26 Recommends

I listened to Radio 4’s Money Box Live on 20 February – topic under discussion: the economics of being an author. Literary agent Karolina Sutton was on the programme, which covered finding an agent, traditional publishing, self publishing, and Unbound. Rather sobering to learn that an author makes between 40p and 66p per copy of a £9 book sold in a bookshop, and 8.5p each time their book is borrowed from a public library.

– Jill Hopper

Writer/comedian and former NHS junior doctor Adam Kay goes on tour with his bestselling, award-winning memoirThis Is Going to Hurt. Don’t miss Kay live talking about his book–  a no-holds-barred account of life on the front line of the NHS. See UK venues and dates here

For another hilarious read, I loved David Sedaris’s Calypso. While I was laughing to myself, I couldn’t help but also take notes on what a genius comic writer Sedaris is.

And if you prefer dark to funny, TV is the way to go – True Detective Season 3 haunts with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as a state police detective. He also stars in terrific Oscar contender Green Book. Other psycho thrillers to watch include Dirty John and and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.

– Elena Bowes

I’ve been reading the Penguin Book of The Contemporary Short Story. Beyond the lovely yellow book cloth cover and type, the stories are, not surprisingly, top drawer. The third of Penguin’s British short story collections edited by Philip Hensher, they’re addictive and I’d recommend all three, for the choice of stories and Hensher’s insightful introductions. If these books don’t make you want to start writing a story, I don’t know what will. 

All three volumes have introduced me to stories and writers I’d never read. There are a number that have stuck in my head. In this volume, I was very taken by Thomas Morris’s story All the Boys. Written in the future tense, it has an unrelenting momentum that carries you through. I keep thinking about it and I keep coming back to it. And every time I think about it, I get a little tingle down my spine. You can read it here: https://preview.tinyurl.com/y284bxpf – but I recommend you buy the book, it’s worth every penny. 

– Ed Prichard

Film recommendation: Green Book – a warming film about the great African-American pianist, Don Shirley, who embarks on a concert tour of the Deep South. In the face of racism and danger in an era of intense segregation, he develops an amazing, funny relationship with his chauffeur, the hilarious Tony Lipp.

– Bert Preece

Wonderful evening crammed into the smaller space at the Pleasance to see Nathan Wright’s Lilies and Sweets. Simultaneously bawdy, filthy, delicate, deft and subtle – it’s remarkable. When it goes somewhere bigger, which it really ought, I’ll see it again, and remember how intense it was to experience it this close up.

– Rob Andrews

I’ve recently become acquainted with Delayed Gratification. I’m enjoying the magazine’s long-form journalism and accompanying infographics. Of an evening, the writing of China Miéville in Kraken is keeping me on the edge of my mattress and providing for some much-desired escapism; appropriately, I’ve just finished chapter 26!

– Dr Benjamin Wild

Corita Kent: Power Up at the House of Illustration, London

An unlikely Pop Art superstar, Corita Kent was a nun whose screen prints evolved from juxtaposing spiritual texts with the language of advertising to quotes by Martin Luther King. By the late 60s she was creating angry politicised covers for Newsweek, then sublimely interpreting Joyce and Rilke. A dazzling, superbly designed exhibition by Fraser Muggeridge studio at the ever-wonderful House of Illustration.

– Philip Parker

I’ve just downloaded All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virgina Woolf by Katharine Smyth and am very excited. Recently finished Normal People by Sally Rooney, which was tight and visceral.

– Francesca Baker

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