What we’re reading this autumn
Autumn is on its way, which – to bookworms like us – means only one thing: time to top up the TBR pile and snuggle down with a good book. If you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve asked Faber staff what they’re reading and to share their book recommendations with us.
Ella Griffiths, Assistant Editor
I Am Dynamite!: A Life of Friedrich Nietzsche
I’m recommending Sue Prideaux’s majestic life of Nietzsche, I Am Dynamite!, which reveals the man behind the radically misunderstood philosopher with cinematic intensity. The ideal tome to curl up with on an autumnal evening, ideally with a cigar and/or some Germanic liquor.
I’m loving reading through Edna O’Brien’s sublime backlist after being helplessly seduced by The Country Girls – the brilliant choice for Dublin’s One City One Book in 2019 – and can’t wait to crack on with Night, A Pagan Place, Saints and Sinners . . .
Kat Storace, Trade Marketing Manager
Published earlier this spring, Patient X remains one of my favourite books of this year. It makes the perfect autumn read with its strange and moody retelling of the works of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.
I’ve just bought myself a copy of Ongoingness and cannot wait to get stuck in. I’m a fan of Sarah Manguso’s writing and especially love the diary form, so this ticks all the boxes.
Mel Tyrell, Sales Rep
I’m recommending Lanny by Max Porter to everyone I talk to at the moment. It’s a stunningly original and accomplished follow-up to Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. Lanny will be published in March 2019.
I’m really looking forward to reading Milkman by Anna Burns which has jumped to the top of my to-read pile after the Booker shortlisting. It’s been recommended by so many people. I can’t wait to get started.
Stephen Page, CEO
This powerful graphic novel was, interestingly, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. It is a disturbing, atmospheric and beautifully drawn tale of modern America that lingers in the imagination.
Thom Jones’s stories are populated by drifters, rogues and ne’er-do-well characters, and live alongside the great American proponents of the short-story form. If you’re a fan of short stories, this is a must.
Lee Brackstone, Editorial Director
My early autumn discovery is a Norwegian master, and it is not Knausgaard. Dag Solstad is surely one of the finest writers working in any language in Europe today. His books are funny, absurd, profound and unsettling. He feels absolutely fresh, playful and postmodern, yet at the heart of all his fiction is a novelist in thrall to the masters: Beckett, Kafka, Bernhard. Perhaps start with Armand V.
Out of the Woods
Next up, as the days shorten and the leaves start to fall, I will be reading Out of the Woods by Luke Turner. Published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson in January, Luke’s debut publication looks like the memoir I’ll most enjoy over the coming months, and endorsements from Amy Liptrot and Olivia Laing make it sound all the more appetising.
Hannah Love, Children’s Publicity Manager
Record of a Spaceborn Few
I can’t get enough of these books. Each is set in the same (gigantic, galaxy-spanning) universe but can be read alone, and all are gorgeous. The latest follows several people trying to live their day-to-day lives in the spaceships that left Earth hundreds of years ago. When you don’t have a planet any more, what’s normal? Why try to maintain traditions when there are now so many options and new planets? I often summarise these books as ‘people being really nice to each other, in space’. It sounds tame, but I love that there’s no big villain, no world-ending disaster, just people trying their best in a – beautifully depicted – new way of life.
I’ve wanted to read this for a while, but I’ve been desperately trying to cut down on hardbacks. I love a bit of magical realism, and I’m planning to buy this one now it’s in paperback and put it aside for fireside reading at Christmas. Magic toys, freezing winter and a kindly old man. It seems like a fairy tale for grown-ups, which is right up my street, and perfect for winter reading.
Angus Cargill, Editorial Director
The Infinite Blacktop
The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran is the book I’m recommending to everyone at the moment. Why? Well, it’s difficult to articulate quite how much I love Sara Gran’s Claire De Witt novels or why you might want to start reading a series on its third book, but if you’re in any way feeling underwhelmed by what you’re reading at the moment – literary fiction, poetry, crime fiction, non-fiction – then I reckon a day or two with this will restore your faith in the mysterious magic of the written word!
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich is a debut novel that passed me by when it came out last year, but which a number of trusted friends have been highly recommending since. A kind of slow-reveal literary mystery about something shocking that befalls a family while on a day out, it has been compared to Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, which is good enough for me.
Hannah Marshall, Marketing Manager
Beastie Boys Book
The book I’m recommending is the Beastie Boys’ memoir, Beastie Boys Book, by band members Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond. It’s the most exciting and engaging music memoir I’ve read for a very long time, entertaining you through three decades and 556 pages. I particularly loved the illuminating chapters on New York in the early eighties. The book’s full of celebrity turns (Colson Whitehead, Amy Poehler, Spike Jonze, to name just a few), but it’s the contributions from the band members themselves that most resonated for me. Their obvious, heartfelt love and respect for their lost band member Adam Yauch, who died in 2012, means his spirit infuses every page.
I’m looking forward to reading Will Ashon’s Chamber Music: Enter the Wu-Tang (in 36 Pieces). Telling the story of the Wu-Tang Clan’s game-changing first album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and placing it in its cultural and historical context, this is – like the Beastie Boys Book – a title that promises to offer the reader a revelatory approach to writing about music and culture.
Libby Marshall, Editorial Assistant
Convenience Store Woman
I’m recommending Convenience Store Woman. It’s one of those books that kind of takes you by surprise – as soon as you start reading, you get totally sucked in, and you find yourself starting to think in the voice of the narrator. And it’s short!
I Am Not Okay With This
I’m looking forward to I Am Not Okay With This – by the same author as The End of the Fucking World and sure to tide me over until season 2!!!