HELLO HELLO Friday is here and that means you get to read another Friday debrief!
You know the drill, every week some of our glorious writers let us know what they have been reading this week. As always the full list is also available for easy browsing in our US and UK Bookshops! If you buy any of the books in our shops, not only are you actively supporting us and our work but you are also supporting independent bookstores with 10% of your purchase going directly to them at no extra cost to yourself, and all carbon emissions are offset! Good vibes all round. Now enough chat, big love and here is this week's debrief!
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang - Karen
I can't believe the trilogy is over. I have been anxiously waiting for this book since 2019 and it's finally here. Part of me is so ready for it but another part of me isn't ready for my immersive experiences with these characters to end. Quan Diep's solid but adjacent presence in the previous two books makes me excited to navigate his own happy ending. Let's see what awaits us in this book!
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa - Courtney
I thought The Memory Police would be a great way to start my month because it’s something I’ve been wanting to read for months AND it’s women in translation month. This book is giving me some Orwell vibes & some Atwood vibes. It’s a slow burn in a way you don’t except dystopian stories to be but I appreciate the mundanity of some of its parts. I have no idea how it will conclude. It simultaneously fills me with hope and dread—something that is reflective of life dystopian or otherwise I think.
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James - Mel
Mona, or “Sad Millenial” per the internet’s naming her viral breakdown after losing her brand new finance job as the Great Recession hit, so reminds me of Pizza Girl’s Jane though Mona is more aware of her cynicism and her displeasure with her unemployment living at home in Arizona. Her story is bleak but so relatable.
The Layover by Lacie Waldon - Lauren
This romcom is giving me major The Hating Game vibes, in the absolute best way. The story follows Ava and Jack, two flight attendants who hate each other. Or do they?! Needless to say it’s making me want to become a flight attendant. Remember traveling?!
With Teeth by Kristen Arnett - Melissa
I didn't even have to finish this one to immediately put the rest of Kristen Arnett's books on hold at the library. The young boy in this story is infuriating - but then again, the mom kind of is too. Yet no character is unlikable enough to stop reading or be put off. Excited to see where else this takes me!
Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad - Lucy
I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, since I got an ARC for it to review for the Book Slut. Finally I’ve cracked down and I’m really enjoying it. It’ll be great to articulate my thoughts later on in the month with a full review!
All’s Well by Mona Awad - Cecilia
The queen of narrative fever dreams has done it again. I adore Awad’s writing, so when I heard she’d written a novel with elements of Shakespeare thrown in the mix, I had to pick it up.
Milk Fed by Melissa Broder - Alice Rae
I only ended up reading this because I saw a friend was selling their copy, so I bought it from them. I’m about a third of the way through, and it’s simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. It’s a brutal yet darkly comic novel about food, sex and general indulgence that I’m forcing myself to ration else I’ll read it in one sitting.
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart - Courtney
Self isolation feels like the right time to get to this behemoth of a novel! It’s hard hitting so far and I know it’s going to be an emotional journey but I’m really enjoying it so far!
Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen - Jessica Maria
I loved Galchen's book Little Labors a few years ago, and was intrigued by this one's beautiful purple cover and that title! I rarely read synopsis or cover descriptions, so I was fascinated to find that this historical novel isn't set in Massachusetts, but in a small village in 1618 Germany... and it's based on a true story.