This week we're reading...


This week we're reading...

Bailey's Prize shortlistee The Dark Circle, an international bestseller about drug-fuelled Nazi Germany, and a pleasingly twisted novel by Lisa Jewell

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Bailey's Prize shortlistee The Dark Circle, an international bestseller about drug-fuelled Nazi Germany, and a pleasingly twisted novel by Lisa Jewell

  • Louise Stephenson is reading…. Blitzed by Norman Ohler and Shaun Whiteside

    How did Nazi Germany get through the war? Well, turns out, it was by taking drugs. Opium was given to soldiers to get back to the front lines, heroin was given to babies as cough syrup and speed was prescribed to housewives to help them do their chores faster (on the back of not having any food rations). Hitler was a raging junkie (injecting methamphetamine up to three times a day) and this was all under the pretence of a squeaky clean Nazi regime that was based on loyalty and hard work. It will make you rethink everything you've known/read about WWII. • BUY Blitzed on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. 

  • Sam Baker is reading… Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

    Lisa Jewell’s novels have been getting progressively darker of late, and this one is pleasingly twisted. It’s a decade since 15-year-old Ellie went to the library to revise for her exams, and never came back. In those ten years her family has split and her mother, Laurel, has been left hollowed out, going through the motions every day. But then a man walks into a cafe and changes Laurel’s life. And with him, he brings a nine-year-old who bears an unsettling resemblance to Ellie. I gulped this in one long, thirsty session, sitting by the pool on holiday. • BUY Then She Was Gone on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. 

  • Lauren Bravo is reading… The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

    I'm just coming to the end of The Dark Circle, one of this year's Bailey's Prize shortlistees, and I've loved every page. A novel set in a post-war tuberculosis hospital might not sound like the jolliest summer read, but Grant tells her sometimes sad, often gruesome story with the lightest of touches. The book throws together a vivid cast of characters, all from different walks of life but united by their unlucky disease and the strangeness of life in a sanatorium. I love Grant's attention to detail – the clothes, the food, the music, sex and society, all of which help to capture the early 1950s as a moment suspended between two eras; the cold austerity of the old ways, and the bright promise of the next. • BUY The Dark Circle on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. 

  • Amy Jones is rereading… Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

    Bryony Gordon has OCD. That doesn't mean she likes things being clean, it means that when she was 12 she suddenly became obsessed with the idea that she had AIDS. It means that later in life she developed alopecia, bulimia, and depression, that when she had a baby she obsessed over its health in the womb and couldn't get the idea that she'd abused her out of her head once she was born. Gordon is brutally, beautifully honest about mental health and the horrible tricks it plays on you, and this book is going to stay with me for a long time. • BUY Mad Girl on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. 

  • Jo Morrell is listening to… The World of David Walliams: Bumper-tastic CD Story Collection

    From Gangsta Granny (a personal favourite) to Billionaire Boy and The World's Worst Children, this CD collection is great to pass the time and put a stop to the 'how long is it now???" questions from the back seat on a long summer holiday drive to a french campsite, cornish cottage or a weekend drive to the grandparents. Pretty captivating for all ages, heartwarming stories voiced by well-known names and guaranteed a few chuckles along the way. Classics in the making. • LISTEN here

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