We Are Reading

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”

Garrison Keiller


Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? These questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig who began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. The result is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century. Hardcover, Canongate, £12.99. SPECIAL OFFER THIS MONTH £10

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This novel was winner of the Costa 2017 new novel award and has been a Sunday Times bestseller since publication – and quite rightly so.  It is a wonderful novel and deserves all the plaudits it has been getting.

Eleanor Oliphant is not an ordinary heroine.  She is socially awkward and lives a clear, orderly and completely empty life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day  buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend and has regular phone chats  with ‘Mummy’ who is in prison for crimes unknown.  All this, combined with her unusual appearance – she has a scarred cheek and sometimes wears an eczema glove, – means that Eleanor has become a loner, but everything changes when Eleanor falls for the local hipster-band frontman, Johnnie Lomond, and when she inadvertently befriends Raymond,  the new IT guy in the office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living.

This is thought provoking and clever book, yet written with sensitivity and a great deal of humour. Definitely well worth reading!

 Paperback, HarperCollins, £8.99

I am, I am, I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell is a highly accomplished author with seven novels to her name, (her latest This Must Be The Place was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award), but in this extraordinary memoir she achieves something altogether different. Here Maggie O’Farrell writes about her seventeen brushes with death, some more dramatic than others, that have made her the woman and writer she is today and through them we are given glimpses into her life, her need to be free, to keep moving, her love of travel and her passion for her children.

In typical O’Farrell style, there is no clear cut timeline of what happens and she moves between present and past, but the book is beautifully written, and there is much in it that will resonate with readers everywhere. Paperback, Tinder Press, £8.99