What we’re reading: Wakefield, Irby & Strout
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.
Ellen Cregan is reading We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
I’ve been reading We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. This hilarious collection of essays makes for delightful reading – Irby is a comedian who runs the popular blog Bitches Gotta Eat, and her warts-and-all, confessional style of writing is relatable and funny. There’s a particular essay in the book about her love–hate relationship (definitely more hate) with her grumpy rescue cat, Helen Keller, that made me cry tears of laughter. I have been meaning to read this book for a while, but brought it to the top of my TBR pile after rapper and all-round-cool-person Noname chose it as a pick for her online book club. All of the books featured so far have been excellent, so I think I’ll be keeping a close eye on the club for future reading recommendations.
Rosalind McClintock is reading Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (available in November)
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Olive, Again and it is truly, Olive, Again. It doesn’t miss a beat. I feel like it could have been slotted into the back of Olive Kitteridge and none would be the wiser. Strout writes so precisely and manages to build such a rich emotional picture with a few well chosen words. This book doesn’t disappoint.
Bronte Coates is reading two very different books
Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue has been making a lot of noise among romance readers in recent months, and I finally snapped up a copy last weekend. The tagline: what happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales? The answer: lots of sneaking around and plenty of chaos. Imagining a world where Trump was never elected, Red, White & Royal Blue is escapism at its sweetest. The relationship that slowly builds between the two young men as they transform from enemies, to fake friends, to secret lovers, to soulmates is deliciously enjoyable.
In direct comparison to McQuiston’s novel, I’m also now halfway through Vikki Wakefield’s latest YA novel, This is How We Change the Ending, which centres on a young man in far more realistic and upsetting circumstances. Nate is sixteen and living under the rule of his aggressive father. Nate can handle himself, mostly, but he’s worried about his father’s behaviour towards new wife and his younger twin brothers, and when the local youth centre he uses as a respite is threatened with closure, something has to change. Wakefield handles difficult subjects with honesty and empathy. This is How We Change the Ending is an intimate and gutting read.