Klara And The Sun
Klara And The SunKazuo Ishiguro
What We Say: Experience the brilliance of Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, known for Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, with Klara And The Sun. This novel ventures into the unknown territory of AI's impact on human connections, delving into the profound question of the true nature of love.
What They Say: ”A delicate, haunting story, steeped in sorrow and hope” –The Washington Post
People PersonCandice Carty-Williams
What We Say: From the author of the beloved and bestselling Queenie comes another captivating blend of humour and character-driven drama. Join Dimple Pennington as she embarks on a journey to connect with her group of half-siblings in People Person.
What They Say: “People Person is a triumph. I was so moved by this tender, often humorous, portrait of these five siblings, their burgeoning relationships and all their complexities. I loved every one of these beautifully rendered characters and I'm sure the world will too. I couldn't put it down” – Caleb Azumah Nelson
Young MungoDouglas Stuart
What We Say: The acclaimed follow-up to Service95 Book Club’s first Book of the Month, Shuggie Bain, Stuart’s second offering is a revisitation of his urban Glasgow origins. This time, through the lens of a queer romance story, shrouded in a landscape of violence and hypermasculinity. As gripping as ever, this is not to be missed.
What They Say: “Few novels are as gutsy and gut-wrenching as Young Mungo in its depiction of a teenage boy who finds love amid family dysfunction, community conflict and the truly terrible predations of adults. Vividly realised and emotionally intense, this scorching novel is an urgent addition to the new canon of unsung stories” – Bernardine Evaristo
Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow
Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And TomorrowGabrielle Zevin
What We Say: When Sadie and Sam meet at a hospital as children, they bond over their love of video games. Their passion will bring them fame and success in their adult lives, but this sweeping story isn’t about gaming – but rather the joys, frustrations, heartbreak and beauty of a lifelong friendship.
What They Say: “Despite having an engrossing plot, the book reminds you that plot is never really the point of a great novel, and this is a great novel” – Financial Times
The Visiting Privilege
The Visiting PrivilegeJoy Williams
What We Say: These distinctively devastating depictions of modern life are desolate but droll, real but surreal, and reveal the loneliness of human life.
What They Say: “Williams is a flawless writer, and The Visiting Privilege is a perfect book” – NPR
The Vanishing Half
The Vanishing HalfBrit Bennett
What We Say: A beautifully written study of race, identity and gender told through the experiences of twin sisters leading very different lives – to the extent of adopting different racial identities. You will be gripped to the very last page.
What They Say: “Stunning… Bennett pulls it off brilliantly… Few novels manage to remain interesting from start to finish, even – maybe especially – the brilliant ones. But… Bennett locks readers in and never lets them go” – Los Angeles Times
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being
The Unbearable Lightness Of BeingMilan Kundera
What We Say: With the backdrop of the Prague Spring, this mighty novel encompasses passion, philosophy, politics, and tragedy, asking universal questions of love and fidelity that remain both unorthodox and entirely relatable.
What They Say: “A modern classic… As relevant now as when it was first published” – John Banville
The RoadCormac McCarthy
What We Say: A harrowing post-apocalyptic odyssey that examines the best and worst of humankind. The tenderness in the father and son relationship forms the true heart of this astonishing novel.
What They Say: “One of the most shocking and harrowing but ultimately redemptive books I have read. It is an intensely intimate story. It is also a warning” – Kirsty Wark, Observer Books of the Year
The Kite Runner
The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini
What We Say: Set against the backdrop of his native Kabul, Afghanistan, Hosseini’s smash-hit debut novel has solidified its place as a bonafide contemporary lit classic. A heartbreaking tale, yet equally as stunning, The Kite Runner is a fascinating examination of the human condition in times of conflict through the eyes of a little boy named Amir.
What They Say: “A devastating, masterful and painfully honest story of a life crippled by an act of childhood and cowardice and cruelty ... It speaks the harrowing truth about the power of evil, personal and political, and intoxicates, like a high-flying kite, with the power of hope” – Daily Telegraph
The Days Of Abandonment
The Days Of AbandonmentElena Ferrante
What We Say: Her Neapolitan series showcased Elena Ferrante’s skill in portraying the rawness of the female experience; this novel about a new mother in torment after her husband leaves her proves her absolute mastery of the genre.
What They Say: “Stunning... the raging, torrential voice of the author is something rare” – The New York Times
Swimming In The Dark
Swimming In The DarkTomasz Jedrowski
What We Say: This sensual, poignant novel follows two young Polish Party workers who spend a heavenly summer swimming in secluded lakes and falling in love before they face political conformity when they return to real life.
What They Say: “Elegant, compelling and full of melancholy beauty… I will keep it on my shelves alongside novels by Alan Hollinghurst, Edmund White and other classics in the gay canon” – Evening Standard
Shuggie BainDouglas Stuart
What We Say: Our Service95 Book Club’s first Book of the Month, prepare to be transported to the brutal reality of the Thatcher years in a working-class Glasgow community. It’s also an intimate study of the tenderness that survives the ravages of alcoholism in a mother-son relationship.
What They Say: “A debut novel that reads like a masterpiece, Shuggie Bain gives voice to the kind of helpless, hopeless love that children can feel toward broken parents” – Washington Post
Read More: Douglas Stuart On The Powerful Images That Inspired Shuggie Bain
PachinkoMin Jin Lee
What We Say: Vivid and deeply moving, this powerful multigenerational story about a Korean immigrant family’s life in Japan is a saga of endurance, love, and sorrow. It’s unforgettable.
What They Say: “Gripping… a stunning achievement, full of heart, full of grace, full of truth” – Erica Wagner
Read More: Dua Lipa On Her Top Book Recommendations
On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
On Earth We Are Briefly GorgeousOcean Vuong
What We Say: This semi-autobiographical novel speaks solemnly of Vuong’s experiences as an immigrant and a gay man and is written as a beautifully honest open letter to his mother who can’t read.
