ARTS & CULTURE This week we're reading 1 min ARTS & CULTURE This week we're reading 1 min A novel that's a supernatural version of Westworld, Michelle Obama's memoir and an insightful story into growing up as a transgender boy Added on 30.11.18 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Email LinkedIn A novel that's a supernatural version of Westworld, Michelle Obama's memoir and an insightful story into growing up as a transgender boy Vic Parsons is reading… Not Just A Tomboy by Caspar J Baldwin This honest and intimate account from a trans man of how it felt to grow up labelled a "tomboy" but actually being something else brought me comfort and relief. I recommend this for anyone interested in masculinity and feminism; we don't hear from the trans masc viewpoint often and I think the conversation is missing something in that respect. Caspar's insights into male privilege – from someone who didn't grow up with it – and how we treat gender non-conforming children and teenagers are startling and thought-provoking. • BUY Not Just A Tomboy by Caspar J. Baldwin or pop in to your local bookshop. Anna James is reading… The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones If I had to choose, I would say Diana Wynne Jones is my all-time favourite author. I read her obsessively as a child and teenager and she's one of the only authors I reread relatively regularly. The Dark Lord Of Derkholm reads like a satirical, fantasy-world Westworld – it's set in a magical land adjacent to ours, where an evil businessman with a demon at his disposal organises tourist tours that the inhabitants are powerless to resist. When hapless wizard Derk is forced into the role of "Dark Lord" for this year's tours, and turn his home into a crumbling citadel, everything starts to go wrong. It's an incredibly affectionate, but very sharp, satirical look at the fantasy genre, and above all a brilliantly fun read. • BUY The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Dianna Wynne Jones or pop in to your local bookshop. Daisy Buchanan is reading… The Little Snake by A L Kennedy I am IN LOVE with The Little Snake, A L Kennedy’s response to The Little Prince – it’s a gorgeous fable, tenderly told. It’s a magical, moving story about kindness and it’s making me realise how important it is to keep reading fairytales, no matter how old you are. • BUY The Little Snake by A L Kennedy or pop in to your local bookshop. Iesha Thomas is reading… Becoming by Michelle Obama I'm not really an autobiography reader. In fact, the only one I own is Barack Obama's. But as soon as I heard Michelle Obama was bringing out a memoir, I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP. And I wasn't disappointed. She's such an intelligent, accomplished woman, who is completely down to earth and humble, and you can really sense that in Becoming. She is just as hilarious as you'd expect her to be, and her honesty is what made me truly love this book. It reinforced my love and admiration for this inspirational woman, who is both an eloquent storyteller and one of the most important female figures that I've seen in the public eye as a young woman (in my opinion). (But probably yours, too.) • BUY Becoming by Michelle Obama or pop in to your local bookshop. Sam Baker is listening to... Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Life by Katherine Ormerod Oh, how we laughed. Seriously though, as someone who hasn’t had much of a life for the past four years, thanks, in large part, to social media, I almost didn’t download this because, y’know, there’s only so much one person can take. But blogger/Instagrammer/influencer Katherine Ormerod’s smart take on the good, the bad and the ugly of social media (particularly Instagram), and her practical, down-to-earth take on how to stay on social media and stay sane is well worth a listen. • BUY or LISTEN to Social Media is Runing Your Life by Katherine Ormerod on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.