A new season means it’s time to load up on fresh new books to read. Here are five recs to get on your reading list, and if you like to pick up books in person, check out our fave independent bookshops right here.
Animal – Lisa Taddeo
Three Women, an investigation into the sexual and emotional lives of three women written over the space of ten years, was her breakout hit and now Lisa Taddeo is back with her first novel Animal. Narrated by antihero Joan, who flees New York for California after seeing a man commit an act of violence in front of her, she reflects on her life and her past, which has been dominated by the male gaze, unravelling a horrific childhood event and unleashing a whole load of rage in the process.
Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson
Open Water is the debut novel from Caleb Azumah Nelson and what a debut it is, weaving themes of race, masculinity and creativity around a powerful love story. The plot revolves around two Black Brits, who both won scholarships to private school and who both work in the arts – one is a dancer and the other is a photographer – who fall in love only for it to be torn apart.
The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris
Already being touted as one of the books of 2021, The Other Black Girl is a whip-smart exploration of systemic racism and microagressions in the workplace. 26-year-old Nella Rogers, previously the only Black employee at her publishing house, is pleased when another Balck woman, Hazel, joins the team until she starts to become the office fave. It’s dark, it’s funny and it promises a big twist at the end.
Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid
If you are lucky to get to a beach this summer, this is the book you want to take with you. Malibu Rising is the new novel from Taylor Jenkins Reid, who gave us the thoroughly enjoyable Daisy Jones & The Six. Here we’re transported to the 1980s California and a family party thrown by the four famous Rivas siblings that proves to change all of their lives forever.
Ariadne – Jennifer Saint
If you liked Madeline Miller’s Circe and Pat Barker’s Silence of the Girls, then Ariadne by Jennifer Saint is going to be right up your street. It’s another Greek myth retold from the female perspective – this time Theseus and the Minotaur – as experienced by Ariadne, who betrayed her family to help Theseus slay the beast.