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Here's what we are reading this National Read a Book Day


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Today is National Read a book day, so what better excuse (not that we needed one!) to grab a book and a cup of tea and escape for an hour or two!

However, if you’re struggling for some literary inspiration, a few of our writers and editors have shared what they’re getting stuck into today.  

Lydia Venn is reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. 

For everyone obsessed with Margaret Atwood at the moment (thank you Handmaid’s tale), you will not be able to put this lesser known classic of Atwood’s down. The novel highlights the dangers of what happens when humans try and play God; painting a scarily possible picture of what our future could hold. In a post apocalyptic world, Snowman grapples towards his future whilst coming to terms with his past.

Alex Giovanni Graham is reading Backwards and in Heels by Alicia Malone. 

Backwards and in Heels is LA-based Aussie Film reporter Alicia Malone’s first book, and taking a carefully curated look at the expansive history of women in film. It takes the reader on a journey from the cinematic trailblazers of the early 20th century, through the vital roles women played – both on and off camera- during the increasingly male-dominated decades of the industry, all the way to the talented visionaries of the present day, such as Ava DuVernay. Malone’s relentless passion for film bleeds through every page of this collection of fascinating,  inspiring and often lesser known tales of an industry that still has a way to go before it truly finds its happy medium.

Elsa Maishman is reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith. 

If you haven’t already discovered Zadie Smith, you need to get your hands on something of hers ASAP. On Beauty twines around the political, cultural and racial differences of a cast of eccentric characters, whose lives we dip in and out of in slow, beautiful detail.

George Caulton is reading Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East needs a sexual revolution by Mona Eltahawy. .

Headscarves and Hymens presents a passionately bold account of several women’s attitudes to misogyny throughout the Middle East. In a world which is bypassing the horrific epidemics of the Middle East, Mona Elthaway raises crucial questions about FGM, sexual harassment and most importantly, what it means to be a Middle Eastern Woman.

Lucy Miller is reading Trying to Float by Nicolaia Rips. 

 An autobiographical account from a 17-year-old who grew up alongside a massive range of quirky characters in New York's Chelsea Hotel. Rips has such a unique, insightful voice - a wonderful peak into growing up in the bohemian heart of New York City.

Daniel Sharp is reading Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man by Christopher Hitchens. 

I am currently reading Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, a wonderful study by the late Christopher Hitchens on the life and 1791 work by Paine defending the French Revolution from Edmund Burke’s attack. Paine is an important radical figure, and Hitchen’s study is enlightening and nicely written, fleshing out ideas that motivated the first international revolutionary.


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