Name: James Doyle
Just finished: My Antonia by Willa Cather. The story of a Czech immigrant and my first experience of Willa Cather, something of a revelation in how she paved the way for Jack Kerouac (and other heirs, such as Wallace Stegner).
On the Go: Montpellier Parade by Karl Geary. Sonny, a teenager, and a troubled older woman fall into a relationship. Geary’s world of 1980s Dublin is described with a detached observation that is perfectly judged for characters so removed from everyone around them.
Next up: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. One of Stegner’s chunky novels, an academic retires to write the history of his grandmother who helped to settle California. Takes place over decades and is unlike most contemporary novelists in Stegner’s expansiveness.
Name: Joe Phelan
Just Finished: Wild at Heart by Barry Gifford: The world’s wild at heart and weird on top. Addictive writing that’s an absolute classic.
On The Go: The Hotel Years by Joseph Roth. Reportage relating Roth’s travels in Europe between 1919 and 1939. There are dark clouds along the horizon.
Next Up: A Slanting of the Sun by Donal Ryan. A collection of short stories from a young master.
Name: Daniel Carpenter
Just Finished: An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It by Jessie Greengrass. An embarrassment of riches. A beautifully written short story collection which touches on landscape and the weird. The title story is perfect.
On The Go: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Yeah, it’s as good as everyone says it is. It’s so damn good.
Next Up: Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed. Getting compared to The Handmaid’s Tale can bring with it a whole heap of pre-release hype that some books fail to meet. Are my expectations for this set too high? Find out when I review it in June!
Name: Peter Wild
Just Finished: Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherrill Tippins. The perfect accompaniment to a trip to NY.
On The Go: Hostage by Guy Delisle. Review coming soon
Next Up: Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag.
Name: Lucy Chatburn
Just Finished: Jay McInerney, Brightness Falls
On The Go: Antonio Garcia Martinez, Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money Machine
Next Up: Forty Four Turkish Fairy Tales, collected and translated by Dr Ignacz Kunos
Name: Tamim Sadikali
Just Finished: Signal Failure by Tom Jeffreys. Could well be my book of 2017.
On the Go: Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross. Opinion at half way – very sharp, wry and witty short fiction.
Next Up: Fukushima Dreams by Zelda Rhiando
Name: Valerie O’Riordan
Just Finished: The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry. A very seductive page-turner.
On The Go: A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara. Our Ben wasn’t keen, but the first couple of pages have me hooked already.
Next Up: Probably Jean McGarry’s No Harm Done, a story collection for review here. Watch this space…