not exactly true

Reading List 2020

July (might get to go into somebody else's house soon?)
 47. Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams. Review to follow.

June (this will never end)
46. Your Silence Will Not Protect You, Audre Lorde. Essays and poems. Deeply sad and deeply energising.
45. A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James. Difficult, but worth it.
44. That Reminds Me, Derek Owusu. Lyrical novel, almost like a series of prose poems.
43. Honeydew, Edith Pearlman. Fantastic stories; she's as good as Munro.

May (still in lockdown...)
42. Infidelities, Kirsty Gunn. Short stories; not dissimilar to Sarah Hall.
41. 253, Geoff Ryman. Interlinked character sketches. Sharp and clever.
40. Requiem For a Dream, Hubert Selby Jr. Outstanding use of voice and deeply sad.
39. Symposium, Muriel Spark. Cutting as ever.
38. Extreme Cities, Ashley Dawson. Climate change and city life. Terrifying.
37. Revolting Prostitutes, Juno Mac and Molly Smith. Marxist feminist dissection of sex workers' need for labour rights.

April (still in lockdown...)

36. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead. Savagely unflinching look at slavery, though I wasn't entirely convinced by the form.
35. Notes From an Apocalypse, Mark O'Connell. Nonfiction Just as good as his first book.
34. Trans Like Me, C.N. Lester. Nonfiction. Essays on being trans; essential reading.
33. The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel. Not enough superlatives...review here.
32. New Dark Age, James Bridle. Nonfiction; scary as hell.
31. Handiwork, Sara Baume. Nonfiction: reflections on making. Lovely.
30. May We be Forgiven, A.M. Homes. Hilarious, sad, beautiful (though tres middle class).
29. The Magician, W. Somerset Maugham. Occult shenanigans. Not really my thing.
28. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M. Danforth. Excellent YA novel about gender and sexuality.

March (guess which month the COVID-19 lockdown kicked in, eh?)
27. Memento Mori, Muriel Spark. Death stalks a group of elderly folk. Sharp as ever.
26. Adults, Emma Jane Unsworth. A really fucking worthy follow-up to Animals.
25. When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi. Really contemplative and poignant.
24. The Fermata, Nicholson Baker. Pretty bizarre, pervy in a funny way, weirdly sweet.
23. The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells. Absolutely terrifying. Everyone needs to read this.
22. Hallam Foe, Peter Jinks. Not as good as the movie, but entertaining, especially in the latter half.
21. The Lying Days, Nadine Gordimer. Her first novel: political/moral awakening in Apartheid S.A. Excellent.
20. A Brilliant Void, ed. Jack Fennell. Anthology of Irish science-fiction covering several hundred year. Really interesting.
19. This Sporting Life, David Storey. Man, this is bleak (and very powerful).
18. Theft, Luke Brown. Fantastically readable and brilliant on Brexit. Top stuff.
17. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark. Reread for work. Still great.
16. Weather, Jenny Offill. Review to follow.
15. Last Ones Left Alive, Sarah Davis-Goff. Captivating feminist dystopian novel set in Ireland - can't argue with that!

February
14. Strange Hotel, Eimear McBride. Review to follow!
13. The Shapeless Unease, Samantha Harvey. A memoir/essay/hybrid text about a year of insomnia. Fascinating.
12. The Odyssey, Homer (obvs). This was for work - it's a long time since I've read this and the translation was new to me. Odysseus is an asshole, guys.
11. Lowborn, Kerry Hudson. Nonfiction account of growing up in poverty in the UK - a scathing indictment of the government's lack of care for out most vulnerable and the way the poor have been demonised.
10. In Search of a Distant Voice, Taichi Yamada. Surreal account of a man's (possible) breakdown.
9. The Gustav Sonata, Rose Tremain. First novel of hers I've read (I've read her stories here and there). Good stuff.

January
8. Actress, Anne Enright. Excellent book - review here.
7. Arlington Park, Rachel Cusk. A savage look at marriage and the British well-to-do suburbs.
6. The Night Brother, Rosie Garland. Enormously engaging historical novel about gender.
5. Olive, Again, Elizabeth Strout. Excellent sequel.
4. My Biggest Lie, Luke Brown. Publishing, Borges, heartbreak (and lots of lying).
3. Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout. Reread because it's been too long.
2. Bina, Anakana Scholfield. Oblique and poignant.
1. Winter Papers, Vol. 5, ed. Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith. Annual anthology - always worth a read.