Name: Joe Phelan
Just Finished: I Was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond
On The Go: Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
Up Next: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Name: Peter Wild
Just finished: The Easy Way Out by Steve Amsterdam (disappointing)
On the go: Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie (my very first Agatha Christie – loving it!) and Oscar & Lucinda by Peter Carey (too soon to say!)
Next up: Perfidia by James Ellroy (playing catch-up!)
Name: Lucille Turner
Just Finished: The Book of Dhaka
On The Go: Britain BC by Francis Pryor
Up Next: Shakespeare’s Ghost
Name: Fran Slater
Just Finished: The Return by Hisham Matar. An often brutal but always compelling story of life under the Libyan dictatorship. But that’s all I’m telling you for now, a Bookmunch review is on the way.
On The Go: Hate: My Life in the British Far Right by Matthew Collins. A memoir by a man who spent years of his life campaigning for the BNP and National Front, only to turn around and work for ant-fascist charities in his later life. Partly reading this as research for a book, but also trying to better understand how so many people seem to be attracted to the politics of hate.
Up Next: Clothes, clothes, clothes. Music, music, music. Boys, boys, boys by Viv Albertine. Honestly, I’m being forced to read this one by my girlfriend. It’s her book of the year. I don’t know a great deal about it at the minute, but I’ll be sure to share my thoughts.
Name: Maia Nikitina
On The Go: Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, The Sultan, The Vampyr and The Soothsayer by Lucille Turner, and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Up Next: The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Name: James Doyle
Just Finished: Per Petterson, I Curse the River of Time: A moving record of the losses of one ordinary life, and a thoughtful portrayal of a mother & son’s relationship.
On the Go: Adrian McKinty, Gun Street Girl: one of a series of crime novels set in 1980s Northern Ireland that are as good as George Pelecanos’s Nick Stefanos novels (there can be no higher praise). Adrian McKinty is the George Best of crime writing.
Up next: Peter Ackroyd, Turner: a biography of the painter from the writer most suited to writing it.
Name: Lucy Chatburn
Just Finished: Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, The Time Regulation Institute. Hilarious and very clever, although I think about half of it went right over my head. Lynsey Hanley, Respectable – the experience of class. After reading this, Ferrante’s Elena Greco is all the more convincing.
On the go: Watching the English – the hidden rules of English behaviour. On a mission to deconstruct culture shock. Also Linda Grant, The Dark Circle. Because the last three made my brain hurt.
Up next: Rereading Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend. Loved this first time round, but as I ambitiously went for V.O. now need to read the translation to catch the bits I didn’t get.
Name: Tamim Sadikali
Just Finished: No More Heroes by Stephen Thompson. A subtle and nuanced story that purports to be about a London terror attack, but isn’t. Look out for my review in Wasafiri, come the new year.
On The Go: Novels, short stories and flash fiction – they each have an army of advocates. But what of the vignette..? Perhaps standing alone here is Vine Leaves Press, and I’m reading one of their recent publications: The Garage? Just Torch It, by Dylan D. Debelis.
Up Next: Luckily the dead no longer die, they just get plagiarised on Twitter…which is how I came across Charles Bukowski. Tales of Ordinary Madness is what I have lined up next…
Name: Valerie O’Riordan
Just Finished: Hearing Voices / Seeing Things by William Wall. An excellent story collection – totally recommend it (in fact, have already recommended it to my students).
On The Go: Preparation For The Next Life by Atticus Lish – this came recommended by our Pete and I love it so far – horribly brutal but absolutely beautiful
Up Next: You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman. This is a novel, btw, not a mad exercise manual. Look out for the review soon…