MIRLive: An Evening of Festive Fun
December 9, 2016
Julia Bell interviews Kit De Waal
December 11, 2016

Recommended Reads December 2016

The MIROnline team have chosen the books they are most enjoying this month, just in time to for you to add them to your Christmas List.



"I was completely drawn in by the honesty, complexity and genius of the essays in this collection. Anyone who loves writing will love this book but so will anyone who'd just like to hear the truth, for once." - Melanie Jones

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison


"This story of an American translator, Emma, trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of "her author" in Rio is fast paced and gripping, I read it in a weekend!  However it was the masterly crafted language, warmth and insightful examination of both Emma's personal motives and the ethics of translation that really got me. A great read that makes you think." - Miranda Roszkowski

Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey


"This came out in 2015 and was recommended by several friends, but I only finally got round to picking it up before this year's NaWriNoMo to try and help with motivation. I once more failed at the first hurdle with NaWriNoMo but was really glad I picked this up, lots of practical advice as well as inspiration on novel writing from a wide range of perspectives." - Katherine Vik

The Art Of The Novel - edited by Nicholas Royle


"I finally got around to reading War & Peace (an hour a day on my commute.) Thought I might skip some of the war bits but no - I'm loving the war as much as the peace. Tolstoy, you were a clever bastard and your wife was a saint - but your characters are jaw-droppingly real and rounded and flawed! 30% left to enjoy over Xmas." - Stella Klein

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


"One of my favourite authors. Boyd’s ability to take you on a journey through the life of his characters is a real delight, allowing you to completely lose yourself in the book. If you enjoyed Any Human Heart, you’ll love this one." - Alison Hitchcock

Sweet Caress by William Boyd


"2016: 'The app is Tinder, selfie has been declared the word of the year, and a study has come out showing that our language is more self-centred than ever before', but is this really the most narcissistic era that the human kind has ever experienced? Kristin Dombek explores the question in her book: 'The Selfishness of Others. An Essay on the fear of Narcissism'." - Paola Moretti

The Selfishness of Others. An Essay on the fear of Narcissism by Kristin Dombek


"Looking back, one of the best books I read this year was probably The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. A theory imbued autobiographical story of two simultaneous transformations. Full of hope, love and intelligence. " - Kate Eliis

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson


"I recently read Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin for the first time. Concise and powerful, can't believe I'd never read it before. Essential. " - Kate Ellis

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin