Books Articles

Four reads to change your perspective

Stuck in a reading rut? What you need is something funny and guaranteed to remind you that books don’t need to be arduous – palate cleansers, if you like


1. Love, Nina

By Nina Stibbe (£6.50, Penguin). Nina Stibbe is the human form of Pringles; you will be powerless to resist once you’ve had a little nibble. Based on the real-life letters to her sister when she was working as a nanny in early eighties London, Stibbe’s voice is straightforward, quirky and sure to make you laugh in locations that you shouldn’t (the tube, church services).

2. My Salinger Year

By Joanna Rakoff (£8.99, Bloomsbury). Broke, living in a terrible Brooklyn flat (that is so dangerous it could kill her - we’ve all been there), straight out of university in the 90s, Rakoff took a job as an assistant to a hallowed literary agent. What follows is a hilarious look at a world before the internet and computers, where typewriters and dictaphones still reign. Like stepping back to another time, but also utterly recognisable for that terrible first job we’ve all done - this is a total gem.

3. Heartburn

By Nora Ephron (£8.99, Virago). As broke as Joanna Rakoff and with two children to support after the unexpected breakdown of her marriage, Ephron took the ultimate revenge and penned a ‘fictional portrait’ of the relationship and its subsequent demise. In the brilliantly funny Heartburn, Ephron skewers her husband, his mistress and well-connected Washington society, with killer one liners that resurfaced in her later work (When Harry Met Sally).

4. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

By Issa Rae (£14.99, Atria). In the grand tradition of female comics sharing their thoughts on life (you know, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey-styleee), Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is the perfect partner for a rotten commute. Tackling the awkward issue of being introverted in a world where black people are meant to be cool, Rae’s writing will resonate with everyone who just feels like they don’t necessarily fit in the space assigned to them. 

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