MIRLive Winter Tales
January 1, 2018
Sian Hughes talks to Mslexia
January 5, 2018

January Reads

A new year and some new recommendations. We hope you enjoy them. James


"Set around 100 years from now, this is a terrifyingly realistic vision of a world devastated by climate change. Extreme weather has divided the US as those from the southern states flee north to escape drought and hurricanes. Holly is a publicist brought in to help the presidential campaign of the brilliantly named Senator Slaymaker. His controversial plan might reunite the country but the repercussions could be devastating." - Louise Hare

America City by Chris Beckett


"My first taste of the work of twentieth century writer Mary Lavin whose unravellings of Feminist issues and corrupt elements of the Roman Catholic church in the rural Ireland of her time still resonate. With delicate, piercing humour each study of human frailty in this collection draws out a mix of mild horror and sympathy in just the way that a good short story should." - Stella Klein

Happiness and Other Stories by Mary Lavin


"Landyn and Vale Midwinter – father and son – are Suffolk tenant farmers haunted by tragedies past and present. Told in their alternating voices, Melrose captures their male taciturnity and evokes the beauty and cruelty of country life. The best thing I’ve read about contemporary rural England." - James Kennedy

Midwinter by Fiona Melrose


"A startling book, utterly absorbing and beautifully poetic despite the violence of its subject matter. This short but powerful novel juxtaposes the lives of two men, one tender and humane, one brutal and sadistic, one who nurtures animals and one who destroys them. The ending is no less shocking for its inevitability." - Elinor Johns

The Dig by Cynan Jones


"This memoir tells the very honest story of Emily Morris and her unplanned pregnancy, which happened in the middle of her university degree. She writes beautifully and tells her gritty story with great wit, warmth and honesty. Emily now has a first and second degree with an 11-year-old son who is her greatest fan." - Alison Hitchcock

My Shitty Twenties by Emily Morris


"Originally published in the 1950s and recently reissued in a new edition, The Hours Before Dawn is one of the original psychological thrillers. Louise’s young baby won’t sleep through the night and her husband sees childcare as none of his business. Is the new lodger, a woman who shares all of Louise’s husband’s interests, really up to something or is it just lack of sleep making her see things that aren’t there?" - Louise Hare

The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin


"The premise – Lincoln was assassinated before becoming President, the Civil War never happened, and slavery persists in an alternative contemporary American South – grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let go. A noirish plot- and action-heavy thrill-ride." - James Kennedy

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters