Friday Book Debrief Vol 19

Every week we’re sharing what our some of our writers are currently reading.


For all of our US readers, we now have our own Bookshop! You can find the full list of the below books here and with every purchase you will be helping local independent bookstores! If you do not live in the US please support your local independent stores, lots are now doing local deliveries and they need your help more then ever in these uncertain times. - ❤️




Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby - Maggie


I have been laughing so hard, I pee. This is the funniest book ever written.


Buy it here.




The Narrows by Ann Petry - Karen


Immersive, atmospheric, and vivid social commentary on racial divides, gentrification, racial and systemic discrimination all presented to us by the Narrows, a street that is named as such by its residents because of the lack of opportunities. So far I've been introduced to a cast of protagonists that range from a photo journalist whose thoughts on social classes shook me to my core, an editor of the local town newspaper that feels bullied by the photojournalist and his socialist ideas, a woman whose husband perished 18 years ago and she's still dealing with his death, her guilt over his death, and her decision to purchase a home in the Narrows, her adopted son, Link, whom she forgot in her grief and who took residence working at the local watering hole, named the Last Chance, when he was only 8 years old, owned by the still undefined Bill Hod. Seriously, this whole book continues to surprise me because I thought it couldn't get better than The Street, but Petry is truly a phenomenal writer. Seriously, symbolism abounds in this book.


Buy it here.




Rabbits for Food by Binnie Kirshenbaum - Christina


I confess—I am a sucker for books with mental hospitals. Being stuck indoors with Allowed and Not Allowed things is an experience a lot of us can empathise with right now.

Buy it here.




The Belle Creole by Maryse Condé translated by Nicole Simek - Akilah


Set at the turn of the 21st century in Guadeloupe, the novels opens under a suffocating sun as a young black man is acquitted for the murder of his much older, much richer White Creole lover and employer. It took one page of Windward Heights, translated by Richard Philcox, to turn me into a devout Condé fan; I sat in awe as it eclipsed its predecessor in every sense imaginable. This latest English translation promises to disconcert and gratify in equal measure.

Pre-order here. OUT APRIL 28TH




Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner - Melissa


Miss Weiner is one of my top favorite authors, I can't wait to see what she has in store to help me (virtually) escape from the confines of quarantine.

Pre-order here. OUT MAY 5TH




My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell - Hannah


Heard a lot about this book so am reading it with much excitement. The topic is quite intense so there is a sense of unease as I read but it is quite a timely topic in the wake of the #metoo movement.


Buy it here.



The Farm by Joanne Ramos – Marian


Ramos’s debut novel offers a powerful critique of consumerism, capitalism, racism, colorism, and motherhood inside the surrogacy retreat referred to as “the farm.” Surrogates receive state-of-the art offerings from daily meals, snacks, medical care, and activities, but at what price? I am listening to this evocative audiobook this week and am completely rapt.

Buy it here.




No Small Shame by Christine Bell - Courtney


No Small Shame is an inspiring story of persistence, determination and feminism in a time of hardship and struggle. It sucked me out of reality, taking me to WWI-times and acted as a reminder that we have survived through global disasters before, and we will do it again.





Blueberries by Ellena Savage - Michaela


Slowly savouring this debut collection of essays concerning bodies, self, and being a writer. I'm constantly in awe of Savage's intelligent, evocative writing and the way she plays with form and structure in each new essay I read.



Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Iva


A love story turned into a story about obsession, lies, deception, and madness. An exciting thriller that makes you forget everything else and dive in. Exactly what we all need right now! Highly recommended!

Buy it here.




Oona Out of Order by Margarita Monitmore - Mel


Though I've seen this title around the internet since before its release, I knew little of its actual premise—Oona's life is truly out of order. It's a fun, fascinating read following along as Oona jumps back and forth through the decades, potentially rewriting her life at random.

Buy it here.




My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh - AlicE-Rae


I’m listening to this as an audiobook, which is something I rarely do, but I’ve found there’s been a lull in podcast releases since the lockdown, and have wanted something to tune into whilst I’m working or running! I’m about two thirds through it, and currently passionately dislike the protagonist but find myself laughing out loud during the parts of her with her utterly useless psychiatrist. I have a feeling I know how this is going to end, but am hoping I’ll be surprised!


Buy it here.



The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio - Jessica Maria


I am so happy to finally be reading this. I loved Karen’s review of the book and her interview with the author. I love love love the writing and voice that Villavicencio uses in this book so far: it seems like new territory and only a few pages in, I’m already hoping for loads more books to come from Villavicencio.


Buy it here.




Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey - PL


I started this morning with a mimosa and opening up this book. I stayed firmly steadfast attached to its pages, only stopping briefly to reapply sunscreen whilst basking in the British sunshine and getting regular alcoholic top ups. This novel felt like a long form of drunken notes one writes on their iPhone. Hazing, somewhat incoherent, that make total sense at the time, but are pretty puzzling when you come across them at a later date. Yet deeply philosophical. I'm questioning if that was intentional or just my intoxication.


Buy it here.