June: On The Pile

Name: Lucy Chatburn
Just Finished: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac. Oh so subtle. Also Roald Dahl – James and the Giant Peach. At last we’re on bedtime stories you can get your teeth into. And it’s just as good as it always was.
On The Go: Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence. Seem to have been on this for ages. I’m starting to feel as deranged as the narrator.
Next Up: Elena Ferrante, Troubling Love. Not sure I’m going to be able to stomach it, but it’s the only one left so feel compelled to read it.

Name: Peter Wild
Just Finished: Whipped through Colm Toibin’s House of Names, Chaboute’s The Park Bench and Chris W Kim’s Herman by Trade over the weekend. Reviews all coming very soon! [ed: some here already!]
On The Go: The Power by Naomi Alderman. Sometimes you just have to see what all of the fuss is about…
Next Up: The Dinner Party & Other Stories by Joshua Ferris. After the relative disappointment of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, I’ve got high hopes for his short stories.

Name: Ben Granger
Just Finished: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari –  Glisteningly clear-eyed look at humanity and the future, as thrilling as it is unsettling.
On The Go: The House of Dr Dee, Peter Ackroyd – Elegant and eerie tale of the fascinating Dr Dee and the latterday 20th century lost boy living in his house, arcane and intriguing, though sometimes the prose effect is not absorbing me…….we’ll see how this goes. Also Stalin Ate My Homework by Alexei Sayle – Having already reviewed the sequel for Bookmunch, I’m reading this the wrong way round. So far even more funny and evocative.
Next Up: Probably Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh, and then Jerusalem by Alan Moore……….The Big One.

Name: Fran Slater
Just Finished: The Cut by Anthony Cartwright. Won’t say too much because there is a review on the way, but it’s a Brexit novel that will make you see both sides of the story and the dangers of separating ourselves into two such distinct camps.
On The Go: Comparing Notes by Adam Ockelford. Another on the Bookmunch review pile: a look at how and why we respond to music in the way we do. Describes itself as ‘essential reading for anyone who has ever loved a song, sonata or symphony and wondered why’.
Next Up: Incredible Bodies by Ian McGuire. Because he used to be my teacher and it’s about time I got off my arse and read his debut novel.

Name: Tamim Sadikali
Just Finished: Ornithology by Nicholas Royle. ‘Irregular’, oblique, skilful.
On The Go: The Ghost Who Bled by Gregory Norminton. No theme to this short-fiction collection but boy do some of these stories rock!
Next Up: Thought X: Fictions and Hypotheticals. The hook – a blending of science with fiction by pairing writers with scientists – sounds utterly compelling.

Name: James Doyle
Just Finished: An After-Dinner’s Sleep by Stanley Middleton. A widow and widower hesitantly embark on a relationship and re-assess their lives. Middleton’s novels give a depth to the ordinary that is remarkable.
On The Go: Elizabeth Strout’s Amy & Isabelle, a penetrating portrait of a mother and daughter “puzzled by a sense of losing things.”
Next Up: Another Stanley Middleton, The Golden Evening, a mother’s imminent death: “People died… much as they had lived.”

Name: Lucille Turner
Just Finished: Madame Bovary of the Suburbs by Sophie Divry – could make you change your mind about that bungalow in the suburbs – if you’re French, that is…
On The Go: Major/Minor, a Memoir by Alba Arikha
Next Up: The Christian Fallacy, the real truth about Jesus by Paul McGrane – can’t wait!

Name: Dan Carpenter
Just Finished: Borne by Jeff Vandermeer. A bonkers post-apocalyptic novel set in a world constantly in fear of being mauled to death by a giant flying bear named Mord, that’s also one of the best books so far this year. Just wonderful.
On The Go: Burley Cross Postbox Theft by Nicola Barker. Barker’s latest may not be out for a few months, so it’s nigh time I catch up on the few backlist titles of hers that I haven’t yet read. This one, with its small English village focus and experimental structure is right up her street.
Next Up: End of Watch by Stephen King. Mr Mercedes was a bit of a damp squib, and whilst Finders Keepers did manage to bring some tension into King’s crime trilogy, it suffered from some of the master’s worst traits (not least the rampant old man yells at cloud sexism that has dogged some of his post-noughties novels). At the end of the day, it is King though, so I’ll read it. Hopefully he’ll cap this off with a good ‘un.

Name: Joe Phelan
Just Finished: Limonov by Emmanuel Carrere. Liminov is: A Russian politician? A revolutionary? An artistic wide boy? You decide. Riveting stuff.
On The Go: Echoland by Joe Joyce. One city one book. Dublin in 1940. Neutrality, missing persons and spies. So far so good.
Next Up: The Collected Short Stories by Jean Rhys. The grime and glitz of bohemian Paris and London.

Name: Valerie O’Riordan
Just Finished: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. I really liked the twisted structure of this one, though a lot of other reviewers have gotten their knickers in a twist because it’s not linear. Suck it up, people.
On The Go: No Harm Done by Jean McGarry. Really gripping story collection – what a voice!
Next Up: Room Little Darker by June Caldwell. More stories. I’ve heard good things – watch for the review…

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