What I’ve Been Reading Recently – Emma
As much as it pains me, I’m not a terribly fast reader so I’m including a few books I loved from the tail end of last year! I’m known at Mr B’s for running the SF/Fantasy book club, and in a year where you would think all I would want is to escape into a magical world, I’ve somehow done entirely the opposite!
‘Betty’ and ‘This is Happiness’ were both big favourites from 2020. ‘Betty’ is set in rural Ohio in the 1950s, and ‘This is Happiness’ is set in rural Ireland in a town about to get electricity for the first time. Despite being an ocean apart they definitely share some similar themes. I adore books like this; ones that hark back to a simpler time and shine a light on the resilience of community and the way one person can leave a mark on your life forever.
And two new highlights for 2021 – ‘Thin Places’ an incredible memoir about Kerri growing up in Derry during the Troubles to a protestant father and a Catholic mother. It is undoubtedly a harrowing read at times, but also full of such hope amidst the author’s love of the nature and landscape of Ireland. I couldn’t recommend it more!
And now currently reading ‘Mrs Death Misses Death’ – so far an extroardinary read unlike anything else. Renowned poet Salena Godden has reimagined ‘death’ as a black working-class woman, unburdening herself to Wolf, a young troubled writer who has had his own experiences with death in losing his mother to an apartment block fire. Wolf becomes Death’s scribe in writing her memoirs of deaths both past and present, forming a somewhat surprising friendship in turn…
All books on this list
- A Luminous RepublicAndres Barba, Lisa Dillman£12.99
- BettyTiffany McDaniel£14.99
- This Is HappinessNiall Williams£8.99
- Asylum RoadOlivia Sudjic£14.99
- The Dark is RisingSusan Cooper£7.99
- Thin PlacesKerri ni Dochartaigh£14.99
- Mrs Death Misses DeathSalena Godden£14.99
- The Mermaid of Black ConchMonique Roffey£9.99
- GreenwoodMichael Christie£9.99