What I’ve Been Reading Recently – Nicole
This past month I was lucky enough to get my paws on the new Sally Rooney novel (!!). Due to be published in early September, I can wholeheartedly confirm that it lives up to the hype. Once again, her character studies of a quartet of millennial friends and lovers grappling with how to do relationships in the modern world are drawn exceptionally well.
I’ve also been reading a lot of very impactful shorter fiction recently. Jo Hamya’s Three Rooms and Natasha Brown’s Assembly are two of the stand-outs in that genre, both so expertly crafted despite being economical with language, and so vivid and punchy. And Lauren Elkin’s latest work, No. 91/92: Notes From a Year on the Bus, is a short-form essay originally written entirely in the form of notes on a smartphone. Reminiscent of a modern-day Annie Ernaux, it captures the writer’s day-to-day experiences of life as a Parisian commuter and female body in the world.
Finally, continuing on from Rooney in the vein of immersive, character-led fiction, I absolutely loved Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason and The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller, two portraits of marriage, family, and women at turning points in their lives. The former is a blistering, often bleakly hilarious account of one woman’s experience living with an undiagnosed mental illness and the impact on the relationships around her. (The wonderfully funny, supportive and sarcastic character of her sister really steals the show.) Meanwhile Heller’s novel, set in sultry, summery Cape Cod, follows the narrator over 24 hours as she struggles with her family’s legacies, secrets and lies, and must make a life-changing decision that could upend their world forever.
All books on this list
- The Paper PalaceMiranda Cowley Heller£14.99
- The Dry HeartNatalia Ginzburg, Frances Frenaye£8.99
- Sorrow and BlissMeg Mason£14.99
- All Adults HereEmma Straub£8.99
- The Night WatchmanLouise Erdrich£8.99
- AssemblyNatasha Brown£12.99
- Three RoomsJo Hamya£12.99
- No. 91/92: notes on a Parisian commuteLauren Elkin£8.99
- How To Do NothingJenny Odell£12.99
- Beautiful World, Where Are YouSally Rooney£16.99