I haven’t posted much in the way of book recommendations for a while (mostly because I’ve had so little time to read) but I just thought instead of a one word twitter recommendation, it might be nice to post a couple at greater length on here.
The Kindness by Polly Samson
Full disclosure: Polly is a friend of mine. But that actually makes reading someone else’s book potentially traumatic. If you hate it, you doom yourself to a handful of awkward meetings where you either both pretend that you haven’t actually received it, or have to rattle on about how busy you are and unable to read anything at all, or say something anodyne like “Oh! Yes! Lovely cover! Lovely!”
Thankfully, it took me about two pages to realise this book is a dark, sexy little masterpiece. Hard to categorise, but centred around the paternity of a child, it reveals its secrets in layers. Images from it – a forced sexual encounter, a hawk, a hospitalised daughter – stayed with me long after the book had finished. It is one of those books that as a writer, you finish, and slightly want to kick something because you didn’t write it yourself. Published 12/3/15
Breaking The Silence by Jo Milne
Jo Milne came to prominence last year when a friend made her a playlist on Lauren Laverne’s radio show. Nothing unusual about that – except Jo had only just begun to hear, at the age of 39, having just been fitted with a cochlear implant.
As the parent of a child with an implant, this book had an added resonance for me, but even if you have no interest in deaf issues you will be fascinated by a world seen through the eyes of someone discovering sound. Laugh along with the indominatible Jo as she stands surreptitiously turning light switches on and off, intrigued that they actually make a noise, weep with admiration at her amazing family, and wish you could aim a swift kick at the backside of a heartless lecturer, one of a long list of idiots who thoughtlessly attempt to humiliate an extraordinary woman. Out now.
The Woman Who Fell In Love In A Week by Fiona Walker
It is one of the great unfairnesses of life that Jilly Cooper does not turn out a book a year. It is one of its great consolations that we have Fiona Walker to fill in the gaps. The Woman Who Fell In Love in A Week is a gorgeous sexy romp of a book, complete with badly behaved dogs, gorgeous country houses and taut-stomached gardeners with gruff manners and expert sexual technique. In a tough few weeks in which I have barely managed to stay awake long enough to brush my teeth, I retreated to this book like a comfort blanket. A perfect summer read. Out now.