This week we're reading...


This week we're reading...

Margaret Atwood's interpretation of Shakespeare, the biography of Molly Keane and a scottish thriller

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Margaret Atwood's interpretation of Shakespeare, the biography of Molly Keane and a scottish thriller

  • Daisy Buchanan is reading… Molly Keane: A Life by Sally Phipps

    I've just started Sally Phipps' biography of her mother, novelist Molly Keane. It’s a moving, gloriously gossipy writing masterclass - I had no idea that Molly Keane stopped writing in her mid thirties only to go on to great success late in life. It's waspish and warm, and I can see why Keane is described as 'the Irish Nancy Mitford’. • BUY Molly Keane: A Life on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

  • Ella Risbridger is reading… The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico

    I've just finished Julianne Pachico's astounding The Lucky Ones, which I bought because of the beautiful cover, and have been utterly stunned by. It's a collection of interlinked stories (or chapters?) about people (and a junkie rabbit) caught up in the Colombian civil war, and it is just breathtaking: bizarre, beautiful, and brutal. And funny! Funny in a dark and lovely way. And completely compelling. I could not put it down. • BUY The Lucky Ones on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

  • Anna James is reading… The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury and A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

    This week I've been bringing to a close two of my favourite recent fantasy trilogies. The Scarecrow Queen is a triumphant end to Salisbury's beautiful twisty YA series that began with The Sin Eater's Daughter. It's full of complex female characters, a lot of fun with alchemy and lovely turns of phrase. Salisbury is also queen of brilliantly unexpected plot twists. On the adult side it's bittersweet coming to the end of Schwab's elegant, enchanting series that started with A Darker Shade of Magic. I'm entirely in love with several of her main characters and her world-building (of four Londons in parallel worlds) is second to none. The writing, and the magic, is sharp but gorgeous. The books remind me of Diana Wynne Jones' books for older readers. I'm not a big reader of fantasy, but both these series are curious, lovely things that read like long, dark fairy tales with no dragons in sight.  • BUY The Scarecrow Queen and A Conjuring Of Light on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

  • Penny Whitehouse is reading… His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

    The Guardian called it "a psychological thriller masquerading as a slice of true crime" and they're not wrong, but His Bloody Project has been surprisingly more than that. For a book that frequently uses the words 'crops', ''laird' and 'quaich', this story of triple murder in the Scottish Highlands of 1800 is oddly compelling and I gobbled it up in less than a week. Why did Roderick Macrae murder his neighbours family in cold blood? Does his account of life in tiny, barren Culduie indicate a quiet madness in Roddie Black? If not, can the people that knew him since birth believe that anyone could rationally commit such a brutal crime (with a flaughter, no less - look it up. Ouch)? All anyone can agree on is that since he was a child, Roderick has been ‘different'. • BUY His Bloody Project on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

  • Caroline O’Donoghue is reading… Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood

    I'm still puzzled by what to make of Hag-Seed, Margaret Atwood's interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. As a total Shakespeare novice, the references are a little lost on me, but I've enjoyed it regardless. Atwood's Prospero is an ageing theatre director called Felix, exiled from his beloved artistic community and living as a hermit under a fake name. But after he gains control of a prison theatre group, he finally starts to exact revenge on his enemies, through The Tempest itself. • BUY Hag-seed on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

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