What we’re reading this spring

Find out what Faber staff are reading and recommending this season. From epic young adult fiction to essays on gardening, we’ve got your spring reading covered.

 

Stephen Page, Executive Chair

This One Sky Day
Leone Ross

This superb novel explodes with life from the first page. Taking place during a single day on the imagined island of Popisho, a wide cast of characters engage with love, grief, politics, sex and what it is to live in a society. The world in one day.

 

 

The Act of Living
Frank Tallis

A searingly intelligent, generous and compassionate book that gives a history of the leading proponents and ideas of psychotherapy and applies their knowledge to tackling the particular challenges of our discontented age.

 

 

A Ghost in the Throat
Doireann Ní Ghríofa

A Folio Prize-shortlisted debut novel that recounts the connection between two women through a poem written by one of them, centuries ago, in response to the murder of her husband. Mesmerising, inventive and moving.

 

 

Rachel Darling, Trade Marketing and Communications Coordinator

The Feast
Margaret Kennedy

Pre-empt the summer with this beautiful, dark fable set in Cornwall in 1947. A rediscovered classic telling the stories of a group of holidaymakers in the week before a cliff collapses onto their hotel.

 

 

Temporary
Hilary Leichter

I read Temporary a while ago now and it’s proved anything but . . . I’m still preoccupied by this remarkable novel about work, worth and the roles we have to play to get by.

 

 

 

The Inverts
Crystal Jeans

Super excited for this new novel by an author I love and who never fails to shock and delight me. Set in the 1920s and ’30s, The Inverts is about two queer friends and their lavender marriage.

 

 

Kellie Balseiro, Regional Account Manager

In the Garden: Essays on Nature and Growing
Various

Authors such as Nigel Slater, Penelope Lively, Daisy Lafarge and Francesca Wade write about what gardening and nature means to them. Bite-sized pieces that my brain can engage with and escape away to when it’s too wet to get into my own garden.

 

 

The Manningtree Witches
A.K. Blakemore

Set in seventeenth-century England, the Witchfinder General has arrived at Rebecca West’s village in Essex. Life will never be the same. Wonderful, evocative, historical fiction – ‘the best historical novel since Wolf Hall’ (Sandra Newman).

 

 

Hungry
Grace Dent

A charming, funny and bittersweet memoir of the rise of the extremely working-class Dent to become one of the nation’s most respected journalists and food critics. Aunt Bessie has a central role, as do ASDA’s reduced price ‘Whoopsies’. ‘Why make a lasagne when you can get one for 99p in a plastic tray?’

 

(Special mention to Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. Teenagers across the American West tell their stories, which become interlinked and connected to other stories in the strangest of ways. She’s a wonderful writer.)

 

Kim Lund, Key Account Manager

Luckenbooth
Jenni Fagan

Fagan’s debut The Panopticon was an explosive new voice in Scottish fiction. It gripped me from beginning to end and left me reeling in its wake. Luckenbooth has had similar incredible reviews and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it.

 

 

 

The Dinner Party
Sarah Gilmartin

Kate is meticulously planning a family dinner party on the anniversary of the death of her twin sister. At the end of the evening Kate is spinning out of control and the baked alaska is in the bin. Reminiscent of the Danish movie Festen (The Party) in its depiction of dysfunctional family dynamics and deeply buried secrets. Wonderful.

 

 

The Sisters Mao
Gavin McCrea

It’s the 1960s and China is gripped by the Cultural Revolution. Madame Mao, Jiang Qing, is becoming ever more autocratic and controlling while planning a ballet performance for the impending visit of Mrs Marcos from the Philippines. Meanwhile, Europe is gripped by the sexual revolution and a troupe of young Maoist performance artists are planning the event of the decade. These two stories are inextricably woven together in a wonderful evocation of that explosive decade.

 

Rali Chorbadzhiyska, Poetry Editorial Assistant

In The Past The Future Was Better
Various

Cipher Press published their first collection of writings by queer authors during the first lockdown in the UK, and I was just catching up on the second one. It contains a mixture of poetry, essays and fiction relating to various topics, including one on an urban phenomenon I find fascinating – public toilets and their gender and queer politics.

 

Dear Senthuran
Akwaeke Emezi

I’m excited to be transported once again by Akwaeke’s writing and this time in the form of an epistolary memoir. It is so wonderful that the first letter refers to a story set in my home country of Bulgaria, and a lovely town on the coast – Sozopol, of all places!

 

Living Weapon
Rowan Ricardo Phillips

This poetry collection was published shortly before I joined Faber, and I am having the pleasure of reading it this spring. I am already two poems in, and Rowan’s voice is mesmerising – a definite future favourite.

 

 

Hannah Turner, Publicity Manager

Acts of Desperation
Megan Nolan

Even though it’s a debut, this book has had amazing coverage and reviews. I’ve always loved Megan’s articles, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what her fiction brings!

 

 

 

Love and Theft
Stan Parish

This book is the ultimate escapist read – super stylish and unputdownable. Also, as it’s mostly set in Mexico or Spain, it helps to fill the void of a holiday this year!

 

 

 

Transcendent Kingdom
Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing was one of my favourite books of the last couple of years, so as soon as I saw Yaa Gyasi had a new book out, I bought it straight away.

 

 

Natasha Brown, Project Editor / Assistant Editor

The Gilded Ones
Namina Forna

This epic YA fantasy is a huge favourite of mine. Set in a brilliantly realised West African-inspired world, Deka, a near-immortal teenager with magical gifts, must find her place in the oppressive patriarchal kingdom of Otera. The perfect escape from lockdown.

 

 

Felix Ever After
Kacen Callender

This incredible contemporary YA novel, about a transgender teen falling in love for the first time, has been garnering tons of amazing reviews over in the US. I can’t wait for it to publish in the UK in May so I can push it into everybody’s hands.

 

 

Grandad’s Camper
Harry Woodgate

I’m really looking forward to reading this beautiful picture book about the adventures of a little girl and her grandad after the death of Gramps. I love Harry’s artwork and it sounds like the perfect book to help children understand others’ grief and to celebrate all kinds of love.

 

Melanie Tyrell, Regional Sales Manager

In the Garden: Essays on Nature and Growing
Various

I’m currently reading In the Garden, a collection of essays on nature and growing from Daunt Books Publishing. It’s the perfect joyful springtime read, with a fantastic mix of contributors including Nigel Slater, Francesca Wade and Daisy Lafarge.

 

 

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

I’m recommending Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town. It’s a beautifully written series of linked stories about teenagers living in Alaska and the rural American West. A swift read that lingers for a long time.

 

 

Small Bodies of Water
Nina Mingya Powles

Small Bodies of Water by Nina Mingya Powles isn’t publishing in the UK until August but the advance proof copy helped get me through the recent lockdown. A wonderful memoir of growing up in China, Borneo and New Zealand, then moving to London as a young woman, it’s held together by the theme of outdoor swimming.

 

 

Judith Gates, Production Director / Director of Faber Factory

The Devil You Know
Gwen Adshed and Eileen Horne

On the transformative power of therapy and bringing compassion to the fore in the aftermath of violent crimes.

 

 

 

The 78-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths

Silly fun for the younger readers – I recommend all nine of them! Hilarious!

 

 

 

Children of Dune
Frank Herbert

Number three in the hexology. Sci-fi, philosophy, religion, a reappearance of Baron Harkonnen after his death in book one – what more could you want . . .

Related