Name: Valerie O’Riordan
Just Finished: Melmoth, Sarah Perry. Creepy but not quite creepy enough for me… Review to come.
On The Go: Notes From The Fog, Ben Marcus. Short stories – great so far. Review to come.
Next Up: The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson. Working my way through Jackson’s back catalogue and this seems like a good time of year to do it…
Name: Peter Wild
Just Finished: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver.
On The Go: Transcription by Kate Atkinson (review to follow).
Next Up: Middle England by Jonathan Coe. The writer of What a Carve Up on Brexit – yes please!
Name: James Doyle
Just Finished: The Adulterants by Joe Dunthorne. “That was the whole point of friends, in the modern age. To replace the family, welfare state and mental health services.” Hipster worries in the summer of the London riots, written in the comic voice Flann O’Brien would have used if he had rented a flat in Hackney. Then it turns darker.
On The Go: Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding. Cassie aims to disrupt her twin sister’s wedding, an exacting portrait of a vulnerable mind (who becomes one of the most complete, and exposed, characters I have ever read).
Next Up: Irvine Welsh’s Porno. The Trainspotting crew re-unite to make a porno movie. Drugs, violence and double-crosses: “God, how we stupefy ourselves with our love of sex.”
Name: Lucy Chatburn
Just Finished: Just Like Tomorrow by Faiza Guene. Her first book, about a teenager in the Paris suburbs. It’s packaged as YA but worth reading for adults too: a smart, distinctive voice which crosses social and cultural boundaries.
On The Go: Autumn by Ali Smith. Original and precise and relevant to our times and it leaves me a bit cold even though I really wish it didn’t. Also Lane Greene – Talk On the Wild Side, reviewing soon.
Next Up: Between Eternities by Javier Marias, up for review. And Pachinko by Min Jee Lee. Keep hearing good things about this.
Name: Maia Nikitina
Just Finished: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney.
On The Go: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and Crudo by Olivia Laing. I got to Sapiens later than most but I’m loving it.
Next Up: The Mongolian Travel Guide by Svetislav Basara and Best European Fiction 2019, edited by Alex Andriesse. Reviews to follow soon.
Name: Joe Phelan
Just Finished: The State of The Art by Iain M. Banks. A collection of short stories by the magnificent Banks. In the title story we learn of the initial contact between the Culture and Earth. Fantastic and creative and a great introduction to the works of a master.
On The Go: The Golem by Gustav Meyrink. One for the season that’s in it. First published in book form in 1915 and set in the Prague ghetto this novel is populated by a host of memorable characters. Related by an anonymous narrator, The Golem is a wonderful example of expressionist writing at its best.
Next Up: The Outrun by Amy Liptrot. An award winning memoir relating the authors battle with addiction and how a return to her native Orkney helped Amy Liptrot in her recovery.
Name: Jackie Law
Just Finished: Crocodile by Daniel Shand. A disturbing and utterly compelling tale of a preteen girl struggling to cope with her upbringing. A multi layered, strikingly honest evocation of the damage caused by dysfunctional people and how this can impact those they come into contact with. Emotive and affecting whilst somehow retaining a chilling detachment – an impressive read.
On The Go: Murmur by Will Eaves – shortlisted for the Goldsmith Prize. Trying to get this and Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad And Furious City read before the winner is announced on 14th November.
Next Up: The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy.