ARTS & CULTRE This week we're reading 1 min ARTS & CULTRE This week we're reading 1 min A Machiavellian story of mid-90s excess, a tale of two sisters who are separated by the Korean war and a book about why socialism makes women have better sex lives Added on 09.11.18 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Email LinkedIn A Machiavellian story of mid-90s excess, a tale of two sisters who are separated by the Korean war and a book about why socialism makes women have better sex lives Sam Baker is reading… Roar by Cecelia Ahern Cecelia Ahern is one of those writers who is constantly rammed in the romcom box – largely by people who’ve never read her. She’s in good company. It’s a plight that afflicts some of the greatest commercial novelists of our time – stand up Jodi Picoult, Marian Keyes, Jojo Moyes, for starters. Anyhoo, that aside, what I’m trying to say is, whatever you think you think about Cecelia Ahern, you should definitely read this wonderful, wise, outspoken collection of allegorical tales about what it means to be a woman from this warm and witty writer. So, there. • BUY Roar by Cecelia Ahern or pop in to your local bookshop. Daisy Buchanan is reading… I’m Absolutely Fine: a manual for Imperfect Women by Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan I’m a big fan of the writers’ website, The Midult, and I loved this book. It’s a guide to practical and emotional crises – it’s written with real wit, grace and respect for women’s intelligence. • BUY I’m Absolutely Fine!: A Manual for Imperfect Women by Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan or pop in to your local bookshop. Radhika Sanghani is reading… The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim I'm obsessed with books about people from Asian cultures growing up in the West (probably because I can relate), so I knew I'd love this before I started it. It's about two sisters who are separated by the Korean war – one grows up in the US and the other grows up in war-torn Korea – and how their experiences shape them. It's an amazingly powerful read, based on true events, and it gives an accurate historical insight into a war that is rarely written about. • BUY The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim or pop in to your local bookshop. Marisa Bate is reading… Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism by Kristen R Ghodsee Thanks to Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn (in part, at least), the number of young people identifying as socialist is rocketing, and now academic Kristen R Ghodsee is making the feminist argument for some of the policies adopted by socialist states, which, she claims, resulted in women having better sex. The book is born out of a New York Times op-ed she wrote, which points to a study that found women in socialist East Germany had more orgasms than those in capitalist West Germany. As Ghodsee goes on to explore in her book, a government that funds childcare, encourages women into the workforce and supports women into economic independence significantly increases women's happiness. Ghodsee is an academic, but the tone is accessible and relatable. She's quick to point out the significant failings of communist states, while illuminating some of the brilliant, but often forgotten, women in and around the socialist movement. • BUY Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism by Kristen R. Ghodsee or pop in to your local bookshop. Caroline O’Donoghue is reading… Career Girls by Louise Mensch Before Louise Mensch was Louise Mensch, she was Louise Bagshawe – a chick-lit novelist whose heroines work hard, play hard and shag basically everyone they ever meet. This Machiavellian story of mid-90s excess and fierce women pulling themselves up by their bootstraps is a bizarrely pulpy read, but also one of the most page-turning books I've ever read. • BUY Career Girls by Louise Mensch or pop in to your local bookshop.