Book Club: 5 Books To Get You Back Into Reading This Autumn

With shorter days and colder nights on the horizon, what better time to get back into reading? If, like us, you’ve neglected your must-read book list over the summer in favour of binge watching Love Island and impromptu trips to the local pub, now’s the time to pick up your next page-turner.

From dystopian fiction that’ll have you reading at 3 AM to beautifully written pose to enjoy snuggled up in a cosy coffee shop, we’ve chosen a few of the top picks to read this autumn (no spoilers). Find the comfiest chair available and dive in…

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

With The Handmaid’s Tale being one of the most read books of 2018, partly due to the hugely successful TV adaptation, Atwood’s sequel has been one of the most hotly anticipated books of the year.

Following protagonist Offred and the many characters found in the patriarchal dystopian world of Gilead, The Testaments has been hailed as a dazzling follow-up to the original.

Alongside the riveting plot, set 15 years after the first, the book engages with the ongoing conversation faced in society today – the rise of far wing political parties, women’s rights and race relations, to name a few.

Be prepared for spoilers as we predict every person in the office will be discussing this over lunch in the upcoming weeks.

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated, the New York Times bestseller, is a memoir of  Tara Westover, a young woman finding her voice in a strict Mormon family in rural Idaho.

The critically acclaimed book has found fans with the likes of Barak Obama and Bill Gates and it’s easy to see why when you delve into the opening chapter.

Westover’s tale is a harrowing account of her life in a patriarchal, orthodox family who don’t believe in education or modern medicine. Her introduction into society is a rude awakening into the current world and her storytelling is a riveting, frustrating and often emotional confession.

Westover’s account is a fascinating insight into American Mormonism and has topped all of our book club lists this month.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a beautifully written piece that draws elements from his own life to tell the coming-of-age story of Little Dog, the son of immigrant parents.

The poet, who is Vietnamese-American, draws upon his dual heritage and masterfully tackles a range of weighty topics with ease.

Part memoir, part fiction, the book is “as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard“.

Vuong’s romantic, artistically written prose is a joy to read – we recommend reading this at home with a “do not disturb” sign.

Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd

Lovers of the macabre and all things strange with love Dr Richard Shepherd’s memoir.

The forensic pathologist details his illustrious career as one of the world’s leading experts on death and the causes of it.

Alongside details of several high-profile deaths, including Stephen Lawrence and Princess Diana, run Shepherd’s own life experiences; the struggles of his relationship with his wife and children and the emotional toll of dealing with death day in, day out.

Those who enjoyed the Channel 5 series – Celebrity Autopsy – will recognise Dr Shepherd as the consulting pathologist. This book is a fascinating exploration of the many lives and deaths he has come across, without the overuse of scientific jargon and makes for a riveting read. Ready for your next commute!

Almost Adults by Ali Pantony

This debut coming-of-age novel by Ali Pantony will resonate with “millennials” for the trials and tribulations of being a twenty-something in 2019.

The plot follows the lives of four women Mackie, Edele, Alex and Nat (aka the MEAN Girls) and their hectic lives, trying to navigate the working world, have a social life and pay the occasional bill on time.

Relatable, uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny. Read Almost Adults and pass it on to all your friends (though don’t be surprised if they don’t give it back).

Words: Sherri Andrew