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Friday Book Debrief Vol 32

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. - ❤️

Wandering in Strange Lands by Morgan Jerkins - Mel

I think that Jerkins is proving to everyone in the literary world with this, her second published nonfiction after her much-lauded debut, that her voice is here to stay. I'd read anything she wanted to write.


Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia - Maggie

This book is a perfect blend of meaningful discussion on the gender binary and laugh-out-loud shenanigans. I am 100 pages in and loving every moment.


The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska - Courtney

A YA fantasy with a wonderful dash of what I am hoping to be LGBTQIA+ romance. I picked this to appease the masses of my book club but as I read better YA books, it seems that the tide (pardon the pun) of my growing dislike for YA is changing.


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara - Cecilia

I just finished Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, and I wanted to continue sobbing apparently. I am slightly terrified by this novel given its esteem AND length AND subject matter, but I’m enjoying it thus far. Edit: is ‘enjoy’ the right word to use when talking about this book?


Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner - Melissa

I'm so glad to be back in my reading groove, and there's no better author to keep me motivated than Jennifer Weiner (one of my favorites!). This story pans almost the entire lives of Rachel and Andy, and I'm about halfway through their love story right now. It began in the present with Rachel at a really low point, so I'm interested to see how she gets there.


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - Victoria

Delightful and addictive. I wanted to read this in March, when it felt like everyone was, but someone had borrowed my copy. Thank goodness for that, because I could not have handled reading it when we still weren't sure if civilization was going to collapse.


In the Distance by Hernán Diaz - Nikki

I saw this for the first time on Bookstagram about a year ago, and then suddenly I was reading glowing reviews of it everywhere. A finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer for fiction, In the Distance tells the story of a young Swedish boy who treks across the American frontier in the 1800s, hoping to reunite with the brother he lost on their journey to the new continent. There's something strangely magnetic about Diaz's writing — the words he chooses and the sort of hazy, shimmering language he uses to describe the protagonist's environment — and I'm intrigued to see where this narrative goes.


A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson - Akilah

This poetry title swept the UK literary scene winning all the big prizes. In the middle of his words on the Grenfell Tower fire, slavery, Windrush, urban design history, police brutality, the white literary space, nature walks, and more besides, I'm less concerned about whether I like it or not and simply relieved that more persons may read it.


A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel - Areeb

This is my first novel by Mantel outside of the Tudor Trilogy which I absolutely love to death. She has a knack for making the past come alive, a sort of historical terror where the dead unbury themselves and ghosts come shuffling into the present. This one is different in style from the Tudor books, but tantalisingly gripping nonetheless with stellar characterization. I am taking it slow and relishing every single page.


A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - Areeb

I was supposed to study this in college but I ended up opting for another paper so this had been lying unread on my shelves for the last two years before I finally decided to pick it up. Set during the years of the Indian Emergency, it is the story of four individuals from different backgrounds whose lives become inextricably linked. I am halfway through and the almost absurd bleakness of the narrative is getting to me.


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi - Areeb

I had a lot of expectations from this novel, especially because of its fresh and unique setting, but I have been mostly disappointed so far. It is indistinguishable from other YA fantasy novels in its extreme reliance of weak tropes. The use of African (specifically Nigerian) elements is superficial without proper development. I hope it gets better later and I must say that it is quite gripping and easily readable at least.


Mem by Bethany C. Morrow - Jessica Maria

An intriguing speculative fiction book that I can’t even guess at yet - I’m so excited to see where Morrow leads me.


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