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What we’re reading: August

In a bid to make ourselves read more, and so you can see some of the literature that inspires our travels, and our London adventures, we’ve decided to do a monthly recap on what we’ve been reading. Here is August’s for you!


The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead.

This book initially caught my eye(in our favourite book shop Libreria) because of two reasons. Firstly, it’s a book about my favourite city in the world, New York, and secondly because of its length. I had already had another book on the go and as I am a pretty slow reader it being a shorter read was appealing to me. It’s a completely authentic love letter to the city, written in a way that is poetic, vivid with its observations of New York City life, and full of metaphor. To me it sucked me in like a painting you can’t stop looking at and really made me feel like I was in the specific places Whitehead writes about, like he was talking about MY city. Of course it isn’t, but that’s what I loved about it, it really makes you feel like while you’re reading this, you are a New Yorker.

The Martian by Andy Weir.

JK bought me this as a gift, she had recently read it and thought the science/sci-ti nerd in me would love it. She was correct. I’m sure some of you will be familiar with the story since the story was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster in 2015, but for those of you who aren’t it is about a botanist who after being presumed dead by the rest of his astronaut crew is stranded on mars with only his wits, botanical knowledge, and a meagre amount of supplies to try and survive until he either perishes, or is rescued. It is an intense, journey from two sides, the mind of Mark Watney(the almost certainly screwed botanist) and his team back on earth. As I have said before I am not the greatest of readers, but the way this book flows(partly because of the log entry style shorter chapters) was enjoyably straight forward to get my teeth into. If you are at all a sci-fi fan and whether or not you have seen the movie(I still haven’t) you will love this smart, funny, and intense story.


Lilian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Tim bought me this as he said he read the blurb, saw that it was set in 1920s New York and knew it was for me, and he wasn’t wrong. A story that encompasses a poet, a proto-feminist, career woman who tells her life story through the story of a night in her life, and a walk through New York. It also covers the whole history of New York, in an opulent, decadent and mad-men-esque way. It’s witty and clever, and doesn’t feel like a story. I like the main character because I can relate to far more than I’ll go into, but I think even if you didn’t, there’s qualities about her, her life, her maternal or grandmotherly qualities that you can empathise with. And she loves rap. And people. It’s been the first fiction book I’ve read in ages and I loved every page of it!

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*** by Sarah Knight

A brilliant self-help humorous book based on a totally zen book about tidying your house – this book deals with tidying up your life in a no holds barred ‘oh my god does everyone feel like that’ way. There are elements of it that are totally ridiculous, and some where you actually have to stop reading in order to action some of the points, but in essence it’s a way of de-cluttering your life of things you don’t want to do and people you don’t want to be around. A perfect book for millennials right.

What are we reading now?

Tim: Oscar Wilde’s Only Dull People Are Brilliant At Breakfast

Jess: Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet

What are you reading? Is there anything you’ve read that you think we should read next? What’s on your bookshelf waiting to be picked up? Let us know in the comments below!