All Adults Here by Emma Straub
All Adults Here is a warm, funny novel about the lifecycle of one family, as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the centre of town, it sets free a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realises she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three now-adult children. But to what consequence? Astrid's youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered?
"A totally engaging and smart book about the absolutely marvellous messiness of what makes up family. A wonderful book." – Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge
Funny Weather by Olivia Laing
In this inspiring collection of essays, acclaimed writer and critic Olivia Laing makes a brilliant case for why art matters, especially in the turbulent political weather of the 21st century. Funny Weather brings together a career’s worth of Laing’s writing about art and culture, examining its role in our political and emotional lives. She profiles Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georgia O’Keefe, interviews Hilary Mantel and Ali Smith, writes love letters to David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, and explores loneliness and technology, women and alcohol, sex and the body. With characteristic originality and compassion, she celebrates art as a force of resistance and repair, an antidote to a frightening political time. We’re often told art can’t change anything. Laing argues that it can.
“A warm, thinking, enticing sweep of a book, like spending the afternoon with your brainiest friend.” – Kate Mosse, author of The Burning Chambers
Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin
This is a visionary novel about our interconnected world from Man Booker-shortlisted author Samanta Schweblin. In her imaginative new novel, ‘kentukis’ have gone viral across the globe. They're small mechanical stuffed animals that have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home and a cute pet following them; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else's life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes. Through kentukis, a jaded Croatian hustler saves a life in Brazil, a lonely old woman in Peru becomes fascinated with a young woman and her louche lover in Germany, and a kid with no mother in Antigua finds a new virtual family in Norway. These creatures can reveal the beauty of connection between farflung souls – but they also expose the ugly humanity of our increasingly linked world. Trusting strangers can lead to unexpected love, but what happens when the kentukis pave the way for unimaginable terror?
“Samanta Schweblin is one of the most promising voices in modern literature.” – Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
Enter The Aardvark by Jessica Anthony
It's early one morning on a hot day in August, and millennial congressman Alexander Paine Wilson, planning his first re-election campaign and in deep denial about his sexuality, receives a mysterious delivery on his front stoop. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark. This outrageous, edge-of-your-seat novel hurtles between contemporary Washington DC, where Wilson tries to get rid of the unsightly beast before it destroys his career, and Victorian England – where we meet Titus Downing, the taxidermist who stuffed the aardvark, and Richard Ostlet, the naturalist who hunted her. Our present world, we begin to see, has been shaped in profound and disturbing ways by the secret that binds these men. At once a ghost story, a love story and a prescient political satire, Enter the Aardvark confronts the consequences of repressed male love meeting oppressive male power, and is a searing condemnation of present-day America.
“It’s a long time since I have enjoyed a novel so much. Fresh, witty and smart it also has a heart. What more could you want?” – Kate Atkinson, author of Big Sky
Love In The Blitz by Eileen Alexander
Through Eileen Alexander, a Jewish woman in her 20s, we sink into the reality of wartime London –as it was lived for women. Her letters – rescued from oblivion by a chance eBay purchase – tell an unbelievable love story. On July 17th 1939, Eileen begins a brilliant correspondence with fellow Cambridge student Gershon Ellenbogen that lasts five years and spans many hundreds of letters. But as Eileen and Gershon’s relationship flourishes from friendship and admiration into passion and love, the tensions between Germany, Russia and the rest of Europe reach a crescendo. When war is declared, Gershon heads for Cairo and Eileen forgoes her studies to work in the Air Ministry. Love in the Blitz is an extraordinary glimpse of life in London during WWII and an illuminating portrait of an ordinary young woman trying to carve a place for herself in a time of uncertainty. A timeless romance and a deeply personal story of life and resilience amid the violence and terror of war.
"Love in the Blitz provides an enchanting insight into a young woman’s life in wartime Britain.” – Jacqueline Winspear, New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs novels
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman. Blindsided by her mother's sudden death and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody arrives in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, mouldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At 31, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. But when she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more.
“Exuberant and affirming, it's funny and immensely clever, emotionally rare and strong. I feel bereft now I've finished.” – Tessa Hadley, author of Late In The Day
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