What They Say: “Everything is beautiful in this debut… Vuong has originality running through his veins, and a good deal of humour and impish charm… This impressive debut hints at even greater things to come” – The Times
Oh William!Elizabeth Strout
What We Say: The Pulitzer Prize-winning, Booker-longlisted, bestselling author brings us back to the captivating world of Lucy Barton in a luminous new novel. Oh William! delves into themes of love, loss, and unexpected family secrets that can unsettle and confound us at any stage of life.
What They Say: “A superbly gifted storyteller and a craftswoman in a league of her own” – Hilary Mantel
Noughts And Crosses
Noughts And CrossesMalorie Blackman
What We Say: Thrilling and dangerous, breathtaking and heartbreaking, this novel explores race and equality through a dystopian Romeo and Juliet for modern times. It’s a fine example of just how powerful young adult fiction can be.
What They Say: “Packs some powerful political punches… But Blackman never compromises the story, which is dramatic, moving and brave” –Guardian
Norwegian WoodHaruki Murakami
What We Say: A tale of depression, suicide and trauma, Norwegian Wood takes a deep dive into mental illness and leaves you with a message of hope: to keep living and rebuilding after loss.
What They Say: “This book is undeniably hip, full of student uprisings, free love, booze and 1960s pop, it’s also genuinely emotionally engaging, and describes the highs of adolescence as well as the lows” – Independent On Sunday
Kink: StoriesRO Kwon & Garth Greenwell
What We Say: A revolutionary anthology of short fiction edited by acclaimed writers RO Kwon and Garth Greenwell, this brilliant collection delves into themes of love, desire, BDSM, and diverse sexual interests. The lineup of contributors includes Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado, and many others!
What They Say: “A reflective and must-read collection” - Stylist
Half Of A Yellow Sun
Half Of A Yellow SunChimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What We Say: In this epic following the lives of Ugwu, Olanna, Odenigbo, Kainene and Richard throughout the horrors of the Biafran War, Ngozi Adichie is operating at the peak of her powers. Gripping, devastating and unputdownable.
What They Say: “I look with awe and envy at this young woman from Africa who is recording the history of her country. She is fortunate – and we, her readers, are even luckier” – Edmund White
Read More: Solange Azagury-Partridge On How Chimamanda Has Inspired Her Work
Girl, Woman, Other
Girl, Woman, OtherBernardine Evaristo
What We Say: An essential, vivid, nuanced picture of life as a Black woman in modern Britain, told through the interlinked stories of 12 diverse characters – ranging from a teenage student to a 93-year-old farmer.
What They Say: “If you don’t yet know her work, you should – she says things about modern Britain that no one else does” – Maggie Gee, The Guardian
Fever DreamSamanta Schweblin
What We Say: Part modern horror, part love story, this nightmarish novel about a young woman recounting her astonishing story from her death bed covers themes of maternal anxiety and ecological disaster. It will grip and haunt you in equal measure.
What They Say: “Samanta Schweblin’s novella is a skilfully paced and intricate omen that tears not just at ecological anxieties but at the core of maternal love.” – The Times Literary Supplement
What We Say: The stories in this collection are a vivid celebration of the new American South – of high-school band contests where boys from Vicksburg are reunited in Vietnam and the pain of thwarted love abounds. This is a remarkable demonstration of Hannah’s established and unique genius.
What They Say: “Barry Hannah is an original, and one of the most consistently exciting writers of the post-Faulkner generation. The stories in Airships are fiercely imagined fables in which hilarity and pain achieve a remarkable equipoise; sometimes funny, often terrifying, they are told in a captivating and unforgettable voice” – William Styron, Salon
A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid SunsA Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
What We Say: A beloved modern-day classic and the follow-up to breakthrough debut The Kite Runner, Hosseini offers another heart-warming tale centring familial dynamics amid a contemporary backdrop of his native Kabul, Afghanistan.
What They Say: “Hosseini has done it again… A Thousand Splendid Suns is a triumph. In Khaled Hosseini, Afghanistan has at last found a voice” – The Financial Times
Read More: Dua Lipa Reads A Thousand Splendid Suns On A Solo Date
A Little Life
A Little LifeHanya Yanagihara
What We Say: Exquisitely written, A Little Life will challenge everything you thought you knew about friendship. Yes, the trauma is harrowing, but at its heart, this is a story about a love that knows no bounds – the love we find in friendship.
What They Say: “The triumph of A Little Life’s many pages is significant: It wraps us so thoroughly in a character's life that his trauma, his struggles, his griefs come to seem as familiar and inescapable as our own. There’s no one way to experience loss, abuse, or the effects of trauma, of course, but the vividness of Jude's character and experiences makes the pain almost tangible, the fall-out more comprehensible. It’s a monument of empathy, and that alone makes this novel wondrous” – Huffington Post
Read More: Dua Lipa On A Little Life
A Fine Balance
A Fine BalanceRohinton Mistry
What We Say: Mistry’s talent lies in creating characters you think you know. Delving into their past to explain their present, he addresses how caste, social expectation and political corruption in India shape the fortunes of his four central characters.
What They Say: “A towering masterpiece by a writer of genius” – Independent India
100 Years Of Solitude
100 Years Of SolitudeGabriel García Márquez
What We Say: An epic tale spanning seven generations of the Buendía family in the fictional town of Macondo in Colombia from the GOAT of Latin American literature and magic realism. One of the world’s most famous books and deservedly so.
What They Say: “With a single bound Gabriel García Márquez leaps on the stage with Gunter Grass and Vladimir Nabokov… dazzling” – The New York Times