Brighton Girls' Recommended Reads, July 2017
Another month, another book. Or two. Or three, if you're like our Brighton Girls below. This month's choosings are brilliantly varied, from the Russian Revolution, to Afro-Carribean feminist cyberpunk, to the journey through journals of a time long past.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
This is a dystopian novel written in 1953 about a world in which technology rules and books are illegal. If anyone is found in ownership of a book then the Firemen will come and burn them and the house that they are in. It's a relatively short book, so it's perfect for a summer holiday read. Bradbury has a unique writing style which can be somewhat challenging but he constructs the world beautifully. If you are interested in a Big Brother style society with a technological twist then this book is for you.
October by China Miéville
This year we celebrate – or lament, depending on your political preference – the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Miéville brings his novelistic touch to history and describes the strikes, the marches, and all the many, many petty infights with panache. Top tip: Google Image search all the leaders so you can keep track of who they all are in your head (some of them are actually quite fanciable).
Content note: The two following books contain scenes of child sexual abuse.
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
A memoir of the author’s experience working to defend a murderer from the death penalty. As she delves into the case, she finds disturbing parallels between the defendant’s life and her own, and struggles to come to terms with the nature of family, abuse, and generational trauma. A tough read at times, but one of the most hypnotically powerful things I’ve read in a long time.
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
Afro-Caribbean feminist cyberpunk. Did you know you needed more Afro-Caribbean feminist cyberpunk in your life? Well now you do. Science fiction is usually portrayed as the preserve of beardy white guys, but look beyond the stereotypes and you’ll see the genre has always been diverse, and full of awesome women. Next up: must read some Ursula Le Guin!
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Cassandra Mortmain writes about her eccentric family and their money struggles as they rattle around their dilapidated castle hoping for their fortune to change. Smith writes such an engaging and likeable narrator, it made me want to be right there with Cassandra in the
cold crumbling castle even though I was reading it on holiday in boiling hot Portugal.
The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley
This is the third and newest edition to Riley’s seven book series loosely based on the Seven Sisters star cluster. Each book follows the journey of one of seven adopted sisters, named after the stars, who learn the truth about where they came from after their father dies. Star’s journey in The Shadow Sister takes her to England and switches between the present and the 100-year-old journals of a girl named Flora MacNichol. The combination of a gripping plot and real historical elements weaved throughout was what drew me in and had me
hooked. I’m now reading the book that came before it, The Storm Sister, as the real beauty of the series is you don’t have to read them in chronological order.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafón
Set in Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War, Daniel Sempere is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books by his father where he is asked to choose a book. Daniel’s choice leads him on a strange and mysterious journey to find out the truth of what happened to the book’s author, Julián Carax. The unexpected twists and turns the plot takes and its slight fantastical nature are the real highlights of the novel.
Disclaimer: If you buy any of the books through the Amazon links in this post, we'll get a little bit of money - which helps us to keep the lights on.
What are you reading right now? Let us know by commenting below!