So during March I was trying to get a job as a bookseller (an aim in which I have now succeeded!), which meant that I was spending a lot of time in Waterstones: enquiring about openings, giving them an application, following up, the interview… And me being me, I can’t leave a bookshop empty handed (hopefully this will no longer be the case once I’m working in one).
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The dinky little follow up to We Should All Be Feminists, I grabbed this because it was beside the till. It’s about how to raise a feminist, and I have a lot of time for Adichie’s feminism, despite the recent controversy.
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
This just recently won the Costa Book Award, and the premise really drew me in. It’s about two gay soldiers in the Indian Wars and then the American Civil War, and I believe Barry was inspired to write it by his son coming out. I did actually try to start it a couple of weeks ago, but I was hungover and could not compute the language through the post-gin fog. It’s a first person narration and it’s very much in the voice of an ill-educated, Irish American soldier of the era, which I didn’t expect and needed to be a little sharper to comprehend.
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
I have no idea what this is about, but I’ve only ever read Atonement and I’d like to read more McEwan. My dad bought this from our local Oxfam Bookshop but realised when he got home that he already had a copy, so gave it to me.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
This is about a pair of teenagers who meet in New York on the day that one of them is due to be deported. I’ve actually already read it, and suffice to say I am hauling and simultaneously unhauling it because I don’t want to keep it.
The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan
This recently won the Costa Children’s Award, and I think it’s loosely inspired by the Northern Irish troubles. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this.
One by Sarah Crossan
I had no interest in reading this when it won the Carnegie last year, but as more and more people have talked about how good it is, I’ve gradually come around to the idea of a novel in verse about conjoined twins, which is not a description that initially appealed to me at all.
The Unaccompanied by Simon Armitage
I read Simon Armitage at school and enjoyed him, and happened to open this to a poem which really appealed to me while I was standing in the shop.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
I became obsessed with this cover a couple of months ago when it was all over my instagram feed, so I would have bought it even if the story didn’t sound fantastic. It’s about secrets and motherhood and womanhood and the way all of these things intersect with race.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
It’s a little embarrassing that I haven’t read this, and this beautiful cover was enough to make me finally decide to rectify that.
The Nix by Nathan Hill
I was planning on waiting until this came out in paperback, but I just couldn’t resist it any longer. It’s about family and politics, I think, but it’s kind of more complicated than that. I’m reading it at the moment, and it’s a tough one to describe because there are so many different things going on.