Kestrels and Crows by Tim Cooke
July 23, 2018
Athens is the New Berlin by Rushika Wick
July 25, 2018

July Reads

Another varied selection from the MIR Online team to take your mind off politics, sporting failures and global warming. Enjoy.




"Heart-breaking metaphors of hard and soft, bizarre sex, and tight, tight prose. Lobster escapes being eaten by the timely intervention of the sinking of the Titanic. In the turbulent cold of the Atlantic he encounters a young woman called Angelina. Rose and Jack off that film don’t have a fraction of the passion of Lobster and Angelina." - Jupiter Jones

Lobster by Guillaume Lecasble, translated by Polly McLean


"Originally published in 1929 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, Larsen’s classic examining racial identity is still relevant today. Two childhood friends meet by chance in a fancy hotel, both ‘passing’ as white. While Irene lives amongst the African American community in New York, Clare has married a white man who has no clue to his wife’s heritage. A short yet devastating novel." - Louise Hare

Passing by Nella Larsen


"Having been bowled over by the power and precision of All Things that Rise Must Converge in my first taste of Flannery O'Connor, I was not disappointed by this iconic collection. These dark, rich, comic studies of fear and prejudice first published together in 1953 seem more relevant, more poignant now than ever before." - Stella Klein

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor


"Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who went viral covering Bowie's "Space Oddity" from the International Space Station, opens a window into the high-pressure, no-nonsense world of space exploration with a warm, funny and surprisingly relatable autobiography. From Kazakh bandits robbing freshly-landed astronauts to washing-up liquid nearly shutting down a space walk, Hadfield's incredible journey offers plenty of inspiration for life, even if you're not blasting off the planet any time soon." - Laura Volpi

An astronaut's guide to life on earth by Chris Hadfield


"Matt Haig can, it seems, turn his hand to every genre. Here he’s time travelling with a 400 year old narrator in what could be a romantic history novel but it’s way more clever than that. His sardonic quips at the 21st century make it very modern, his humour is always present and his commentary on the circular nature of history, a philosophy." - Alison Hitchcock

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig


"Both disturbing and gripping, the story is based around a 14 year old’s experiences over the summer of 1969, where her burgeoning sexual desire and yearning for attention leads to manipulation and abuse within a version of the Manson cult. It is the tone, style and insight into the emotional complexity and vulnerability of an adolescent girl in a hyper-sexualised, male dominated world that resonates." - Elinor Johns

The Girls by Emma Cline


"This the first in a new fantasy trilogy set in Orisha, a mythical West African nation. When Zelie was young there was magic in Orisha, controlled by the magi, but overnight it disappeared – until an ancient scroll is found, sending Zelie and her brother on an epic quest. The world building is incredible and the way Adeyemi weaves folklore with fantasy is masterful." - Louise Hare

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


"Principled or merely petulant? Even here, in what is likely to become the definitive account of his life, the character of Guy Burgess remains elusive – and it’s Lownie’s rejection of easy answers that makes it so absorbing. Did Burgess act with genuine revolutionary Communist intent or from warped Etonian entitlement? What is clear is how vulnerable the clubby British establishment was to Soviet penetration and that lives were lost as a result of Burgess's betrayals." - James Kennedy

Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess by Andrew Lownie