It always feels impossible to narrow down your favourite books, but here is a sample of some of my favourite oldies as well as some exciting new releases. Enjoy!
Virginia Woolf£7.99 £7.43
Mrs Dalloway is probably Virginia Woolf's most accessible novel. Following the day in the life of high society woman during the interwar period, Mrs Dalloway is a startlingly modern exploration of consciousness, gender, trauma, queerness and time. No-one, in my opinion, writes quite like Virginia Woolf, and it will enrich your life to read it.
Alison Bechdel£12.99 £12.08
Fun Home is the best book you've never heard of. It is the remarkable graphic memoir of MacArthur Genius Award recipient Alison Bechdel (after whom the Bechdel test was named) about her dysfunctional childhood and, in particular, her father, a part-time English teacher, part-time funeral home director, struggling with his sexuality and family life. It is a witty, poignant, tragicomic masterpiece.
Bernardine Evaristo£8.99 £8.36
Girl, Woman, Other is one of the best books I've read in years. Joint winner of the Booker Prize in 2019, it is an expansive, glittering, vibrant novel which follows the lives and struggles of twelve characters. Through these interlocking stories, Evaristo masterfully reflects on womanhood, on the varied Black British experience, and on modern British life.
Iris Murdoch£10.99 £10.22
I finished this on the 68 bus one night after work and shed a small tear. This 1978 Booker Prize winner is a curious, funny, subversive novel about retired playwright and director Charles Arrowby, whose decision to spend his days in hermit-like contemplation is scuppered by an unexpected encounter with his childhood sweetheart. I was totally captivated by this strange and brilliant novel from start to finish.
Rebecca Watson£12.99 £12.08
Little Scratch tells the story of a day in the life of an unnamed woman who is processing a trauma. As the protagonist narrates the small, forgettable moments of her day – her hangover, checking her Whatsapp messages, eating a packet of hula hoops at her desk etc. – we learn of her obsession with the very big life event which she cannot forget. This is an extraordinary, playful, and at times painful narrative - a spectacular debut.
Jeremy Atherton Lin£16.98 £15.79
Gay Bar is a genre-bending memoir-cum-history of the gay bars in London, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles, from the 1990s to the present day. It is a dazzling celebration of the gay bar as an institution, and a beautiful tribute to the lifelong romance that began one restless night in Soho. This is such a special book, full of humour and strobes and first kisses on sweaty dance floors. I ADORE it.