From fashion memoirs and essays on love to post-lockdown novels and historical fiction, these are the new release books to add to your reading list.
Seeing Other People by Diana Reid
Where do you draw the line between self-fulfilment and selfishness? This question is at the heart of Australian author Diana Reid’s new of-the-moment book, a post-lockdown novel about twenty-somethings pursuing their dreams. In it, the relationship between two sisters is threatened when their principles, desires and ambitions collide, and these moral dilemmas offer food for thought about using self-awareness and the pursuit of being one’s ‘best self’ to justify bad behaviour.
The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
Set in Florence during the politically ruthless Italian Renaissance, this piece of historical fiction follows the dark story of Lucrezia di Cosimo de'Medici, who was forced to marry at 15 in a move to merge two legendary families. When Lucrezia arrives at court and becomes aware her ambitious husband intends to kill her, the book takes on a suspenseful tone, which is skilfully balanced by shifts in time and alternating points of view.
A Visible Man by Edward Enninful
There’s something irresistible about a memoir descended from the upper echelons of the fashion world, but there’s more to A Visible Man than glamour and gossip. The book spans Edward Enninful’s childhood in Ghana to his arrival in London as an asylum seeker and extraordinary rise to become the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue. The result is an inspiring, candid and sometimes confronting insight into what it takes to build a more inclusive industry.
The Crane Wife: A Memoir in Essays by CJ Hauser
In 2019 CJ Hauser wrote the The Crane Wife, an essay — that went viral — about going on an expedition to study whooping cranes days after calling off her wedding. The experience sparked an epiphany about how people will diminish themselves in order to sustain a relationship. That story has now been developed into a book of personal essays on dating, romances, fertility, family and the search for new definitions of love when life doesn’t pan out the way it was supposed to.
Less Is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer
Before getting stuck into this sequel, be sure to read Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer-winning 2017 novel Less. The original introduced us to the endearing Arthur Less, a ‘moderately accomplished’ novelist navigating a complicated love life and even more confusing career. In Less Is Lost, we find Arthur on an absurd road trip through America, his life once again in disarray, his encounters increasingly eccentric. Like its bestselling predecessor, this book is charming, witty and very funny.
Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie
As the title suggests, award-winning author Kamila Shamsie’s new book delves heart-first into a forty-year friendship, forged between two girls in Pakistan. Even in those formative years their childhood bond must endure the influence of politics, money and culture, but it’s the book’s second half, where we find the women now established in London, that their complicated friendship is truly tested. It’s epic in scale yet intimately told.
Lessons by Ian McEwan
Esteemed writer Ian McEwan returns with Lessons, a monumental novel that chronicles the fictional life of Roland Baines from his schoolboy years in post-war England. While attending boarding school, an encounter with his piano teacher irreversibly scars Roland’s future memories, desires and happiness. In the face of global events from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Brexit and climate change, Roland struggles against change and past traumas, painting a portrait of history as seen through his eyes.