This month, contributor and resident book worm Laurel Waldron shares her literary loves and this months’ showcase store, Dulwich Books.
I’ve got two on the go currently; the first being my annual reread of an old favourite. Raffaella Barker’s Hens Dancing (£10.99 at bookshop.org) is the diary of slightly wayward divorcé mother-of-three Venetia Summers, trying to hold it together in a tumbledown Norfolk cottage after her husband ran off with his masseuse. I know it off by heart, having reread dozens of times in the last 20 years, but it’s light-hearted and comforting and makes me giggle every time. Alongside it I’m finally indulging in Barack Obama’s A Promised Land (hence the need for something light as well…). It is a powerful tome and I’m sure it needs no introduction; a mammoth undertaking for even this most ardent of readers.
Buying This Month:
A deeply exciting moment for any Ishiguro fan, the novel follows Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities who carefully watches the behaviour of those who come to the store in which she lives. It’s an insight into our rapidly-changing modern word through the eyes of an intriguing narrator and delves into what it really means to love.
I’m a sucker for anything Jazz Age, so this debut novel by New Yorker Bryce sounds right up my street. Covering parallel stories of a 1920s Chicago chorus girl and a grieving modern-day film student, it’s cleverly peppered with real life historical figures, from Al Capone to Louis Armstrong, giving a different dimension to Bryce’s storytelling while exploring the ties between contemporary African-American artists and the Chicago Black Renaissance of the first half of the 20th century.
This love/mystery/ghost story has been much lauded in the run up to its publication last week. It tells the tale of the disappearance of three keepers from a remote lighthouse in Cornwall in 1972, made even more mysterious by the fact the door was locked from the inside. Fast forward 20 years and the start focuses on the women they left behind and what really happened starts to be revealed. Inspired by real events, it sounds like a gripping novel that might need to be devoured in one sitting.
This Sunday Times bestseller has just been released in paperback and is sure to attract a whole new band of fans as it follows Freeman as she learns more about the life of her French grandmother, Sala Glass, after she dies. An expat living in America, she never spoke of her past experiences and it’s only when Freeman found a shoebox filled with her grandmother’s treasured belongings that she began a decade-long quest to discover more about the life she left behind. A stirring memoir of Glass and her two brothers growing up in Nazi-era Europe.
Our Indie Bookshop Pick of the Month:
Cathy from Dulwich Books is most excited about the arrival of Klara and the Sun;
“It’s Ishiguro’s first novel for several years, and completed just around the time the pandemic hit. A new book by Ishiguro is always cause for great excitement, and a gift to independent bookshops. In the book he explores the implications of AI to human relationships and themes of love through the eyes of an android.”
Dulwich Books is open from 11am-4pm Monday – Saturday for orders and collections. To order email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8670 1920. Find them on social media at facebook.com/DulwichBooks, @dulwichbooks on Twitter and @dulwichbooksofficial on Instagram.