Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

What We're Reading: April 2022


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Welcome! You've reached the place where we, on a monthly basis, round up what the Lighthouse team have been reading. This list will be updated until the end of the month, at which point it goes into the (very open and accessible) archive, to be replaced by a new one.

You can check out round-ups from previous months amongst our Read Think Act posts.

From giant praying mantises to abolitionist feminism, loveable queer nerds and dragons, here are some of our highlights from the past month:

Jim - Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is an absurdist, apocalyptic sci-fi novel that also deftly tackles issues of religion, sexuality, young love and the crisis of masculinity in post-industrial America.

Jess - Microbursts by Elizabeth Reeder and Amanda Thomson is such a unique fusion of creative spirits. Reflections on loss and belonging, speaking between words and images, that leave me with new insights after every page.

Rachel - Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.

Mairi - Abolition, Feminism. Now by Angela Y. Davis, Erica Meiners, Beth Richie and Gina Dent. It’s heartening to see abolition politics enter more mainstream discourse! This is the latest book I’m enjoying on the subject and it’s rooted in decades of frontline work and scholarship. The contributors connect the dots on feminism and justice, patriarchy and white supremacy and violence - it’s accessible and eye opening and I highly recommend it!

Peach - Deep Deception by Helen Steel, Belinda. Alison, Lisa, Naomi. An incredible book that investigates the despicable behaviour of undercover police officers, and the lengths they'll go to manipulate leftist activist groups. I really admire the courage and determination of these women to stand up and speak out against state-sanctioned police violence. (abolition, anyone?)

Christina - The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw a book of thematically linked short stories about the lives and loves of Black women and girls, and it was raw, beautiful, rich and vivid.

Noor - My Fourth Time We Drowned by Sally Hayden is a must read. Informed directly by the experiences of refugees in Libya, this book is an insightful look into the devastating situation refugees in Libya find themselves in, and a scathing critique of EU policy and inadequate humanitarian response.

Lindsay - To be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers is a gentle, character-driven space adventure filled with likeable queer nerds - comforting in the same way as listening to a beloved friend 'nerd out' about a subject you have no idea about.

Beagle - The Crackledawn Dragon by Abi Elphinstone. A super cool magical adventure that's also very much about learning to trust people (well the trustworthy ones of course!) and letting them in your heart, even though the world has consistently let you down. So many amazing characters too, I particularly loved Mrs Fickletint, the kindest, bravest little chameleon who always takes care of everyone!

Below you'll find some other books we've spent time with this month.

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