For someone who loves wearing sweaters, I really moved to the wrong part of the world. We’re “enjoying” triple figure temperatures in the Hollow right now, so I barely leave the house. Here’s what I’ve been enjoying from the comfort of my beautifully air-conditioned home.
I love the writer Martin McDonagh. He’s probably best known for his movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (and being Fleabag’s boyfriend!), but he’s been an established playwright for decades. McDonagh has a new movie coming out, The Banshees of Inisherin, and the trailer reminded me how much I adore McDonagh’s work.
Anyway, all this is to say that I am revisiting some of McDonagh’s older work, and I started with the 1996 play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Set in a remote part of Ireland, it is an incredibly dark play about spinster Maureen, and her mother Mag, and their strange relationship. It is funny and terrifying, and I can’t wait to catch up on the rest of my McDonagh backlog.
This month, I finally finished the twenty-hour audiobook of Jane Eyre, gorgeously narrated by Thandiwe Newton. I loved the book, and I think Newton’s incredible performance really helped keep me engaged. But my word, the men in this book are all completely awful.
I had the pleasure of listening to an audiobook of Lute, by Jenn Marie Thorne, which isn’t released until October. You can find my five-star review here, but I absolutely loved this unrelenting island horror, in which fate is literally a killer.
Speaking of horror, you have to check out Sarah Gailey’s Just Like Home. Vera has been called home to her dying mother, to say a final goodbye to a life she would rather forget. Vera’s dark past is beautifully unfurled, and then things go completely bonkers. This audacious book has to be read to be believed.
I finally read They, by Kay Dick. There is a fascinating story of how this book was rediscovered, and I’m so glad it was. They is a short, weird, dystopian novel, that hints at wider horror. It reminded me of the flawless I Who Have Never Known Men. I look forward to many re-reads of They, so I can figure out what the heck is really going on.
I have been waiting for a new Camilla Grudova book for years. So unsurprisingly, as soon as Children of Paradise arrived in my mailbox, I devoured it. It’s about a young woman working in a weird cinema, and the society that unfolds therein. Unfortunately, this book isn’t published in the US yet, but I grabbed a copy from the ever-reliable Blackwell’s Books.
I’m about halfway through Why Did You Stay, by Rebecca Humphries, a gorgeous and funny memoir of a woman rediscovering herself after her partner has an incredibly public affair.
I am coming to the end of two short story collections; Frankly Feminist, a collection of short stories by Jewish women on a wide range of themes, and Cassandra Khaw’s collection Breakable Things. I have thoroughly enjoyed both. Reviews will be up on my Goodreads very soon.
I started Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher yesterday, as I needed something fun. Kingfisher never fails to both fill me with horror and hilarity. Sometimes within the same sentence!
Highlights on my horizon are the epic Mariana Enriquez novel, Our Share of Night (pro tip – this book is released in the UK before the US; my Blackwell’s pre-order is already in!); an exciting new novel from Elizabeth Hand, Samanta Schweblin’s new collection (my word, I’m desperate to read this), and new work from Kelly Link.
Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer!