A few weeks before coronavirus and then lockdown really kicked off in the UK, I helped organise a charity book sale where I work and I'm SO glad I did because what else is there to do indoors everyday other than read? I've got a whole bunch of books to take me to the other side of lockdown, and I'm just not sure what to read first out of these (although a lot of people have raved about The Cactus).
'The Cactus' by Sarah Haywood. A modern romance, this tells the story of Susan Green who's almost given up on her chance for love and who is struggling after losing a parent.
'Milkman' by Anna Burns. This was nominated for the Women's Prize for Fiction last year, and I'm still trying to make my slow way through everything that was nominated. Set in a dystopian world, the last thing any of the characters want to be is interesting to others. When the protagonist's secret starts to become uncovered by her brother everything starts to head downhill.
'Nine Perfect Strangers' by Liane Moriarty. I've heard a lot about her books and recently bought another of them. I'm hoping these are fairly easy-to-get-through dramas that might be quick reads during a heavy time. Nine people head to a wellness retreat, but the people running it seem to know more about them than they'd hope, and the main character needs to decide whether to immerse herself in the stay or find out what's really going on.
'The Lady of the Rivers' by Philippa Gregory. I'm a big Philippa Gregory fan, and am slowly but surely making my way through everything she's ever written. This is in her Plantagenets/Tudor period of books and covers the war of the roses.
'Tangerine' by Christine Mangan. Set in Tangier, this is a story about two women, Alice and Lucy, who are estranged friends and follows the mystery of Alice's husband's disappearance. I'm really not sure whether I'll enjoy this one, or what to expect, but I've heard quite a few good things!
'The Chalk Man' by C. J. Tudor is a thriller/crime drama so many people have raved about. It follows Eddie's tale as a boy who got wrapped up in something he never quite understood, which comes back to haunt him in adulthood.
'Wind/Pinball'by Haruki Murakami are two novellas printed together. They both follow an unnamed narrator and his former roommate, the Rat. As with all of Murakami's fiction, it's full of magical realism, verging on surrealism.
'My Sweet Revenge' by Jane Fallon. I'm getting a little bit of a 'Nancy Drew for adults' vibe from this, but with the 'villain' as the main character. Paula and Robert have been married for years, and she's always supported his acting career. When she finds out he's been having an affair, her whole world is rocked and she decides to take her revenge.
'The Marriage Plot' by Jeffrey Eugenides is a retelling or reformulating of the idea of the marriage plot Austen and George Eliot developed in their novels. Full of lust and intrigue, at the heart of this book is a love triangle, and in a fully meta twist, one of the people involved is investigating the literary origins of the marriage plot. I'm hoping this will make for an interesting read, not just a pretentious one.
'The Girls' by Emma Cline is a culty drama/thriller that I *might* make my first read because I'm ready for some 1960s inspiration. It sounds like a creepy intense book that I'll tear through in horror.
'Blood Meridian' by Cormac McCarthy is an American classic that focuses on the violence of American expansionism. I've not read any of McCarthy's work before, despite studying a lot of US fiction at university, and really feel like I need to change that.
'Love after Love' by Ingrid Persaud. This is a new release set in Trinidad and follows the story of a boy who leaves his mother to become an undocumented immigrant in the US. Mr Chetan, a man who lives with Solo's mother, becomes the only link between mother and son.