26 members recommend

Poignant prose, French film and best British novelists. 26 members share their recommendations with you.


the art of hearing heartbeats

A rainy day read

If you’re feeling romantic try The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. Set in Burma between the 1950s and present day, it’s an intriguing story about a NY lawyer who goes missing. When his family start searching they discover a long lost secret life. A box of chocs, a rainy afternoon and this book – all you’ll need!

Sara Sheridan


Hope-a-tragedyOne for the summer

This is a tremendous romp. Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander is strongly reminiscent of classic Jewish American novels of the 60s and 70s like Portnoy’s Complaint and Catch 22. Outrageous, funny, satirical and with enormous pace and vigour. An early contender for a great summer read.

Martin Lee


Poet in the City

Simon Armitage, Caroline Bird, Simon Munday and Bettany Hughes got under the skin of Homer’s classic myths as part of the Words on Monday series at Kings Place. The audience experienced the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey through the eyes of the expert panel. Find more Poet in the City events here.

Laura Hunter


moleskinWhere will you send yours?

Don’t just have an idea, send it on a journey. These beautiful miniature Moleskine postal notebooks are a hybrid between a postcard, an old-fashioned airmail letter and a notepad. Fill them with your thoughts and sketches, then send them to someone who’d appreciate a tangible piece of post. Genius.

Fiona Thompson


Book of Bedtime

Granta has announced its list of the 20 best British novelists under the age of 40. I’ve bought the book. Now I’m listening to the stories. Book of Bedtime on Radio 4. Catch them quickly on iPlayer.

Elen Lewis


in-the-houseIn the House

In the House – a French film directed by Francois Ozon. All about stories and storytelling, style like Woody Allen with a French accent, beautifully played by a cast including Kristin Scott Thomas.

John Simmons


she-left-me-the-gunEmma Brockes’ memoir and perfect accompaniment

I loved the memoir She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Before Me by journalist Emma Brockes. It’s gripping, well-written and poignant. The late Nora Ephron thought of the catchy title for Brockes.

And all good procrastinators need some decent chocolate. Try Vanuatu chocolate where the delicious cocoa bars are sourced from across the globe.

Elena Bowes


More reading

I belted through Shirley Jackson’s novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle over Easter. Witchy, ritualistic, poignant. I’m also enjoying Samurai Executioner, precursor to manga epic Lone Wolf and Cub. And Chris Beckett’s latest poetry collection, Ethiopia Boy, is a joyful tribute to growing up in Addis Ababa and a first gay crush.

Kirsten Irving


One for your notebook

I keep scribbling down extracts from Levels of Life, Julian Barnes’ semi-biographical book on ballooning and bereavement. Here’s one of my favourites for your notebooks. ‘You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed.’

Elen Lewis

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