2020 spring reads for your online book club
What are you reading? It’s a question we often find ourselves asking one another, but even more so lately. With a little more time to curl up with a good book indoors, we’re rattling through our must-read lists with wild abandon.
But even better than diving into an addictive new read is dissecting it with friends afterwards – and at the moment, more and more of us are joining in with (and even forming) our own online book clubs.
So whether you’ve finished Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror And The Light (our editor's current read) and are looking for another sweeping slice of historical fiction, or are in the mood for a literary surprise, you’re sure to find something in our six picks below.
The powerful domestic drama
A Good Neighbourhood by Therese Anne Fowler
If you couldn’t put down Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, prepare to be gripped by Therese Anne Flower’s thought-provoking best-seller. Tackling issues of race, class and social injustice, this whip-smart novel follows two neighbouring North Carolina families at war over an aging oak tree – and the blossoming romance between their teenage children.
Buy A Good Neighbourhood here
The one we'd all be reading on the tube
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Described as "Lolita for the #MeToo generation," this highly anticipated and explosive debut tells the story of 32-year-old Vanessa Wye. When she was just 15 years old, she engaged in an affair with her 42-year-old English teacher, Jacob Strane. Wye always believed the relationship was consensual but, when another former student accuses Strane of sexual abuse, she's forced to re-examine and redefine the relationship. Uncomfortable but necessary reading.
Buy My Dark Vanessa here
The spotlight on celebrity
Actress by Anne Enright
From Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright comes this gripping and emotional page-turner about celebrity, sexual power and the relationship between mothers and daughters. Katherine O'Dell is an Irish legend of the stage and screen, famed from the stages of Dublin to London's West End and Broadway. When her star begins to fade, Katherine commits the strangest of crimes. Told from the perspective of O'Dell's daughter Norah, we follow her as she endeavours to unravel her mother's dark past, uncover her secrets and understand what drove her to madness.
Buy Actress here
The sweeping historical romance
A Long Petal of The Sea by Isabel Allende
The epic story of love, war, courage and loss begins in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, as thousands flee the brutality of General Franco's reign. Among them are Roser Bruguera, a pregnant young widow, and army doctor Victor Dalmau, the brother of Roser's deceased lover. Together, they try to forge a new life together in Chile and reluctantly marry in order to survive. Spanning several decades and crossing continents, this New York Times best-seller is as soaring and inspiring as it is gut-wrenching.
Buy A Long Petal of The Sea here
The millennial memoir
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
You don't need to have worked at a tech start-up to find Anna Wiener's story relatable. This punchy, coming-of-age memoir follows Wiener from her New York job in book publishing to a "promising" new career in big-data tech in the heart of Silicon Valley. Out of sixty employees, only eight of her colleagues were women, and everyday sexism was rife. As funny as it is frank, Wiener's portrait of our digital era takes a no-holds-barred look at workplace culture, reckless ambition and toxic masculinity.
Buy Uncanny Valley here
The fantastical mystery
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
From the author of the stunning Station Eleven comes this haunting and hypnotic tale of greed, guilt... and ghosts. An eerie and captivating mystery, this multi-faceted novel deftly interweaves two seemingly unrelated narratives: the collapse of a massive Ponzi scheme and the disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea. Gorgeous, topical and absorbing, The Washington Post calls it "the perfect novel for your survival bunker."
Buy The Glass Hotel here