April Book Reviews

April sprouted lockdown, an abundance of reading time, and the ability to finally begin tackling my growing TBR list.  In this edition of book club, I read a fictional autobiography from one of my favourite comedic characters; a love story of friendship and food as well as taking my first tentative steps into the world of Narnia.

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I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan – Alan Partridge
Read via physical copy

An amalgamation of book and television – I, Partridge is a must for all Knowing Me, Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge fans.  This quick-paced satire follows our favourite fabled presenter as he navigates childhood mishaps and his addiction to Toblerone.  Meet the beautiful Sonja for the first time through Alan’s eyes and experience his pure elation at the death of Tony Hayes.  I, Partridge is the perfect comedic biography for any enthusiast.  

 

The Magicians Nephew by C. S. Lewis
Read via Audiobook

Interestingly, the only Chronicles Of Narnia novel I have ever read is The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  2020 – it is time to change that, starting with The Magicians Nephew.  

Despite being the penultimate novel written, The Magicians Nephew is the first book C. S. Lewis wants you to pick up.  An introduction to Narnia of sorts; watch as the mythical land is brought to life before your very eyes by its creator, Aslan.  Travel alongside The White Witch as she finds herself dragged into our world; meet the first King of Narnia and be prepared to be blown away with brilliant magic.  The Magicians Nephew is truly the beginning.

 

Graceland – Bethan Roberts

Read via physical copy

You can almost taste the delicate drops of truth which course between the pages of Bethan Roberts’ Graceland – a tale of which we want all parts to be real. This story follows the relationship between Elvis Presley and his mother, Gladys; from humble beginnings to overwhelming riches.  

Themes of greed and privilege, religion, exploitation, and family are all present in Graceland, making it richly complex and exciting.  The timeline jumping form is a crucial aspect to its charm – we must understand both the past and the present in order to get a good lick.  Graceland is spectacularly empathetic, Roberts has written sheer gold. 

The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner
Read via physical copy

Usually, if a novel has been long/shortlisted for the Booker Prize, it carries some serious weight behind it.  The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner is absolutely no exception to the rule.  Kushner’s world is gritty and harsh – but an overwhelming reality for thousands of women in the US prison system.  Told from the viewpoints of various inmates, a prison tutor, a murdered stalker, and a dirty cop – The Mars Room is brutal in the best possible way.  This read, with its shocking character treatment, revelations, and themes, is not for the fainthearted.  This is life to the naked gaze.

Supper Club – Lara Williams 
Read via Kindle 

After spending extensive time on TikTok, I now know the Seven Deadly Sins off by heart (and all their paramount makeup looks too).  Gluttony is considered as one of the most disastrous.  After reading Supper Club however, I am not so sure I agree.  Instead, Lara Williams’ novel has made me see that indulging in food can aid you in finding yourself, your morals, and your friends.  Food can be empowering.

This coming-of-age story sees wallflower Roberta’s adoration for food fusing with her eccentric friend Stevie’s feminist values – thus the secret society of Supper Club is formed.  All about reclaiming your space, loving yourself, and banishing toxicity – Supper Club is a shining beacon of excitement.  Arguably one of the best books I have read this year – I gobbled it up within hours. 

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