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May 2022 Staff Picks

Brenda’s Pick: Between two kingdoms: a memoir of a life interrupted by Suleika Jaouad


Cover image for Between two kingdoms : a memoir of a life interruptedSuleika Jaouad’s memoir has two parts: her life in the first “kingdom” was when she became ill with leukemia in her early twenties. Part two describes her entry back into the ‘kingdom of the well’. She shares her story unvarnished and with a  frank honesty that takes you down a road of events and people involved in her cancer journey, with a perspective of a young woman whose life suddenly changes direction.

David’s Pick: Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit

Cover image for Orwell's rosesSolnit helpfully reminds us that Orwell was not always or only the prophet of grim authoritarianism; instead, she takes his love for roses and gardening as the centre of various meditations on his work, the commercial rose industry, the opium trade, and more.

David’s Pick: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Cover image for Treasure IslandStill one of the best rip-roaring tales of adventure. Written for younger readers, but thanks to Stevenson’s gifts as a storyteller it’s a delightful read for anyone fascinated by pirates, treasure, and danger.

Linda’s Pick: The Bees by Laline Paull

Cover image for The beesA wonderful novel told from the perspective of Flora 717, a little bee from the moment she is born in her hive. This is a story of dreams, hope and love mixed with suspenseful drama and action reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones. You’ll never look at bees the same way again!

Natalie’s Pick: The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

Cover image for The lying life of adultsIf you loved Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet, this novel will not disappoint! The story revolves around a youth named Giovanna who discovers that the grown-ups in her life have been lying to her, and that each individual has a different manner of lying. Set in Naples, there are love affairs, issues of class and opportunity, all written about in Ferrante’s understated style. She is a master writer! A word of warning that the conclusion is not neat and tidy.