Firmdale Book Salon Online - The Five Best Books to Read Right Now

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the best five books to read right now

We are bringing our popular Book Salons online, in partnership with our friends at Ultimate Library.

Be inspired by their list of the best five books to read right now:

  1. Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency by Olivia Laing

An inspiring and inventive collection of essays from acclaimed writer and critic Olivia Laing which makes a brilliant case for why art matters to us so much in these turbulent, political times. Funny Weather collates a huge amount of Laing’s writing about art and culture, which examines its important role in our lives. She profiles Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georgia O’Keefe, interviews Hilary Mantel and Ali Smith, and even writes odes to David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. This is Laing’s very own love letter to art and its power to change our minds and our world.

  1. The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Julian starts The Authenticity Project, a movement which uses a small green notebook containing his 'truth', which he passes onto strangers to encourage others to share their own. Little does he know what impact the small act of honesty will have on all of those people who come into contact with the book. This book shows human connection at its very best.

  1. Actress by Anne Enright

This is the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O’Dell, told through the eyes of her daughter Norah. It speaks to the highs and lows of stardom in Hollywood, Dublin and London. Actress is about a daughter’s search for the truth about her own mother and how this effects their relationship, all set against the backdrop of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin. This is an examination of the devastating nature of celebrity: a sad but uplifting story of truth, freedom and love.

  1. Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Longlisted for the international booker prize 2020, this bestselling Dutch sensation from debut author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld is studded with images of wild, violent beauty: a tapestry of language is exquisitely woven and captured with clarity and poise in Michele Hutchison's translation. Ten-year-old Jas has a unique way of experiencing her universe. But when a traumatic accident shatters her family, her intense curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies that threaten to affect them all.

  1. Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

For romance fans, this is a story like no other, a novel that is humble and warm and will make you laugh, cry and remind everyone of the power of human connection. Lydia and Freddie have been together for almost a decade when tragedy strikes. Then something unbelievable happens and Lydia gets another chance to live her old life with Freddie. But what if there's someone in her new life who wants her to stay?

These five recommendations were chosen by the curation experts at Ultimate Library, who provide bespoke libraries for hotels, including Ham Yard Hotel, as well as private clients. Their sister bookshop, South Kensington Books, are also currently offering a remote consultation service where one of their booksellers will guide you to the perfect title whilst you are self-isolating. If you can, we would encourage you to support your local independent bookshop.

For more information on Ultimate Library, please click here.