Reading lists curated by our bookshop Libreria, and an online book club to talk them through - perfect for the stay at home vibe.

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The Libreria Podcast

Unexpected ideas and inspirations with people like author Bret Easton Ellis, film-maker David Lynch, and author Bernardine Evaristo.

Online Book Club

Tuesday 26 May – The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break

Our book club picks.

Want more? Our bookshop Libreria has more recommendations than the curator at the Library of Alexandria. Drop them an email.

Nemesis, Philip Roth

Roth’s final novel – a haunting book about polio ravaging a Jewish community in Newark, and how one man reacts to the tragedy unfolding before his eyes.
Obviously it’s a relevant story for our times.

Rhinoceros, Eugène Ionesco

This play is set in a small town in France, where one by one the people who live there start turning into rhinos. It’s absurd, funny and a great parable about mass panics and the perils of group-think.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

Ok, so this one isn’t entirely about an epidemic – but it’s such a brilliant book that we had to recommend it.
In this book, Jane Eyre’s grim school gets locked down due to a TB-like contagian, with that section featuring some great scenes of childhood and loneliness.
But shutdown or no shutdown, this is one of the all time great books, so well worth a read.

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman

From our Africana Curation:

Saiya Hartman combines a radical scholarship with a striking literary voice to tell the story of the lives of the first generation of black women born after the emancipation of slavery. She chronicles their hopes, dreams and pursuits of true and complete freedom.

Oil On Water, Helon Habila

From our Africana Curation:

This novel begins as a story of two journalists as they attempt to find the kidnapped wife of a British oil engineer, but ends as an evocative unmasking of the realities of big petrobusiness in the Niger Delta region; of the human and environmental cost.

The Golden Rhinoceros, François-Xavier Fauvelle

From our Africana Curation:

François-Xavier Fauvelle brings to light the richness of medieval Africa, taking readers from the Sahara to the Ethiopian Highlands. It corrects the age old claim of the African past being one without history.