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Sarah Moss' Favourite Reads of 2021

Posted on 11th November 2021 by Anna Orhanen

We are delighted to have Sarah Moss, the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall (2018), the former Waterstones Book of the Month Summerwater (2020) and The Fell (2021) share her favourite reads of 2021 with our readers, as well as reveal what bookish delights she would like to receive this Christmas.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

This is a novella about a kind man going about his business in a small town in Ireland at Christmas 1985 and encountering the Magdalen House that the community is ignoring. It’s beautifully written, subtle and generous.

£10.00
Hardback
10+ in stock
Available
Set in a small Irish town and following a coal and timber merchant confronted by the past, this magnetic tale of determination and quiet heroism from the author of Foster is as hopeful as it is haunting.
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The Best Catholics in the World by Derek Scally

I moved to Ireland 18 months ago and this book has been my best guide to the dark and complex history of the nation’s relationship to the church since independence. It’s been fashionable to blame the church for everything for which you can’t blame the English, but Scally dissects the complicity of communities, families and institutions in corruption and abuse with acuity and sympathy.

£16.99
Paperback
In stock
Available
In this thought-provoking exploration of a country reckoning with its troubled past, Scally delivers an insightful, reflective account of what it means to be a Catholic in contemporary Ireland.
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Brood by Jackie Polzin

The life of a woman enduring Trump’s America told through her care for her chickens. It reminded me of Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport which I also loved, clever and funny and sad.

£14.99 £7.49
Hardback
10+ in stock
Available
Filled with care, grief and hope, this dazzlingly unique debut about a year in the life of a woman dedicated to her small brood of four chickens is an arresting meditation on choices and motherhood.
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Burntcoat by Sarah Hall

Possibly the first lockdown novel, dark and brilliant as you’d expect from Sarah Hall.

£12.99
Hardback
Out of stock
Suffused with a sensual passion, Hall’s deft novel finds a dying sculptor reflecting on love, lust and lockdown in limpid, impeccably crafted prose.

This product is only available to collect in store.

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The Promise by Damon Galgut

I seem to be particularly appreciative of moral ambiguity and individuals’ ambivalent responses to social injustice this year. None of the characters is likeable and the pleasure comes from the quality of the writing. This is a haunting book about the failure of good intentions in a white bourgeois family in post-apartheid South Africa.

£16.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
Available
Set during four funerals across four decades, Galgut’s panoramic study of one white South African family’s tribulations foregrounds the intimately personal in the epic narrative of a rapidly changing nation.
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One I’d like for Christmas:

Christmas presents should be about abundance and pleasure. I buy and read fiction all year but beautiful hardback cookbooks are different: I’d like Claudia Roden’s Med and/or Salma Hage’s Middle Eastern Sweets, over which I keep lingering in bookshops.

Med by Claudia Roden

Med
£28.00 £25.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
Available
One of our best-loved food writers and an iconic promoter of Mediterranean cuisine in Britain delivers a stunning compendium that features beautifully simple dishes bursting with flavour, complete with unforgettable stories and insights gathered during a lifetime of travelling.
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Middle Eastern Sweets by Salma Hage

£24.95
Hardback
10+ in stock
Available
From cream-filled pancakes to spicy biscuits and aromatic pastries, this beautiful collection of sweet recipes from Salma Hage includes incredible treats that are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
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