What we're reading - 2 August 2019

Opinion - Books Friday, 02 August 2019

The BookBrunch team reveal what's on their bedside tables


Nicholas Clee
Oyinkan Braithwaite's My Sister, The Serial Killer (Atlantic) is an exciting choice on the Booker longlist. It's the tone of voice that grabs you; and then, when you're drawn in, the moral ambiguity of the story that unsettles the mind.

David Roche
Salman Rushdie appeared again on the Booker longlist last week, and I am having a second attempt at his 1981 winner, Midnight's Children (Vintage), which was also the winner of winners in the prize's 25th and 40th anniversary years. Able to give it time, I am loving this veritable salmagundi of a book, which presents history through the magic of storytelling. It amply rewards the perseverance that failed me the first time.

Jo Henry
I'm reading The Broken Road (John Murray), the third in Patrick Leigh-Fermor's account of walking from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople, finished after his death by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper. Leigh-Fermor's descriptions of the country, settlements and people he encounters are so vivid and enticing that I'm slowed down by the need to make plans for an intrepid road trip to see it for myself, forgetting for the moment that his journey was nearly a century ago. Still - Plovdiv or Tirnovo anyone?

Lucy Nathan
I'm half way through The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller. Somebody told me that it was similar to my favourite book, The Secret History, and although I'm not sure that I agree with that, it's a fun book in its own right. Set at a competitive private school that - to my delight - has an incredibly creepy secret society, it's a compellingly dark story about first love, betrayal, and what it feels like not to belong.

Julie Vuong
I'm smiling my way through Andrew Sean Greer's witty Less (Abacus). It's the story of Arthur Less, a moderately successful author, who travels the world to avoid his ex-boyfriend's wedding. The Independent described this Pulitzer-prize winner as a "middle-aged Odyssey", which I think sums it up perfectly.

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