August 15th, 2016

Creative Authors Recommends

Here’s a selection of book recommendations from the Creative Authors team! We’d love you to share yours with us @creativeauthors.

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Isabel Atherton – The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing
Published by Picador

I recently went to Asia for work and this book kept me gripped for fourteen hours straight. I didn’t even stop to watch an in-house movie, that’s how sucked into the narrative I was. Like the author, Olivia Laing, I moved to New York City in my thirties, and I did at first find myself inhabiting the loneliness on a daily basis of being in one of the busiest cities in the world.

What I love about this book is the way Olivia looks at feelings of loneliness through 20th century creatives and their art. Living downtown, I really enjoyed the description of the Piers from thirty years ago. If you visit the Hudson River Park today it is a world away from what it once was.

My husband is into synths and we were recently in a synth shop in Brooklyn. The owner asked me if the badge on my coat was Klaus Nomi. I looked at him blankly and said ‘No, it’s David Bowie, Ashes to Ashes era.’ I then thought I must read up about this Nomi guy. Promptly forgot about him, until picking up this book, where there is a whole chapter dedicated to him. I love any books to do with Manhattan, specifically downtown in the 1970s and 1980s. Isabel Atherton, 10/10.

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Kate Ormand – Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Published by Tor

In a fantasy world on the brink of war, Safiya and Iseult want to be free from political conflict and live their own lives. Safi is a Truthwitch (able to distinguish truth or falseness from the words and actions of others) and her power is rare and desirable. Iseult is a Threadwitch (she can see the ties and emotions of others through threads of colour). The two girls share a strong bond (Threadsisters) and their fierce friendship was one of my favourite aspects of the story. Much stands in the way of the girls and their freedom—especially those who seek Safi’s witchery.

Packed with danger, there’s much at stake, and I’m sure this is going to become one of my favourite series. It took me a few days to get into the book, but once I did I couldn’t get enough. Each sense was vividly explored and came together to create an astonishing tale of emotion, magic, and above all: friendship. I was completely enchanted by the Witchlands and I’m really looking forward to finding out what the next book will bring.

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Kathryn Finney – Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena, pictures by Christian Robinson
Published by Penguin Books
A Caldecott Honor Book & John Newberry Medal Winner

After church on Sunday, CJ and Nana travel across the city in their bus to their stop on Market Street. Today, CJ is in a mood where he not happy about many things. It is raining, they don’t have a car, the city is dirty and why does the world have to be like this? CJ is envious of other children with more material things and freedom than he has.

With each question, Nana points out something for CJ to appreciate and turns that mood around with phrases like, “Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire.” This delightful book unveils the wonderful relationship between a grandmother and her grandson. Together, with Nana’s help, they see the true beauty in the world. When CJ points out that he is surrounded by dirt, Nana answers, “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.” La Pena’s language wonderfully crafts these characters. In the end, the final destination is a soup kitchen and CJ is very happy to be there. A lesson in volunteerism and thankfulness is precious lesson in this book.

Christian Robinson’s illustrations are beautifully bold and simple. He shows diversity in skin color, body types, and embraces all in his depictions of urban life. The pairing of this author and illustrator provide a wonderfully successful title for many to enjoy and embrace.

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Ben Joel Price – So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Published by Picador

Have you ever posted anything on social media?
Of course you have. Who hasn’t right?
In this day and age, the majority of us communicate via one or several social media platforms . We voice our opinions, we promote our achievements, we share a bit of banter and tag one another in amusing photographs. What ever it is we do on social media, one thing is common – We all feel the need to be heard.

But what happens when our voice is misconstrued?

Jon Ronson delves deep into the murky universe of internet shaming and the search results are terrifying. This book will make you think twice before you tweet.

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