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Friday Book Debrief Vol 37

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. - ❤️

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor - Mel

Part teenage sister drama and part slow-moving episode of Lost, it’s been hard to put this one down. I have no idea how it might end or even whether or not I should be rooting for them to get off their deserted island.


Sula by Toni Morrison - Karen

Does anything ever need to be said that doesn't sound superfluous when it comes to Morrison? She's in a category of her own and I am just happy to be able to wallow in her words.


Election by Tom Perrotta - Melissa

Once again, reading one of the two male authors that I enjoy. I haven't cracked this one open yet because of real life craziness, but I have high hopes for it! Joe College is next!


Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth - Courtney

This is not going the way I thought it would but I’m pleasantly surprised. I’m finding it to be very layered—with so many elements to sympathize with and consider. The perspective the book takes on was an interesting choice and had me really curious, so it’s been such a journey to consider why, why, why at every turn. The writing is so evocative, Barkworth really makes her words seep into your skin.


On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong - Nikki

I've heard so many incredible things about this book — and 30 pages in, it's already living up to them. Can't wait to read more of Vuong's luminous prose.


Never Greener by Ruth Jones - Hannah

This is my first audiobook which I started a week or two ago; it's proving to be an enjoyable experience so far! The book (written by one of the stars of Gavin and Stacey) follows the parties of a revived extramarital affair and the repercussions it has for those around them.


Father May Be an Elephant and Mother Only a Small Basket, But... by Gogu Shyamala - Areeb

This is a collection of twelve stories translated from the Telugu, a prominent regional language in India, into English by various translators. Shyamala is a Dalit and women's rights activist and her stories reflect her personal politics. They are like slice-of-life tales, brief windows into Dalit life that a reader is privileged to look through. It is the August pick for my book club and the discussion so far has been great as well.


This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone - Areeb

I have been wanting to read this book for a long time ever since I heard of it but it was not available in India and expensive to export. A friend was kind enough recently to send a copy my way. It is everything I expected it to be and nothing that I thought it would be like simultaneously. The writing is lush and gorgeous and draws you right in. It is super fun and really delightful to read so far; I am absolutely loving it.


In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado - Areeb

This is another one of those titles I have been wanting to read forever. I actually got an e-ARC last year but I avoided it as I was told the structuring on the page plays a huge role. I finally have a hardcopy, thanks to a generous spirit, and I have dived right in. Right from the start, I can easily say that this memoir is very much unlike anything I have read before. The language, the form, the narrative, everything is magnificent.


Minor Detail by Adania Shibli - Areeb

I was drawn to this title after the whole McCann Booker fiasco. Shibli is Palestinian herself and I have been wanting to read more from this particular region so I am happy to prioritize an own voices book. It is actually a work in translation from the Arabic, done wonderfully by Elisabeth Jaquette. It is quite short and I am already halfway through. It is brutal and brilliant. Needless to say, I cannot recommend it enough.


Daddy by Emma Cline - Marian

I have been a huge fan of Emma Cline since reading The Girls and this one does not disappoint. Cline's writing style driven by character development translates well even in short story format. I have read about three stories in this collection and cannot put this one down!


Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud - Akilah

This book has made its mark on bookstagram and I can't deny that, so far, the hype is well founded. What I enjoy best so far is Persaud's language: diction, pitch, rhythm. The characters feel like they live down the road from me.


Luster by Raven Leilani - Jessica Maria

I’d seen a lot of praise for this debut novel that became a NYT bestseller recently, and I didn’t realize until cracking it open how humorous the writing is as well. A biting book that gives me Moshfegh vibes, this is probably the start of a very great career for Leilani.


An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (🎧) - PL

The first-ever audiobook I have ever listened to - since Harry Potter was on a cassette tape - that I haven't fallen asleep to within the first 10 minutes. It is batshit crazy. An unforeseeable plotline that keeps you on the edge of your (in my case driving) seat. Think; art(?), aliens(?) exasperated dreamscapes, sudden social media fame, delving into the philosophy of celebrity, whilst saving the world...(?) Also contains the most realistic bisexual protagonist I have ever encountered.


Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty - PL

I am about half way through and still just waiting for someone to die.


That's all for this week, see you in 7 days!

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