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Friday Book Debrief Vol 14

Every week we’re sharing what our some of our writers are currently reading. Please join in the chorus and tell us what you’ve been enjoying or slogging through in the comments!

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell - Nikki

Halfway through. Don't even know what to say yet. Audibly gasped at one part on the bus last night and got several strange looks. This book is layered and complicated and eliciting similar reactions as I read it.

Buy it here - US,

Pre-order - UK, AUS.

Perfect Tunes by Emily Gould — Mel

This is my first read from Gould and I’m impressed. It’s exactly the kind of retro NYC novel I adore most so I’m thoroughly enjoying the long intro setting up the characters and, most important to me here, the setting. Out in April!

Pre-order - US, UK, AUS.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - Courtney

Sometimes you just want to go home to Hogwarts ❤

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.

Surveys by Natasha Stagg - Jessica

I picked this up on my quest for the great social media novels of our time. Its internet aphorisms and witty insights on the nature of fame are intriguing me, even if the characters haven't gripped me just yet.

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid - Melissa

This was one of many that I found on a 'Best Fictional Horror' list, and so far is the only one from said list that I've actually enjoyed. It's more contemporary than the rest, and I can't wait to see how it turns disturbing.

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton - Victoria

The best way I know to stave off existential dread is to read about old, dead, very very rich people.

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.

Supper Club by Lara Williams - Cat

A visceral exploration of violence, isolation, misogyny, and friendship. Supper Club is intimate, almost claustrophobic, and full of women's hunger and rage.

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins - Akilah

After reading I, Tituba by Maryse Condé I've become even more fascinated with how Caribbean women writers engage with particular literary forms like the slave narrative, the autobiographical novel, testimonial, and now confessional literature. Besides that, I love how Collins energy charges the pages, especially in the London scenes. As a 19th-century British lit fan it's a particular treat to see a Black woman foregrounded in this kind of novel.

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes - Jessica Maria

This novel starts with the dead body of a small Mexican town's witch. What follows are long run-on sentences spanning pages, but keeping me enthralled all the same with its scathing commentary on humanity. I am loving it. Review coming to The Book Slut soon!

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.

Machine by Susan Steinberg - The Book Slut

I am very vocal on my dislike of 2018’s Man Booker Prize winner Milkman by Anna Burns, I tried with all my might to read it multiple times and I only managed to get to page 11. Just envisioning the pages gives me nightmares and a migraine to boot. The most I can read about it is our Editor Jessica’s review. Machine, has a similar theme of continuous consciousness streaming onto the page, but unlike in Milkman, there is flow, emotion gushing through rhythmically, the writing is dulcet yet passionate, the story is melodic yet abrupt.

Fans of Elena Varvello’s Can you hear me? And Dan Dalton's Johnny Ruin (and Celeste Ng and Rooney) will love this. Be careful though, fair warning: do not start reading it unless you can devote all the following hours to finishing it. It took all my will-power to put it down and I have been itching to open up the pages ever since.


Pre-order - UK

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi - PL

There is a coffee shop in Tokyo where you can travel in time. Sign me up.

Buy it here - US, UK, AUS.