Lockdown Recommended Reads
With people across the country confined to their homes due to the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, many have been forced to stay at home. We have compiled a binge list of recommended books to read when you need timeout from the family, flatmates or news cycle.
The Dark Lady by Akala (Hachette Children’s Group, £12.99)
Henry is an orphan, an outsider, a thief. He is also a fifteen-year-old invested with magical powers. This brilliant debut novel for teens from Akala, will glue you to your seat as you are hurled into a time when boys like Henry were forced to find their own route through the tangled streets and out the other side.
Sex and Lies by Leïla Slimani (Faber & Faber, £12.99)
In these essays, Leïla Slimani, gives voice to young Moroccan women who are grappling with a conservative Arab culture that at once condemns and commodifies sex. In a country where the law punishes and outlaws all forms of sex outside of marriage, as well as homosexuality and prostitution, women have only two options for their sexual identities: virgin or wife.
The Parisian by Isabella Hammad (Vintage Publishing, £9.99)
As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself. Midhat picks his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile and everyone is looking for a place to belong.
My Name Is Why by Lemn Sessay (Canongate Books, £16.99)
At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a fostered family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.
Convenience Store Woman By Sayaka Murat (Granta Books, £8.99)
Keiko is 36 years old, she has never had a boyfriend, and she has been working in the same supermarket for 18 years. Her family wishes she would get a proper job, but Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she is not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store.
It’s Not About The Burqa By Mariam Khan (Pan Macmillan, £9.99)
When writer Mariam Khan found herself increasingly frustrated with a national discourse that marginalised Muslim women’s voices, she decided it was time for something new. Why was she only hearing about Muslim women from other people? Why weren’t Muslim women given the chance to speak for themselves?
The Black Unicorn By Audre Lorde (Penguin Books Ltd, £8.99)
Filled with rage and tenderness, Audre Lorde’s most acclaimed poetry collection speaks of mothers and children, female strength and vulnerability, renewal and revenge, goddesses and warriors, ancient magic and contemporary America.
Untold Night and Day By Bae Suah (Vintage Publishing, £12.99)
Kim Ayami has worked at Seoul’s only audio theatre for the blind for two years, but now the theatre is shutting down and Ayami’s future is uncertain. In the inescapable, all-consuming heat of Seoul, order gives away to chaos and the edges of reality start to fray.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (Penguin, £8.99)
Ever wished for a book set in the days of slavery where the stereotypical narrative is turned on his head? Then look no further. Not for the fainthearted, it is the dark and twisted tale of a former slave from Jamaica, now in London, who is accused of murdering her master and mistress, the latter with whom she was having an affair.
Death In The East by Abir Mukherjee (Vintage Publishing, £11.99)
to conquer his opium addiction. But when he arrives, he sees a ghost from his life in London – a man thought to be long dead, a man Wyndham hoped he would never see again.