Autumn Reading: Part One | A Small Book Blog

November 20, 2021 · 8:16 p.m.

The world probably doesn’t need another revision Beautiful world, where you are in the hands of Sally Rooney by now, but you will get it anyway. Rooney’s third novel tells the story of Alice and her friend Eileen, both in their late 30s and living in Ireland, where they met as classmates in college. Alice is a successful novelist who meets Felix, a warehouse worker, through a dating app. Eileen is breaking up with a man she has known since she was a child, flirting with a man named Simon. Instead of contacting each other through text or calls, Alice and Eileen maintain a long-distance friendship by conducting long, serious conversations via email about capitalism. As a result, I found this epistolary device too convenient, and it remains a favorite of all three of his novels so far than the instant messaging chats of Conversations with Friends. However, “Beautiful World, Where Are You” reinforces Rooney’s signature storytelling style, which is more about rhythm than the plot and very skillfully crafted, and remains particularly adept through the dialogue portraying power dynamics and open endings but writing non-depressing ones. .

We've never had Prime Minister Steve Richards

The Prime Ministers We Never Had by Steve Richards follows on from his previous book The Prime Ministers we be He went from Harold Wilson to Theresa May. Richards counts only those who had at least one real chance of becoming prime minister through a leadership contest or a general election. The 11 politicians who meet this criterion in modern times are Rab Butler, Roy Jenkins. Barbara Castle, Denis Healey, Neil Kinnock, Michael Heseltine, Michael Portillo, Ken Clarke, Ed and David Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn. Richards examines the leadership potential of each figure and why none of them got the top job with an excellent comparative analysis. Sure, different levels of ambition and experience are an issue, but ultimately it’s time to never be prime minister which is often the main factor in not being in tune with the public mood or other people in the party. major at the time. The selection offers a more diverse range of personalities than his previous books, along with some of Shakespeare’s failures in fact. In general, ‘what if it happened?’ A factor that adds an extra layer of intrigue to these well-written profiles of prime ministers we have never had.

Emma John unknownWayfaring Stranger: A Musical Journey in the American South by Emma John It is a memoir about joining a bluegrass band in the Appalachian Mountains and mastering one of the most technically challenging music genres. John combines his travels through Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina with a brief history of bluegrass, and it certainly helps to find a playlist along with the book. He mostly lived in Boon, North Carolina, where he learned about some of the legends of bluegrass and received genuine southern hospitality from talented local musicians. John studied violin at an advanced level in school, but dropped out of the instrument for several years after graduation. It was fascinating to read the descriptions of learning to improvise bluegrass on an emotional level, compared to the rigidly structured way he was taught to play in classical orchestras. ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ is worth reading if you enjoy a variety of travel memories or musical journeys.

Fell Sarah MossAt the beginning of the first blockade, I said that I did not expect the inevitable abuse of literary fiction that reflects on isolation during the pandemic. Of course, this was before I knew it would be one of the first novels to be published with a lock setting Sarah Mossen The Fell. Rather than the startling novelty of spring 2020, it is set to be the second blockade in the UK next November, along with the fatigue of social disengagement that was well and truly established with winter anxiety. Kate, a 40-year-old single mother, is a licensed Peak District waiter. After ten days of self-isolation with her son Matte, she finally embarks on a walk that will impress and have unintended consequences. ‘The Fell’ is in line with the previous two short novels by Moss, Ghost Wall and Summerwater, which dealt with the fear of the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. An in-depth analysis of the state of his nation is less than 200 pages long, depicting conversations we’ve all had on more practical topics like hygiene and more philosophical about personal responsibility. Some readers still think it’s too early to delve into realistic depictions of pandemic life, but Moss made a good point when he said in a recent interview: “We need stories, we need stories … so we can start navigating it and think about something other than an emergency.”

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RC Verma

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