From novels anchored in the mess of Brexit to non-fiction discussing the vices and virtues of social media this is your definitive reading list for Christmas 2018
Middle England by Jonathan Coe
If anyone thought Brexit was no subject matter for literary fiction, Middle England is about to prove you dead wrong. I first read Coe’s The Rotter’s Club in my first year studying at Birmingham University and the book made me first understand and then fall in love with this industrial midland’s city, warts and all. It also showed me how brilliant Coe was at capturing so many different shades of Britishness – with a keen eye for class-related quirks.
Fox 8 by George Saunders
This latest offering by George Saunders, whose Lincoln in the Bardo won the 2017 Man Booker Prize, won’t disappoint. It is less novel, more fable – a brilliantly unusual book complete with illustrations throughout. We meet the eponymous Fox 8, a curious creature who has taken to listening in on children’s bedtime stories and becoming enthralled by the words used to build other worlds and ideas. Slowly he has learned ‘yuman’ – and his new found understanding of this strange language is the start of a quest that sees him seek to save his pack from ‘danjur’.
The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya
What a cover, right? And the contents are just as weird, in the best possible way. This collection boasts some extraordinary scenarios including a boy who discovers that umbrellas can actually make one fly, a woman who cannot focus at work thanks to a distracting bulge in the office curtains and a man who covers himself in glue in order to stop vandals destroying his market stall.
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
OK, full disclosure, this is not actually out until 3rd January, but wait! This still needs to be on your list because the festive period doesn’t end until 6th January and this novel is such a page turner that you will absolutely burn through it. And if you really can’t wait (we don’t blame you) just snap it up early from US link below. The book’s tagline – “when blood is thicker, and more difficult to get out of the carpet” – does its job perfectly, neatly summing up the tone of this witty debut.
—Source: Evening Standard