Recommended reads from Oxford’s Indies for Independent Bookshop Week
For Independent Bookshop Week we asked our independent businesses to recommend their lock-down reads.
Here’s what they’re getting stuck into…
Have you read any of them? What books are you enjoying at the moment?
To See Clearly – Why Ruskin Matters by Suzanne Fagence Cooper
It’s an art book, no surprise there! She navigates brilliantly the difficult aspects of the Victorian art critics personal life to rediscover the positive aspects of his work. The main one, which struck home during lockdown, as we experienced bluer skies and cleaner air was that he was an early climate change observer. He openly talked about how the industrial revolution was altering our climate – if only people had been more open to listening…
Sarah from Sarah Wiseman Gallery
Journey to the Center of the Cramps by Dick Porter
I read mostly non-fiction and this one was recommended to me by a friend. I’m only half way through but so far it’s a beautiful portrait of the creative and romantic partnership between Lux Interior and Poison Ivy (founders of the Cramps), a FOMO inducing look at the New York music scene in the late 70s/early 80s, and a reminder that being weird and different is COOL!
Sarah of Sarah Halliday
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
This book was recommended to me by a friend I made in lockdown. With a bit more time at the weekends, and in the lovely weather, I can get stuck in. There are lots of stories about different characters that over time start to intertwine. It’s good for me over a period of time because I can give the characters my full attention, although as each one re-appears I sometimes need to take a moment to remind myself who they are and who they are connected to. Lots of different experiences of a similar theme are explored.
Claire from Open Stage Arts
Wildwood by Roger Deakin
I’m mostly into non-fiction at the moment. I’ve just started Wildwood by Roger Deakin. Classic nature writing. Perfect escapism for anxious times (apart from actually going out and being in nature, of course!)
Rachel from L’altre Vi
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
I’m really loving this book. It makes you realise how privileged we are as white people and gets you really thinking about what it’s like to be a black woman in Britain. Definitely a must read if you’re looking to educate yourself about race and racism.
Rosie from Independent Oxford
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
It’s great escapism, just what we need at the moment and set in Australia so has some nice nuances for Aussies abroad! Moriarty is also known for Big Little Lies.
Angela from Fresh Clothing
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
I’ve been struggling with novels as my attention span has been all over the place during lockdown so I’m embracing short stories for the first time. I’ve been blown away by this book. Just exquisitely moving portraits of very ordinary lives that we can all relate to on some level.
Ashley from The Wonky Food Company
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
Something about these hot and heady summer days we’re having made me feel even closer to the drama of this glamorous post-World-War-II novel, which centres around one family’s annual trips to their island holiday home. I was completely captivated by the characters and fascinated by their relationships, and I loved that the plot was unexpected and intriguing without feeling like a cheap thriller. I’d definitely recommend, but be prepared to get completely sucked in and lose all track of time while you’re reading! (Personally, that’s my favourite way to consume a book!)
Beth from Bethany Joy
Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson
I’m not normally a crime fan, but definitely a lover of page turning historical fiction and this combines both. I bought this book on a whim and I’m so glad I did, it really was one of those books you get truly immersed in. Based in the late 1700s and centred around the murder of an abolitionist, it takes a convincing and harrowing look at the slave trade and explores just how deep it went in society and government.
Anna from Independent Oxford