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Need a good read? Check out these recommendations from Brussels' booksellers

10:57 24/04/2020
The booksellers of Brussels on the tomes they recommend curling up with

Margaret Atwood - The Testaments
Recommended by Genevieve at Waterstones, Vintage Publishing

“The landmark sequel to Margaret Atwood’s seminal masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale. Picking up 15 years after its predecessor’s tantalisingly open-ended conclusion, The Testaments promises a new window into Atwood’s dystopian world, as seen through the eyes of three women of Gilead.”

Diane Setterfield - Once upon a River
Recommended by Anya at Waterstones, Transworld, €14.95

“On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames, the regulars are entertaining themselves telling stories when the door bursts open and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child. Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? And who does the little girl belong to?”

Tana French - The Wych Elm
Recommended by Ian at Waterstones, Penguin, €14.95

“One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, a place filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.”

Ali Smith - Autumn (Translated from English to French by Laetitia Devaux)
Recommended by Manuela, Tropismes Libraires, Penguin (English)/Editions Grasset (French), €20.60

“In her delectable and inimitable style, Ali Smith continues her literary and artistic career with a fiction project dedicated to the seasons: Autumn has just been published in French; Spring and Winter are already available in English. Ali Smith is a must-read.”

Jean-Philippe Toussaint - La clé USB
Recommended by Manuela, Tropismes Libraires, Editions de Minuit, €17

“Both a slightly delirious pseudospy novel and a restrained and intimate confession constructed from ellipses and detours, Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s new book turns the reader upside-down and immerses them with the narrator in 190 intense pages.”

Manuel Vilas - Ordesa (Translated from Spanish to French by Isabelle Cugnon)
Recommended by Graziella, Tropismes Libraires, Editions du Sous-Sol, €23

“Manuel Vilas evokes the slightest memories – like the smoke of his late mother’s cigarettes – and places these moments in the context of Francoist and post-Franco Spain. A work of non-fiction that is as moving as a novel, yet he never misses an opportunity to raise a laugh. An accomplished ghost story, a major work not to be missed.”

This article first appeared in The Bulletin autumn/winter 2019-20

Written by The Bulletin


Frank Lee

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree about Margaret Atwood's The Testaments. Also, if you have the time, read Factfulness by Swedish statistician Hans Rosling. It was published in 2018, but it feels like it was written for 2020.

Apr 24, 2020 15:58