Where are we? The importance of Place
September 13, 2017
What’s in a writing group?
September 27, 2017

September Reads

Another varied selection with a bit of a ‘back to school’ theme. We hope you enjoy them.


"Heller’s seemingly effortless tale revolves around the illicit relationship between a student and his art teacher, Sheba Hart. Written from the point of view of history teacher, Barbara Covett, the sinister story of manipulation is a great example of an unreliable narrator." - Elinor Johns

Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller


"When Guyanese-born Rick Braithwaite leaves the RAF after World War II, he is disheartened to discover that even a physics degree from Cambridge can’t get him a job. Too qualified for entry-level jobs and too black to be considered for anything higher, a job as a secondary school teacher is his only option. A gritty memoir examining post-war attitudes to both race and class." - Louise Hare

To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite


"McClaverty's new novel – Midwinter Break – sent me back to his wonderful 1983 novel Cal, a raw and poetic depiction of the Troubles in Northern Ireland during the 1970s. Seen through the eyes a young Catholic man caught in the cross-fire while searching for love and the chance to make a life for himself, over forty years on it reads as a great piece of social and political history." - Stella Klein

Cal by Bernard McClaverty


"Watching The Handmaid's Tale put me back in the Atwoody mood so I've returned to an old favourite. I first read this book when I was 15 and hated... pretty much everyone, but especially the teenaged girls I'd just escaped from in year 11. The tensions and cruelty between the characters in this story are expertly depicted so when the kids go back to school in September, read this and remind yourself of how good it is to be a grown up!" - Melanie Jones

Cats Eye by Margaret Atwood


"The precise, raw prose used by Hunt in this short story collection makes odd and fantastical scenarios unnervingly familiar." - Kate Ellis

The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt


"Isma is at Heathrow Airport, hoping to catch a flight to Boston where she has a place on a PhD programme. Stuck for hours in an interrogation room, it is revealed that Isma’s brother has recently travelled to Syria to join IS. A modern retelling of Sophocles’ Antigone, Shamsie’s masterful storytelling had me hooked from the first page." - Louise Hare

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie


"A highly entertaining, if exhausting, read, this is the story of Liam and Aldo, old school friends whose lives are inextricably linked with that of their art teacher whose failed book, Artist Within, Artist Without is Liam's bible in his quest for success as a writer. Liam chooses the hapless Aldo as his muse and takes the reader through the wildly bizarre events of Aldo's life until all his fears are realised. Aldo's relentless, unexpected, absurd anecdotes create painfully funny dialogue. You will laugh out loud." - Elinor Johns

Quicksand by Steve Toltz


"I’m in awe of the pace and articulacy of Lerner’s style. The purely pro-creational sex scene between friends is gloriously awkward." - Kate Ellis

10:04 by Ben Lerner