Staff Suggestions February 2021

Here’s a look at the books we’ve been enjoying recently.

 

Ben Recommends

The Data Detective by Tim Harford

 

 

In The Data Detective, Harford uses new research in science and psychology to set out ten strategies for using statistics to erase our biases and replace them with new ideas that use virtues like patience, curiosity, and good sense to better understand ourselves and the world.

 

Before the Ruins by Victoria Gosling

 

 

Victoria Gosling’s Before the Ruins is a gripping, multilayered debut in the tradition of Paula Hawkins and Tana French about four friends, an abandoned manor, and one fateful night that will follow them for the rest of their lives

 


 

Rupert Recommends

Under a White Sky by Elizabeth Kolbert

 

 

Elizabeth Kolbert examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.

 

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

 

 

When Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale. She helps disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor and soon becomes his guard, inspiring other women to take up arms. But how could she have predicted her own personal war, still to come, as a prisoner of one of Italy’s most vicious officers?

 


 

Danielle Recommends

Self-Portrait by Celia Paul

 

 

One of Britain’s most important contemporary painters, Celia Paul has written a reflective, intimate memoir of her life as an artist. Self-Portrait tells the artist’s story in her own words, drawn from early journal entries as well as memory, of her childhood in India and her days as a art student at London’s Slade School of Fine Art; of her intense decades-long relationship with the older esteemed painter Lucian Freud.

 

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

 

 

Booker-shortlisted author Avni Doshi tells a story, at once shocking and empathetic, about love and betrayal between a mother and a daughter. A journey into shifting memories, altering identities, and the subjective nature of truth, Burnt Sugar is a stunning and unforgettable debut.

 


 

Olivia Recommends

House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

 

 

Pulsing with wit, seduction, and dark humor, House of Stone is a sweeping epic that spans the fall of Rhodesia through Zimbabwe’s turbulent beginnings, exploring the persistence of the oppressed in a young nation seeking an identity, but built on forgetting.

 

Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

 

 

Francesca Ekwuyasi’s debut novel tells the interwoven stories of twin sisters, Kehinde and Taiye, and their mother, Kambirinachi. Kambirinachi feels she was born an Ogbanje, a spirit that plagues families with misfortune by dying in childhood to cause its mother misery. She believes that she has made the unnatural choice of staying alive to love her human family and now lives in fear of the consequences of that decision.

 


 

Patti Recommends

We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida

 

 

Suspenseful and poignant, We Run the Tides is Vendela Vida’s masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation. Pre–tech boom San Francisco finds its mirror in the changing lives of the teenage girls at the center of this story of innocence lost, the pain of too much freedom, and the struggle to find one’s authentic self.

 

That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry

 

 

Shot through with dark humour and the uncanny primal power of the Irish landscape, the stories in That Old Country Music represent some of the finest fiction being written today.

 


 

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