After a full month of lockdown, am I any closer to answering the question I posed to myself at the end of March: Do you read differently in anxious times? Of course not! While my preference for fiction remains, I’ve enjoyed both long and short novels this month, both sober and comic, and, as for theme, read wherever I took my fancy from my dwindling TBR shelf. I’ve shed cathartic tears in response to a political satire – thank you Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony – and laughed deep into my belly reading a novel about the experience of depression – Rabbits for Food. We’re strange creatures, we human beings!
You’ve still time to enter the UK giveaway for Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony, the perfect antidote to Trumpian politics. But get cracking: it closes at midnight on April 30th. Cleverly plotted, beautifully written (unless you object to a second-person narrative) and unashamedly political, it’s a trenchantly honest yet uplifting tale of populist politics, closet (literally in one case) homosexuality and wearing the skins of your enemy to get what you need.
It’s hard to write honestly about depression without sucking the reader into the mire and Rabbits for Food must be one of the best – if not the best – fictional representations I’ve read. And it’s funny! Unfortunately, the second half of the book, set on the hospital ward, falls flatter but I’d still recommend this novel for the intelligent and entertaining way it gets inside a depressed mind.
If concentration’s not your strong suit right now, you might prefer short stories. I’ve described 5 of my favourite stories on the theme of identity in another guest post and, if you can check it out before the end of this month, you can buy my own collection from the publisher in e-book form at around 40% off the usual price.
Or download my e-book to read three of my prize-winning short stories for free:
Tap on the image to check out the nine novels I’ve reviewed in April: