This week we’re reading...


This week we’re reading...

The Patrick Melrose novels, a memoir from a crime scene cleaner and an undercover look at the world of the law and how it's broken

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The Patrick Melrose novels, a memoir from a crime scene cleaner and an undercover look at the world of the law and how it's broken

  • Sam Baker is reading… the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn

    TBH I’m usually a bit of a snob about reading books after they’ve been adapted for screen, but after seeing the first episode of Patrick Melrose, David (One Day) Nicholls’ adaptation of all five of Edward St Aubyn’s autobiographical-ish novels, on Sky Atlantic, I downloaded the whole lot on kindle. Melrose is a posh boy attempting to first escape from and then come to terms with his abusive childhood. Funny and painful in equal measure, I’m already wondering if I can get away with taking a duvet day (or two) to devour the whole lot. • BUY the Patrick Melrose novels on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

  • Marisa Bate is reading… The Pisces by Melissa Broder

    Falling in love with water-based creatures hasn't been this popular since The Little Mermaid. Following on from The Shape of Water, The Pisces centres around merman sex. The novel's protagonist Lucy, a PHD student stuck in life and in love falls for a merman (yes, a merman) whilst dog sitting for her sister in Malibu and also attending an affection addiction group after a messy breakup. This might sound like a stretch, but Melissa Boarder's debut novel is witty, sharp and painfully insightful into why women (sometimes) behave they way they do around men in our modern, shallow world. Broder's viral Twitter feed @SoSadToday gives you some idea of her intense introspection into our actions and motivations. Looking for a smart summer read? This is it. • BUY The Pisces on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

  • Alexandra Heminsley is reading… The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken

    Behold, the book that got me through jury service! A timely and accessible look at today's UK court system, this is a no nonsense explainer on how things work, how very much doesn't work, and how we got here. Who knew that educating yourself about, for example, the history of magistrates, could be so much fun? • BUY The Secret Barrister on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.

  • Caroline O’Donoghue is reading… memento mori by muriel spark

    I'm on a massive Muriel Spark kick at the moment! Memento Mori is pitch black in its humour: it's about a gang of bougie elderly people in post-war London getting mysterious phone calls, all phrased in the exact same way: "Remember, you will die." It's framed as a mystery, but don't expect Agatha Christie-level investigation: this is more a book about human nature than it is about great adventures. Still brilliant, though. • BUY Memento Mori on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. 

  • Zoe Beaty is reading… The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

    The Trauma Cleaner isn’t about cleaning, but it is very much about trauma. Sandra Pankhurst spends her life cleaning crime scenes – sanitising what the dead (and, sometimes, the living who have long given up on life) leave behind. The rooms she spends her day to day life in are the messy ruins of trauma, but, arguably, it’s Pankhurst’s own trauma – and the journey she’s taken to become the woman we meet on the page – which is most fascinating. Because Pankhurst is a wife, a business woman, a transgender woman. She’s a former drug abuser and former sex worker. A parent. She’s kind and weird. And maybe one of the most unreliable narrators of her own history I’ve read. I didn’t care. Sarah Krasnostein’s writing is warm and curious. And, carefully, it draws a portrait of Pankhurst you’ll remember long after you’ve finished reading – a woman who is quietly, wonderfully triumphant while standing at the middle and centre of despair. • BUY The Trauma Cleaner on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. 

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