In no particular order – I have mentioned some of these books in the past, but it’s always good to be reminded.
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Absolutely stunning legal thriller debut from Harriet Tyce – and I don’t even really like thrillers. Harriet is also on The Spike today! Answering some typically searching questions.
French Exit by Patrick deWitt
Extremely stylish and darkly funny tale. I swallowed it whole without chewing and it was delicious.
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Jaw-droppingly accomplished first novel from the award-winning New York Times journalist.
Wild and Crazy Guys by Nick de Semlyen
A short history of the 80s maverick comedians – Dan Akroyd, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray and all that gang (if you are into them, which I am). A really good book to have on the go to tread water between more gripping stuff. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way – it’s a good read.
Slow Horses by Mick Herron
Another slightly water-tready book. Readable thriller-ish about a load of MI5 rejects – and the good news is if you like this book, it’s the first in a series. Cosy.
The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley
There are lots of how-I-got-sober books and blogs around by people who never quite hit rock bottom but wanted to stop drinking anyway. This is the one I read and it was great.
The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Funny and odd but completely charming tale of a Tudor woman who becomes a famous playwright.
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Not to be confused with Normal People by Sally Rooney. I’m sure you’ve read OP already – a marriage falls apart in London with a supernatural twist. Really ace.
How to Fail by Elizabeth Day
You could look at Elizabeth Day – incredibly successful, clever, popular, charming and beautiful – and think: “You don’t know from failure, lady” but her point is that failure is all personal, it’s all relative. If you’re one of the few people left to read it, then do – I enjoyed it a lot.
Manhunt by Peter Bergen
A very odd book for me to recommend but this was just such a fascinating and fast-moving overview of the 10-year search for and capture of Osama Bin Laden that I want everyone to read it. At times, genuinely laugh-out-loud.
The Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield
An Instagram follower sent me a furious drunk message once because I had bought a dress off Samantha Cameron and in it she compared me to EM Delafield. I’d never heard of her so went away and read this book and was hugely flattered. This is a classic and it’s brilliant. Have a look if you’ve never heard of it.
Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
A fictionalised account of Truman Capote’s doomed friendship with the cream of New York Society. Not a new story but this one is the best re-telling that I have seen.
Circe by Madeleine Miller
Another absolute triumph from the author of the Song of Achilles. Such an atmospheric and beautiful read.
We Must All Be Brave by Frances Liardet
I’m so baffled as to why this hasn’t done better (although it has certainly done well). I was blown away by how good it was.
I am also looking forward to reading:
All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison
The Truants by Kate Weinberg
Operation Jihadi Bride by John Carney
The Van Apfel Girls are Gone by Felicity McLean