On Chesil Beach, Ian Mcewan
On Chesil Beach follows a day in the life of a couple of virgin 20-somethings as they struggle to navigate the tricky circumstance that is their wedding night and the expectations that come with that time. Set in 1960s England, as the opening line of the book narrates, "they lived in a time when a conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible."
It's a story of unsaid things, young arrogance and naivety told in Mcewan’s irresistible and elegant prose. First published in 2007, its feature film adaptation is released this month, as always, read it before you see it.
You Think It, I’ll Say It, Curtis Sittenfeld
In summer (yes, it is technically spring but we’ve already established summer begins in May) there is nothing we like more than a collection of short stories that you can dip in and out of without feeling the guilt of abandoning one book for another. You Think, I’ll Say It is a collection of 10 stories depicting human nature in all its cringe-inducing glory. To try before you by, one of the book's stories, Gender Studies, is available on the New Yorker
The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner
The Mars Room is Rachel Kushner’s third novel, her previous two, The Flamethrowers (great) and Telex From Cuba (shamefully haven't read) were finalists for the national book award, needless to say, the bar is set high. Set in a women's prison in California, the novel tells the story of a young mother, Romy Hall, who is serving two consecutive life sentences for murdering her stalker which may sound bleak but reviews ensure us that there is with and humour in the darkness. Out in the US but not available in the UK until June 8th, we’ve already put an order in at our local bookstore.