Sandstone Press

Quarantine Reading Recommendations: Alice Hamilton-Cox

While we know lots of people are struggling to read at the moment, books offer a much needed escape from day-to-day life for others. When it became clear that we'd all be spending more time at home than usual, we asked each member of the Sandstone team to suggest some reading material they've loved for the coming weeks.

Today we have ten recommendations from Sales Executive Alice Hamilton-Cox - we hope you'll love them as much as she did!

Finer Things, David Wharton

Finer Things is a fantastic novel in which the lives of a professional shoplifter and a young art student collide in 1960s London. Brimming with engaging characters, Finer Things is vibrant and immersive. You’re sure to have fun watching Delia and Tess become friends.

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10 Minutes & 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Elif Shafak

What happens when you die? This story follows Leila, a murdered prostitute in Istanbul, as she recalls her, often traumatic, life and the moments which brought her to meeting those who she held most dear in the 10 minutes and 38 seconds it takes for her mind to die.

It is a haunting and heart-breaking story.

Truestory, Catherine Simpson

On a farm in Lancashire lives Alice, Duncan and their son, Sam, who is autistic. Alice’s life revolves around her boy and her only time off is two hours every Tuesday – she is struggling. This book, while at times heart-breaking, is endearing and funny as Alice tries to find a little something for herself.

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Stay With Me, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Yejide wants a child, it’s what her husband wants and it’s what her mother-in-law wants. She has tried everything to have one and make her family happy. Stay with Me is a stunning book set against the political and social turmoil of Nigeria in the 1980s exploring love, grief, jealousy, betrayal, and motherhood.

Making Space, Sarah Tierney

Making Space is a wonderful book that shows how messy life can (literally) be. This often-sad story follows two people who are struggling as they try to deal with their past, their loneliness, and their relationship to the people and objects around them.

Yet, overall, it is hopeful and an absolute joy to read.

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My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

Would you help your sister get rid of a body, or three? Korede has, but when her boyfriend-killing sister sets her sights on Korede’s crush her loyalty is tested. This darkly-comic crime novel is an absolute treat.

The Crown Agent, Stephen O’Rourke

A roaring adventure through historical Scotland & across the Atlantic, The Crown Agent follows Dr. Mungo Lyon, a doctor disgraced by the Burke & Hare scandal as he is employed as an agent of the Crown. Historical Adventure at its most fun.

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The Memory Police, Yoko Ogawa

On the island thigs disappear, losing all meaning to the people living there. Birds, fruit, flowers, ribbons. All stripped from their memory and enforced by the Memory Police. But what if you don’t forget, and what happens to you if the Memory Police find out? This is a quiet, hypnotic novel that has been brilliantly translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder.

The Posthumous Adventures of Harry Whittaker, Bobbie Darbyshire

When Harry Whittaker dies on stage he finds himself stuck in this world, left attached to the one thing most important to him – his will. Meanwhile, his estranged son, Richard, is trying to find his place in this world. This is a fun, light read that will leave you smiling.

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Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing traces the descendants of two sisters, Effia and Esi. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. How do their fates affect the six generations that follow? Starting in eighteenth-century Ghana and moving through the Gold Coast to America, this is an absolute gem of a book! It is an impressive masterpiece of storytelling.