It's probably pretty obvious, but we here at Writers Bloc really like books. Like, really really like them.
So we did the rounds of the office and here are some of the ones coming out from emerging writers in April that we're most excited about including your choice for our April Bloc Club book, Josephine Rowe's A Loving, Faithful Animal.
Blurb: Furo Wariboko born and bred in Lagos wakes up on the morning of his job interview to discover he has turned into a white man. As he hits the city streets running, still reeling from his new-found condition, Furo finds the dead ends of his life open out before him. As a white man in Nigeria, the world is seemingly his oyster except for one thing: despite his radical transformation, Furo's ass remains robustly black . . . Funny, fierce, inventive and daringly provocative this is a very modern satire, with a sting in the tail
What we like: Cheeky references to butts. Yes, that was a pun.
Strange bedfellows: The book is set in comtemporary Lagos and references Kim Kardashian, cognac and local dialect.
Bricks that Build Houses
Blurb: Young Londoners Becky, Harry, and Leon are leaving town in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of money. They are running from jealous boyfriends, dead-end jobs, violent maniacs, and the restless tedium of southeast London, torn between desperate ambition and the terrifying prospect of getting nothing done.
Excited about: Reading this book after hearing about her tearing up the Sydney Festival over summer and before seeing her at the Sydney Writers' Festival in May.
Prose Power: After reading Omar Musa's fantastic debut last year, we're keen to sink our teeth into some heavily poetic prose again.
We Love You, Charlie Freeman
Blurb: The Freeman family moves to rural Massachusetts to participate in a research study in which they live with and teach sign-language to a chimpanzee. But in their new home, they find themselves isolated in a community of white people, both by their race and their experiment. As they struggle not to come undone, the pressure mounts as one family member begins to uncover the dark secrets of the Institute's past.
Sounds like: 2013's We Are Completely Beside Ourselves and we're ok with that.
We may be shallow: But we love this cover... It's so pretty.
You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine
Blurb: A woman known only by the letter A lives in an unnamed American city with her roommate, B, and boyfriend, C, who wants her to join him on a reality show called That’s My Partner! A eats (or doesn’t) the right things, watches endless amounts of television, often just for the commercials—particularly the recurring cartoon escapades of Kandy Kat, the mascot for an entirely chemical dessert—and models herself on a standard of beauty that only exists in such advertising. She fixates on the fifteen minutes of fame a news-celebrity named Michael has earned after buying up his local Wally Supermarket’s entire, and increasingly ample, supply of veal.
Real talk: A deceptively thought-provoking book, one that sneaks under your skin and will change the way you think about your body forever.
Praise: Comparisons to Thomas Pynchon has been thrown around with this one and there's worse ways to flatter an author. It's also been called "Fight Club For Girls", which, at the very least, has gotta be worth a look.
Blurb: Set in the U.K. in September 1984, this book centers around one of the 20th century's most ambitious assassination attempts, as a man named Roy Walsh plants a bomb in a Brighton hotel targeted for Margaret Thatcher.
Tory Story: It's about a Thatcher assassination attempt. 'Nuff said.
All These Perfect Strangers
Blurb: Within six months of Pen Sheppard starting university, three of her new friends are dead. Only Pen knows the reason why. College life had seemed like a wonderland of sex, drugs and maybe even love. Full of perfect strangers, it felt like the ideal place for Pen to shed the confines of her small home town and reinvent herself. But the darkness of her past clings tight, and when the killings begin and friendships are betrayed, Pen’s secrets are revealed. The consequences are deadly.
Hollywood Crush: Reese Witherspoon is set to star in this one, so just take our money now.
Born on a Tuesday
Blurb: In the far reaches of northwestern Nigeria, Dantala lives among a gang of street boys who sleep under a kuka tree. During the election, the boys are paid by the Small Party to cause trouble. When their attempt to burn down the opposition’s local headquarters ends in disaster, Dantala must run for his life, leaving his best friend behind. He makes his way to a mosque that provides him with food, shelter, and guidance. With his quick aptitude and modest nature, Dantala becomes a favored apprentice to the mosque’s benevolent sheikh. But before long, he is faced with a terrible conflict of loyalties. His mother is dying back in his native village, his brothers have joined a rival sect, and one of the sheikh’s closest advisers begins to raise his own radical movement. As bloodshed erupts in the city around him, Dantala must decide what kind of Muslim—and what kind of man—he wants to be.
Bunkered with Boko Haram: We've never read a book set in this part of the world, and we bloody well should have.
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Stephanie West has been dragged from Sydney to remote Maatsuyker Island off the coast of Tasmania by her parents, hoping to recapture a childhood idyll and come to terms with their grief over the death of Steph's twin brother. Cut off from friends and the comforts of home, exiled to a lonely fortress and a lighthouse that bears the brunt of savage storms, the months ahead look to be filled with ghosts of the past.
Local Geography: We didn't evem kow Maatsuyker Island was a place. And our founder Geoff is a Geography teacher. For shame.
A Loving, Faithful Animal
Our April Bloc Club selection.
Blurb: It is New Year’s Eve, 1990, and Ru’s father, Jack, has disappeared in the wake of a savage incident. A Vietnam War veteran, he has long been an erratic presence at home, where Ru’s allegiances are divided amongst those she loves. Her sister, Lani, seeks to escape the claustrophobia of small-town life, while their mother, Evelyn, takes refuge in a more vibrant past. And then there’s Les, Jack’s inscrutable brother, whose loyalties are also torn.
The People's Champ: Selected as our book club book for April, we couldn't be more excited. You all have such wonderful taste.
Join our online book club for a lively discussion of Josephine Rowe's much anticipated debut novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal.
Geoff Orton is the founder of Writers Bloc. He's also a teacher and a Boston Celtics tragic.