Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

What We've Been Reading: May 2024


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Welcome! You've reached the place where we, on a monthly basis, gather up what the Lighthouse team are currently reading. You can check out round-ups from previous months amongst our Read Think Act posts.

This is May's harvest of highlights:


Living Together by Mim Skinner - Small households and nuclear families are the easier alternative for so many of us because they are key to the individualist, neoliberal project. I loved learning about all the other ways of living in this book - from homes founded on shared ideology to collective living made corporate to centring of disabled communities. Reading about these ways of living, with their flaws, struggles and visions, allow us to peel off norms and assumptions, accessing key questions about what makes a home.


Self-Care for Autistic People by Dr Megan Anna Neff - A thoughtful, effective and - crucially - intersectional book of advice and affirmation


A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar - a short but meditative and reflective read on art, grief, connection and just going to a different place to process big feelings. I highly recommend, especially if you're heading on a trip.

Three Worlds: Memoirs of an Arab-Jew by Avi Shlaim - I'm 30 pages in and this is already a really great and important read. By recounting and reflecting on intertwining histories, both regional and familial, Shlaim remembers the oft erased histories of Arab Jews who have been ignored by Zionist national myths and identity construction, and yet who show that the Zionist logic of exclusivity and isolation is flawed and hollow.


Homebody : Discovering What It Means To Be Me by Theo Parish: Aesthetically delightful line work and colour palette please the eyes throughout this graphic memoir. Broken down into chronological stages of self awareness and realisation Theo takes us along on their journey of discovering their authentic self with some lovely affirmations, that apply to all of us, along the way.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel: A smart time and space travel tale with heart and humanity, and great world building in under 300 pages (which St John Mandel does so well). Perhaps not as absorbing as Station Eleven but still well worth a read. I enjoyed the autofictional aspects of the author character and the neat tying up of many story threads.

Love that Journey for Me by Emily Garside - How many Schitt’s Creek rewatches is too many? This wee book from the Inklings series felt like having a friendly chat with a super fan over a couple of smoothies at Café Tropical. Perfect for revisiting everyone’s favourite inclusive backwater town (and people) without doing another 200+ hours binge.

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