Angus Cargill, Publishing Director
Caleb Azumah Nelson
I recently read this short, intense, troubling, sad, musical novel – which brilliantly makes use of the second person voice – and really didn’t want to leave the two main characters behind. A lovely debut.
I also enjoyed this stormy, windswept mystery novel, which I read in the hottest week of the year so far. Based on a true story of the unexplained disappearance of three men from a lighthouse, it’s a great set-up which, crucially, the author sustains right through to its very moving end.
A Little Devil in America
I’m most looking forward to reading this over the holidays, a deep dive into the history of Black culture in the US, from a writer who can effortlessly move from hip hop to classic soul, mainstream pop to punk rock.
Ama Badu, FAB Website Editor & Editorial Assistant
Felix Ever After
There’s nothing like summer in the city. Add to it the promise of new love, self-discovery and Pride and you have the perfect summer read! Felix Ever After is the coming-of-age story we all need (and have you seen the gorgeous sprayed edges?!).
Summers are made for good music with great company. Musical Truth does not disappoint when it comes to either. At many points in this book, I stopped reading just to move to the music and reminisce.
I saw an early viewing of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s movie In The Heights (followed by a dive into the rabbit hole of discussions and critiques it inspired), and it called back to mind this gem. I rarely reread novels within the same year, but I simply cannot stop thinking about Soledad. Angie Cruz so beautifully captures the noise, energy and magic of Washington Heights.
Lucy Houghton, Sales Operations Executive
There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job
‘A woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that requires no reading, no writing, and ideally very little thinking.’ At a time when our working lives have changed so much, I can’t wait to get stuck into this English Pen Award-winning novel about the world of employment.
Real Life was one of my books of last summer, and I’m so excited to have another instalment of Brandon Taylor’s writing this year, this time in the form of interwoven short stories.
Summer of My Amazing Luck
Summer of My Amazing Luck follows the lives of a group of single mothers living in the same Winnipeg housing project – it is characteristically Toews – dark, heart-breaking, heart-warming and hilarious.
Rachel Darling, Trade Marketing Coordinator
A sparse, poetic gut-punch of a novel which looks at racism and the British class system through the eyes of a young Black woman who works in corporate finance.
Am I In the Right Place?
Stories about strange offices, awkward families, scary cupboards, the altered state of luggage, tardigrades and huge eggs (amongst other things) delight in making the mundane bizarre and the unreal conventional. Weird and wonderful is how I like my short stories, so these do not disappoint.
A surreal novella about a grieving housewife and her affair with a frog-man called Larry. A magical and radical feminist fairy tale – it inspired The Shape of Water and is a really exciting reissue for us this summer.
Stephen Page, Executive Chair
I’m really looking forward to reading The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen. Cohen is among the most electrifying modern writers in English, and this comic fantasia seems perfect turf for his brilliance.
The Hour of the Star
I’m also excited to begin my reading journey with Clarice Lispector. I’ll start with The Hour of the Star, on the recommendation of an infectiously enthusiastic bookseller. Lispector was a Ukrainian writer born in 1920, brought up in Brazil, who spent many years travelling in Europe and the USA when married to a Brazilian diplomat.
The book I’ll be recommending to one and all is Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan, a deeply affecting novel that is at times heart-breaking, at others joyous, about the love between friends and the lost world of youth.
Ruth O`Loughlin, Publishing Manager
A dark and heart-breaking book, but the beautiful writing and flashes of humour give it a page-turning flow. Last year’s Booker winner, now in paperback.
And the Band Played On
This detailed investigation of the unfolding of the AIDS epidemic in the US (first released in 1987 but published for the first time in the UK this year) is a truly heroic project and a totally compelling, important book.
This is a wonderfully warm and compassionate memoir by a pioneering educationalist, offering an enlightening and often shocking portrait of 1950s London.
Jess Kim, Deputy Marketing Director
What Artists Wear
A book about not just what, but the why and how of the clothes that artists wear? It’s like the Venn diagram of interests is just one circle and I’m sitting in the middle of it, happy as a clam.
Early Morning Riser
Believe the hype! The mix of the most perfect town of characters and Heiny’s wryness is exactly what you need when you’re stuck on the A303 with everyone else this summer. A balm for the soul.
My Mess is a Bit of a Life
So many prefer short story collections in the summer for that more heat-induced wandering attention span. Go one further with a book written entirely in vignettes, I say. Not just any vignettes, but ones which are saturated with warmth and humour and sometimes a bit heartbreaking like Pritchett’s are in this lovely book. Perfect.
Ruby Bamber, Sales Operations Manager
The Country of Others
Inspired, in part, by the author’s grandparents, this historical love story (the first of a trilogy) is everything I want to sink into this summer. I’ve read all of Slimani’s previous books and loved every one, so I know I’m guaranteed an atmospheric story that’s beautifully and interestingly told.
Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz
Described as gripping and Hitchcockian, this rediscovered gem (written immediately after Kristallnacht) is a must read. The book itself is a taut tale of flight and survival in Nazi Germany and the author’s own story is just as fascinating.
Love and Summer
The title rather gives away why this is on my list, but any book where a quiet stranger arrives in a small Irish town automatically heads straight to the top of my reading pile.
Luke Crabb, Territory Manager
This is the funniest book I have ever read, touched with writing of immense sensitivity too, as he navigates the final days of his father’s life. Perfect for anybody who was finding their way in the eighties or who has come to him later through his amazing podcasts. It made me laugh from start to finish.
What Happens at Night
A married couple travel to an unnamed European snowy city to adopt a baby to save their struggling marriage. They are booked into an eerie, old hotel, whose characters appear to put obstacles in their way at every step. Perfect for fans of Geoff Dyer and Wes Anderson.
Death in Her Hands
The perfect summer read – a psychological thriller without a murder, body or a detective. Confused? You won’t be, as you are in the skilful hands of a very creative writer.