1 Jan 2021

Four Books To Get You Through January

With indefinite Tier 4 upon most of us for the foreseeable, this January is destined to have many more nights in, those of which we are now very, very, familiar, and I'm imagining much less dry Jan than usual for most; giving up alcohol seems almost cruel at this point. Resolutions are out of the window and only basic expectation is left on the table e.g. getting dressed in the morning, getting through that first week of work and getting that step count into 4 figures for the first time in weeks; those kind of things are accomplishments enough for now.

 Something that can't be taken away from us - and case in point here is bitterness towards Christmas, New Year celebrations and the cinema trips that usually take place in January to fill a Saturday night which seem very far off - is reading; something that has undoubtedly helped me through the last ten months and provided much escapism. So many new books are on the horizon for 2021, many of which have been hyped up for months and are something that we actually can get excited about without the dread of it being swept away amidst a 5pm daily briefing. I hope that joke bears absolutely no weight a year from now. Please, 2021. So if you're looking for something just as tantalising, and slightly longer than the Deliveroo homepage to read this January, then the new fiction that is released this month could be the answer. 

LUSTER A NOVEL by Raven Leilani (here)

If you liked... Sweetbitter, Ghosts, Queenie

This is for sure the book I'm most looking forward to. Praised by seemingly everyone who's managed to get their hands on it early in the UK (and it's on Barack Obama's best books of 2020 list...), Luster is everywhere and I'm counting down the days to get it! Already a NY Times bestseller, it follows Edie in her dead-end admin job within an all-white office, going through her life with dead-end hook-ups and failed ambitions, which bring her to her next romantic liaison that has got disaster written all over it. I CAN'T WAIT to read this.

THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones, Jr. (here)

If you liked... On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Toni Morrison

Another debut (as most of these are), The Prophets 'blends lyricism and prose' to create a novel that has been coined to 'change lives' with its powerful and brutal world it creates. The story follows the lives of two young enslaved men in the Halifax plantation they know as 'Empty', when their refusal to integrate with the other slaves is questioned by others, fearing it is threatening the balance and stability of the plantation. Created to give a voice for those who have suffered in silence, this novel is about love, humanity and tenderness in the face of brutality. 

A BURNING by Megha Majumdar (here)

If you liked... Homegoing, Tommy Orange

A Burning is the story of three characters (a young girl in poverty, an aspiring Bollywood star and a gym teacher) whose lives are changed forever when they become caught up in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in India; all for different reasons that relate back to the incident. It's the author's debut novel and set to be very successful (also has such a beautiful cover that would brighten up any bookshelf). 

GIRL A by Abigail Dean (here)

If you liked... The Girl On The Train, Gone Girl, Thrillers

I'm of the opinion that thrillers are best read reclined horizontally in the sun on some far-flung island (ANY warm country would do however), but alas in the absence, my flat with the heating turned up will have to do. Girl A has been pitted as the next best thriller since Gone Girl; it's already raking in those five-star reviews and will be a TV series directed by Johan Renck (who did Chernobyl!). The basic synopsis without spoilers: following the news that their mother has died in prison, Lex and her six siblings must relive the horrors of their past, and come to terms with her own identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. This blares page-turning escapism and I can't wait.

I'm going to (try to) read these four through January so if you're planning on doing the same, HMU on Instagram for some book-club-esque chat sans the wine and snacks! 


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