“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
This autobiography is subtitled The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor and the accolades on the jacket are reassuringly consistent in telling us how funny this book is……
Right from the start it is obvious that Adam Kay is able to find humour in everything and he knows how to convey that humour without losing respect for the patients in his care. He has, of course, changed names and dates to protect both staff and patients and has kindly added footnotes to explain some of the medical terminology. However, even the footnotes have their own brand of humour……I’m all for explaining the terminology, but if you don’ know what a stethoscope is, this is probably a book to re-gift. Every page offers ludicrously funny stories, though as ever when a book is about the plight of people suffering, there are also some very moving descriptions of difficult situations and the way medical staff handle them. Hardcover, Macmillan, £16.99
Winner of The Books are My Bag 2017 Non Fiction Award and the coveted Readers Choice Award.
Grace and Mary by Melvyn Bragg
Set in the present and travelling back into the 19th Century, this book tells the story of three generations, as a 70 year old son tries to reconstruct the past in an attempt to help his mother, who is in the early stages of dementia.
Mary’s mother, Grace, was brought up by Grandparents and became a victim of the passion that gripped so many young people in the First World War. Mary herself is effectively brought up by a foster mother, and yet at the end of her life, it is her real mother, Grace, that she wants to know about. So Mary’s dutiful and loving son, John, tries to bring the past to his mother as she lives out her life in the twilight world of dementia and a nursing home.
This is something of a social history of the lives of some very ordinary people. It is both interesting and thought-provoking. A gentle novel beautifully written by a real craftsman. Paperback, Hodder & Stoughton, £9.99
Friend Request by Laura Marshall
A thriller for the digital age of social media, this novel sees Louise, now in her forties, receive a friend request from Maria Weston. Louise knew Maria at school but she died 25 years ago…….and Louise has been keeping a terrible secret for all this time. The novel is set in two timelines, one in the present and one in 1989 when Louise was 16 and desperate to be part of the popular clique of girls at school. But what really happened back then? Paperback, Little Brown, £7.99