9 New Books To Read This March

From first-person accounts celebrating everything from sisters to vulvas, this month’s batch of new reads is firmly female focused. Elsewhere, a new book from the author of Grief Is A Thing With Feathers and a 70s rock ‘n’ roll novel will keep you company on your commute…

The Sisterhood by Daisy Buchanan

Daisy Buchanan's new memoir The Sisterhood explores what it's like to live as a modern woman by examining some examples close to home – her adored and infuriating sisters. There's Beth, the rebellious contrarian; Grace, the overachiever with a dark sense of humour; Livvy, the tough girl who secretly cries during adverts; Maddy, essentially Descartes with a beehive; and Dotty, the joker obsessed with RuPaul's Drag Race and bears. In this tender, funny and unflinchingly honest account, Buchanan (How To Be A Grown Up) examines her relationship with her sisters and what it's made up of – friendship, insecurity jokes, jealousy and above all, love – while celebrating the ways in which women connect with each other and finding the ways in which we're all sisters under the skin.

Vagina: A Re-Education by Lynn Enright

From earliest childhood, girls are misled about their bodies, encouraged to describe their genitalia with cute and silly names rather than anatomically correct terms. In our schools and in our culture, we are coy about women while putting straight men's sexuality front and centre. Girls grow up feeling ashamed about their periods, about the appearance of their vulvas, about their own desires. Vagina: A Re-Education provides girls and women with information they need about their own bodies – about the vagina, the hymen, the clitoris, the orgasm; about conditions like endometriosis and vulvodynia. Honest and moving, author Lynn Enright shares her personal stories, but also confronts taboos, such as abortion, miscarriage, infertility and masturbation, and tackles vital social issues like period poverty, female genital mutilation and the rights of transgender women.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy is a girl coming of age in LA in the late 60s, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky A Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s 20, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. But when Daisy and Billy cross paths, what happens next becomes the stuff of legend. Chronicled in this riveting novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the 70s, this fictional retelling brilliantly captures a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you're a woman. Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and wellbeing. From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women. In making the case for change, this provocative book will make you see the world in a new way.

Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant by Joel Golby

This is the debut collection of essays, withering assessments, and hard-won lessons by popular Vice staffer Joel Golby. In Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Golby writes about important stuff (death, alcohol, loss, friendship) and unimportant stuff (Saudi Arabian Camel Pageants, a watertight ranking of the Rocky films, Monopoly), always with the soft punch of a lesson tucked within. His sharp, evocative prose thrives on reality and honesty that is both close to the bone and laced with dark humour. Who is this book for? It is for everyone, but mainly people who are as lost and confused as the writer, and just want to have a good laugh about it.

Spring by Ali Smith

From the bestselling author of Autumn and Winter, as well as the Baileys Prize-winning How To Be Both, comes Ali Smith’s next instalment in Seasonal Quartet. What unites Katherine Mansfield, Charlie Chaplin, Shakespeare, Rilke, Beethoven, Brexit, the present, the past, the north, the south, the east, the west, a man mourning lost times, a woman trapped in modern times? Spring. With an eye to the migrancy of story over time, and riffing on Pericles, one of Shakespeare's most resistant and rollicking works, Smith tells the impossible tale of an impossible time.

Lanny by Max Porter

Lanny is the widely anticipated new novel from Max Porter, the man behind Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. Playful, irreverent and full of magic, it brings us the best and the worst in English civic life. Not far from London, there is a village. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it, hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England's mysterious past and its confounding present. It belongs to Mad Pete, the grizzled artist. To ancient Peggy, gossiping at her gate. To families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Strange and wonderful, this is an ode to difference and imagination, to friendship, youth and love.

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

South London, 2008. Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning, on the brink of acceptance or revolution. Melissa has a new baby and doesn’t want to let it change her but, in the crooked walls of a narrow Victorian terrace, she begins to disappear. Michael, growing daily more accustomed to his commute, still loves Melissa but can’t quite get close enough to her to stay faithful. Meanwhile out in the suburbs, Stephanie is happy with Damian and their three children, but the death of Damian’s father has thrown him into crisis – or is it something, or someone, else? Set against the backdrop of Barack Obama’s historic election victory, Ordinary People is an intimate, immersive study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and aging, and the fragile architecture of love.

The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

This page-turning debut centres on a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted. Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own. But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. And as Janie’s behaviour threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

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