Moonglow / Michael Chabon (9781460753224)
Moonglow is the deathbed confession of a man that the narrator refers to only as ‘my grandfather’. It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire but above all the destructive impact of keeping secrets and telling lies. Moonglow is a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own imagination. A wonderful read.
Keeping On Keeping On / Alan Bennett (9781781256497)
This is a treasure trove of wit, minutiae and musings on the life of one of Britain’s most celebrated writers. In the decade covered he saw the premieres of four of his works at the National Theatre and two on the big screen – The History Boys and The Lady in the Van. A well-written diary is a pleasure to dip in and out of and this book is perfect summer reading.
The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead (9780708898376)
Colson Whitehead takes the Underground Railroad — the loosely interlocking network activists who helped slaves escape to freedom in the decades before the Civil War — and turns it from a metaphor into an actual train that ferries fugitives northward. Cora, and Caesar take the perilous journey, state by state, heading to freedom. The result is a potent novel that leaves the reader with a devastating understanding of the terrible human costs of slavery.