December Reads


Dystopian worlds, lightning strikes, bleak visions of the American West and tales from a dysfunctional health system – nothing about this selection could be called ‘seasonal’ but we hope you find something that helps you get through the holidays.

James

Vox by Christina Dalcher

"If you can’t wait until next year for Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, get your hands on Vox. In this dystopian world, religion and state have become one and women are relegated to the home to become housewives and mothers. Not only that, they are only permitted to speak one hundred words a day. A very timely novel." - Louise Hare

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Cove by Cynan Jones

"A slim, yet powerful novella which demands to be read in one sitting. A man is struck by lightning while out in a kyak and his struggle to reach the shore is tense and harrowing, yet the language is poetic. A masterpiece of storytelling." - Elinor Johns

Cove by Cynan Jones

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

"Adam Kay was a junior doctor working within the NHS. His diaries of his years in the job are laugh out-loud funny, politically enraging and a true insight into life on the wards. Set in various hospitals, the book has heart-lifting highs and gut-wrenching lows." - Alison Hitchcock

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Property by Lionel Shriver

"In this gorgeous collection of stories Shriver explores the theme of ownership and entitlement, demonstrating through her characters that anything we might consider as rightfully ours – be it a lover, a friend, a work of art, a designer kitchen, or the contents of our pockets – has the power to reduce (and elevate) all vanity and ambition to the level of the absurd. Dark, incisive, hilarious. A great read for Christmas/New Year." - Stella Klein

Property by Lionel Shriver

West by Carys Davies

"An epic tale of exploration and misfortune condensed into a rich and satisfying 150 pages. Cy Bellman leaves his home and his daughter to travel the old American west in search of vast, possibly already extinct beasts. The things he takes with him and the ones he leaves behind are all significant. Beautifully, economically written; Davies brings the teleology of short fiction to her first novel." - Jupiter Jones

West by Carys Davies

Butcher’s Crossing by John Williams

"What remains when we leave civilisation behind? It’s 1870 and Harvard drop-out heads West in search of a more honest existence and his true self. He stumbles into the last great buffalo mass-killing and encounters a world stripped bare of niceties. After surviving a winter snowed up high in the Rockies, he returns home to Boston a changed man. Less celebrated than the author’s ‘Stoner’, this stark, uncompromising novel is a world away from the cosy westerns of our childhood." - James Kennedy

Butcher’s Crossing by John Williams

Becoming by Michelle Obama

"From her childhood in Chicago’s Southside, to the White House, this is a riveting look over the life of one of the world’s most famous women. Maybe this isn’t a sharp political tome, but then this Obama never intended a life in politics. Smart, funny and sad, this is Michelle’s book through and through." - Louise Hare

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Exposure by Helen Dunmore

"Set in 1960 at the height of the Cold War, this is extremely well-constructed and the ending tense and satisfying. A convincing spy story with an admirable central female character, it is surely one of Dunmore's best." - Elinor Johns

Exposure by Helen Dunmore