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The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and the micro-aggressions, she's thrilled when Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They've barely started swapping natural hair care tips, though, before a string of uncomfortable events cause Nella to become the office outcast and Hazel employee of the year. Then the notes begin to appear on Nella's desk: “Leave Wagner. Now.” It's hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realises that there is a lot more at stake than her career. Dark, funny and furiously entertaining, this will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
“Very, very funny and acutely observed.” – Elizabeth Day, author of How To Fail
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
The Maidens is the next novel from Alex Michaelides, the man behind the phenomenally successful page-turner The Silent Patient. St Christopher's College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most. But for Mariana Andros – a group therapist struggling through her private grief – it's where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it's the tragic scene of her best friend's murder. As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked by the murder of one of its own. Behind the scenes, she finds a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known as ‘The Maidens’, a group under the sinister influence of enigmatic professor Edward Fosca. Fosca seems to know more than anyone about the murders – and the victims – and soon becomes the prime suspect in Mariana's obsessive investigation.
“The Maidens answers the weighty question, how do you go about following one of the biggest thrillers of the past decade? You write something even better.” – Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin At The End
Omelette by Jessie Ware
If you love Table Manners – the successful podcast hosted by musician Jessie Ware and her mum, Lennie – you’ll love this recent mini memoir from Jessie, which focuses on food. Named Omelette: Food, Love, Chaos & Other Conversations, it’s a collection of things she’s done, seen, thought and tasted. Like food critic Grace Dent’s recent hit Hungry, this will leave you desperate to try the many dishes she peppers throughout the book as she tackles everything from childbirth to rosé-fuelled dinners at Chateau Marmont. Warm and organised into bite-sized essays, this is ideal for anyone commuting or wanting to dip in and out of a book over the course of a weekend.
“Her stories are a joy to read, although probably not as much fun as they are to live. Deliciously entertaining.” – Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Simple
Assembly by Natasha Brown
Natasha Brown has spent a decade working in financial services, after studying Maths at Cambridge University. She began work on her debut novel – Assembly – after receiving a 2019 London Writers Award in the literary fiction category. The narrator is a Black British woman, who’s preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend's family estate in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can't escape the question: is it time to take it all apart? Assembly is a story about the stories we live, namely those of race, class, safety, freedom, winners and losers. And it is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life. A thrilling debut.
“Exquisite, daring, utterly captivating. A stunning new writer.” – Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl. Woman. Other
Sunset by Jessie Cave
Sunset is the debut novel by actress, comedian and cartoonist Jessie Cave. Ruth and Hannah are sisters. Bonded by love and friendship, they are perplexingly different characters: Hannah is radiant, organised and hardworking; Ruth is forever single and totally aimless. Together they are invincible. Every summer they go on a budget holiday together where they bicker, laugh, fight and make up. But this time is different. Something bad happens. And now everything is changed forever. This bittersweet love story is about needing someone else as much as they need you, an ode to our most powerful bonds, and how, when all seems lost, we can find joy in the most unexpected places.
“Heartbreaking, funny and bittersweet. A phenomenal debut.” – Dolly Alderton, author of Ghosts
Conversations On Love by Natasha Lunn
After years of interviewing people about their relationships as a journalist, for her Conversations on Love newsletter (which has over 10k subscribers) and studying psychodynamic couples therapy at the Tavistock Centre, Natasha Lunn has learnt that our daily questions about love are often rooted in three bigger ones: how do we find love? How do we sustain it? And how do we survive when we lose it? Interviewing authors and experts, as well as drawing on her own experience – including the mistakes she made with love when she was young, her relationship with her parents, brother and friends, and her more recent experiences of marriage, miscarriage and motherhood – Natasha guides us through the complexities of these three questions. The result is a book of wisdom without judgement; a book to learn from, to lose and find yourself in. Inside, expect to hear Philippa Perry on falling in love slowly, Dolly Alderton on vulnerability, Alain de Botton on the psychology of being alone, Roxane Gay on soulmates, Candice Carty-Williams on friendship and Lisa Taddeo on grief.
“Conversations on Love shows that love comes in myriad forms and that like our hearts and minds, it can be explored infinitely.” – Pandora Sykes, author of How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right?
Keep The Receipts: Three Women, Real Talk, No Filter by Tolani Shoneye, Milena Sanchez and Audrey Indome
The Receipts is a fun and honest chart-topping podcast fronted by Tolani Shoneye, Audrey Indome and Milena Sanchez. This book is all the conversations and advice you've had with your friends, all in one place. Crying over that ‘situationship’ and needing someone to remind you you're amazing? In a dilemma with your friends and not sure the best way forward? Can't figure out how to dump the boyfriend who has never made you orgasm? The Receipts girls have got your back. From their different approaches to love to their advice on building strong friendships; from those conversations about sex we never have and how to enjoy life as a Black woman or a woman of colour, this book always keeps is real, authentic and funny. A celebration of the wonderful messes, mistakes, successes, highs and lows of three audacious women who are still trying to get it right and live their best lives.
“Fiercely funny and brutally frank.” – Waterstones
Sista Sister by Candice Brathwaite
I Am Not Your Baby Mother was a landmark publication and top five Sunday Times bestseller in 2020. A thought-provoking and inspirational guide to life as a Black British mum, it launched Candice onto a wider stage. She’s now a regular on Lorraine, a contributing editor on Grazia and familiar across the UK media talking about fashion and beauty as well as family, parenting and race. Sista Sister is a compilation of essays about all the things Candice wishes someone had talked to her about when she was a young Black girl growing up in London. From family and money to Black hair and fashion, as well as sex and friendships between people of different races, these essays are wise, honest, confronting, beautiful and funny. Inside you’ll find lessons on life, love, friendship, family, death and social media – for everyone.
“Searing.” – Dolly Alderton