Check out this exclusive reading list by Lucia Osborne-Crowley, journalist and author of My Body Keeps Your Secrets and I Choose Elena.
Natasha Brown£12.99 £12.08
This is far and away one of my favourite novels of the year, and probably of the decade. Brown tells the story of a young Black British woman who has achieved everything she wanted to - an impressive job in finance, a steady boyfriend - but the book takes us through her reflection of the way every single interaction she has is tainted by racism and mistrust. She has done all the right things, followed all the rules, but it is never enough. Every sentence in this book does the work of an entire chapter. The writing is truly outstanding and the emotion is powerful and lucid and smart.
Audre Lorde£12.99 £12.08
This is one of those books I re-read at least once or twice a year, and it’s one that I relied on very heavily while writing my new book My Body Keeps Your Secrets. This book is a collection of essays and speeches by Lorde, opening with my favourite essays of hers - a beautiful piece about her cancer diagnosis and how it forced her to come to terms will all the things she has not spoken up about, all the things she has kept quiet about - racism, sexism, violation - and how clearly she believes that she cannot let these secrets die with her.
Patrick Radden Keefe£20.00 £18.60
This book from the brilliant New Yorker reporter Patrick Raddan Keefe is one of the best works of longform journalism I’ve read in a long time. It takes a deep dive into the opioid crisis and the people who oversaw a cruel empire that profited from people in pain. Unlike so much other reporting on opioids, this book looks at how victims of chronic pain are so vulnerable to exploitation by the medical establishment. This is a must-read for anyone interested in pain conditions and how to treat them.
Rachel Thompson£14.99 £13.94
This is another one of my non-fiction picks of the year. Journalist Rachel Thompson takes a close look at the rise of “casual violence” - acts of violence and coercion that are creeping further and further into sexual culture - and what we can do about it. The book includes dozens of beautifully reported stories of people struggling with the greyer areas of sex and consent. In centring these stories, this book is a powerful argument for taking the next steps in our conversations about rape culture, and looking at the more insidious elements of coercion that don’t fit easily into black-and-white categories.
Catriona Morton£12.99 £12.08
This book is an essential look at rape culture as we know it today. This beautifully written and meticulously researched work takes a clear and honest look at sexual violence and, importantly, its aftermath - the physical and psychological legacy it leaves with survivors, the way trauma lives on in the body and expresses itself through illness and pain. Morton uses her own stories of trauma and survival to examine the way these patterns play out again and again in our society, and this knowledge arms us with the tools to make things better. A truly important book.
Julie K. Brown£20.00 £18.60
This book is by the journalist who almost single-handedly re-opened the investigation in Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking ring after it was purportedly closed by Florida law enforcement in the 2000s, when they let the billionaire as-good-as get away with pleading guilty to trafficking minor girls for sex and facing almost no consequences. Brown’s reporting was relentless and led to a new criminal investigation, arrest, and charge. This book brilliantly dives into all of the detail in the Epstein case and at the same time gives really useful detail about how Brown went about the project. I will come back to this book again and again for reporting tips.
Alice Hattrick£12.99 £12.08
This beautiful book explores the devastating legacy of dismissing women’s chronic illness and pain through the story of Alice and her mother’s experience with myalgic encephalitis, or ME. Hattrick’s non-fiction voice is stunning, and the book looks closely at how being disbelieved when we are sick can infect a whole life and can be passed down through generations, can reverberate again and again and again. This is another book I will be coming back to often.
Chanel Miller£10.99 £10.22
This powerful memoir by Chanel Miller, the victim of Stanford rapist Brock Turner, really changed the way I thought about writing my own book. Miller’s voice is so clear and so powerful, and the way she narrates her passage through the criminal justice system and the shame and disempowerment she felt in becoming the unnamed victim of a high-profile rape trial is moving and unforgettable. Miller is such a wise writer and this book will always mean so much to me.
Lucia Osborne-Crowley£12.99 £12.08