What we’re reading: Karen Foxlee, Allie Brosh & Oyinkan Braithwaite

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films and TV shows we’re watching, and the music we’re listening to.


Bronte Coates is reading My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer may just be the perfect summer read. This is a pulpy, pacy thriller with a razor-sharp sense of humour. Set in Lagos, Nigeria, the story follows methodical Korede and her beautiful younger sister Ayoola who has the unfortunate habit of murdering her boyfriends, only ever in self-defence of course! An experienced nurse, Korede has always felt duty-bound to clean up her sister’s messes, but when Ayoola attracts the attention of a doctor at the hospital where Korede works – a doctor that Korede has long been in love with – things get complicated. Like the best of thrillers, there’s a lot going on under the surface of this one which slyly critiques Nigeria’s patriarchal society and explores the legacy of abuse.


Liliana Mansergh is reading Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Lenny’s Book of Everything is a powerful book that explores the themes of grief and childhood through the young protagonist Lenny. This novel captures childhood experiences in a beautiful way using Encyclopedia editions to guide the story through the sad elements within it. While it could be enjoyed by a wide age group, I would recommend this novel for young adults.

Liliana is a member of our 2018-2019 Readings Teen Advisory Board. Find out more here.


Paul Goodman is reading Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

When I came across the webcomic Hyperbole and a Half around 10 years ago, I was immediately charmed. That obsession lasted for years. Now I have the book in my hands, the obsession is back.

For anyone not aware, this webcomic is a collection of stories from the tumultuous childhood and adult life of Allie Brosh, who has managed to retell these stories in genuinely funny, relatable, and often deeply profound ways. What drew me into the webcomic all those years ago was the illustrations, which are crude but clearly the work of a person who can capture the mood of a scene (horror, madness, pain) intuitively. Every one of the comments below these entries reads something along the lines of: ‘This is me’.

It’s hard to talk about something so naturally funny and cool in my detached way but let’s give it a go. The book features the most popular content from the webcomic with some extra stuff thrown in, but while I’m reading the old favourites and marvelling that I’m still laughing. and laughing as hard as I did when I first read them, perhaps the most famous of her pieces is a multi-part series on her struggle with depression. I would say (and I’m not the only one) that it is the best representation of depression in literature or art to date. If this were sold as a standalone piece it would help not only those enduring depression but those who love someone who is depressed. Brosh manages to be funny throughout, but it’s more than just laughs. She has created something that deserves permanence way more than your average web-to-book title.

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Lenny's Book of Everything

Lenny’s Book of Everything

Karen Foxlee

$19.99Buy now

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