is a palpable sense of how loved Jonah is, this is a candid and unsentimental glance […]
Keeping On Keeping On by Alan Bennett This wry, fascinating memoir charts the period of Bennett’s life between 2005-2015 which saw four premieres at The National Theatre and impassioned public speeches in defence of public libraries and polemicizing on the subject of private education.
The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble To celebrate the fact that the subject of this month’s reading group is The Millstone, and of course the fact that our very raison d’etre is to celebrate the release of great books, our book of the month for November is Drabble’s most recent: a darkly comic examination of […]
The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma-Jane Kirby Although about completely true events, the narrative has a lyrical and almost dreamlike quality that perfectly conveys the at times surreal horror of the subject matter: an ordinary man, an optician by profession, is on a boating trip with some friends when they encounter a large number of migrants attempting to reach the shore […]