Here at Virago we like to discuss what books we're reading and are always amazed and delighted at the variety of themes and stories shared. Therefore we thought it would be great to share our discoveries with you every month.
So without further ado, here's a selection of what we're reading this month:
Me Talk Pretty One Day is a hilarious collection of stories from the life and times of US humourist David Sedaris. Sedaris has an uncanny ability to observe the idiosyncrasies of life and deliver them up in an eye wateringly funny manner. Topics range from learning French whilst living in Paris (and the difficulties with limited vocab to express the celebration of Easter −“It is a party for the little boy of God who call himself Jesus,” “He nice, the Jesus”) to becoming a conceptual artist whilst on crystal meth to becoming part of a furniture removal team in Manhattan (“My place [was] here, riding in a bread truck with my friends. My friend the communist, my friend the schizophrenic and my friend the murderer.”) If you want a book that will brighten up your day this is definitely for you.
- Hollie Smyth
A repeat appearance from David Sedaris this month with both Vogue and the LA Times likening my pick – Sloane Crosley’s eloquent, madcap and (yes, I’ll admit it) pant-wettingly funny essays on her life in the Big City – to the aforementioned master of loopy, cranky, hilariousness. I picked this up for the chintzy hipster cover and the great title, which perfectly sums up the silly and ever so slightly wretched tales which await. I stayed for the creepy and rather vain realisation that in Sloane Crosley city girls everywhere will likely see themselves. She covers everything from the traumas of her first job (an essay which starts ‘There comes a point in most abusive relationships when it occurs to the beaten party that they are guilty of putting their face in the way of someone else’s fist.’), to the surprising and hilarious difficulties involved in fulfilling her long-time ambition to have a one night stand.
At the time of writing I am head over heels in love with this book. If you like Sedaris, Candace Bushnell circa Sex and the City, or are just looking for something smart, irreverent, hilarious, and ultimately quite touching to read – I’d recommend this!
- Carleen Peters
I had the best recommendation of all for this book – from my mother – so I had high expectations about Josephine Tey’s 1953 classic novel based upon the infamous Princes in the Tower murders supposedly committed by Richard III. And it didn’t disappoint. It’s a fascinating piece of historical detection on the part of Tey, disguised as a police procedural starring her regular series character, Alan Grant. Grant becomes transfixed by a portrait of Richard while recovering in hospital from a fall, surprised that the face in the painting looks nothing like the monster of legend, and begins to dig into the facts and myth surrounding the murders. The Daughter of Time, as well as being a gripping page-turner, has greatly influenced the debate around one of our most controversial monarchs, and indeed later works by the likes of Alison Weir and Phillipa Gregory. And my mother’s timing was good too, as no sooner had I finished it than Richard’s body (possibly, still awaiting confirmation) was discovered underneath a Leicester car-park, rather prosaically, reigniting a centuries old debate again.
- Stephen Dumughn
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