What we’re reading: Ali, O’Farrell & Jordan

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films we’re watching, the television shows we’re hooked on, or the music we’re loving.


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Chris Gordon is reading Love Marriage by Monica Ali

I’m reading the excellent Love Marriage by bestselling and all-round literary rock star Monica Ali. (I fell in love with her work with one of her first novels, Brick Lane.)

If the book was a dancefloor it would be that part right before the DJ drops the bass and off we all go. Love Marriage starts almost as a satire; there we all are, dancing around – and then bang. We are in deep.

Set in England, Love Marriage is about two families from vastly different backgrounds and cultures whose adult children are set to marry. It’s a story of discrimination and class that brings to mind Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story.

And if that isn’t enough to bring you into my reading ways, let me tell you - the sex scenes are great.


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Lian Hingee is reading I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

I’ve had Maggie O’Farrell’s memoir I Am, I Am, I Am sitting on my TBR pile for several years now, but I’m not a big non-fiction reader so it just kept getting pushed back in favour of books that I was more confident I’d enjoy. I recently went on holidays and for one reason or another it made it into my suitcase. And boy howdy, do I feel like a fool for putting it off for so long.

Begun as personal project, O’Farrell was so unsure about publishing I Am, I Am, I Am that she refused to accept an advance just in case she decided not to let it go to print after all. Detailing 17 times the author has nearly died, I Am, I Am, I Am was originally written to illustrate to her daughter – who lives with a severe immune disorder – that we are all, always, a hairsbreadth away from death. This brilliant, absolutely compelling, elegantly written book reads like a thriller. I tore through the book, stopping every hour or so to shake my shoulders down from where they’d become lodged around my ears with tension. The clarity with which O’Farrell writes; the piercing, almost clinical way she presents the trauma of each experience; and the emotional gut-punch of the final chapter. It’s extraordinary and I highly recommend it.


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Rosalind McClintock is reading Dinner with the Schnabels by Toni Jordan

Right now we all need something nice and enjoyable. For you that might be a long bath, a fancy dinner or a turn around the block, for me it is all those things (except the bath, I just don’t ‘get’ them) and a good book that leaves a smile on my face.

Dinner with the Schnabels is fun, witty and a great read. We are introduced to a very close-knit family who have lost a lot in the past couple of years but manage to continue to love each other and function as a family with its many different personalities. It is a heart-warming read.

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Love Marriage

Love Marriage

Monica Ali

$32.99Buy now

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