eight recent books you should consider reading

<i>The lessons</i> by John Purcell” loading=”lazy” src=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.892%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C $y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/6824b830b4c58205e335e81d9e672280358b65a9″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.892%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0 .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/6824b830b4c58205e335e81d9e672280358b65a9, https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.892%2C$multiply66_0.84%2C$multiply_0.84%2C$66_0.84 666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/6824b830b4c58205e335e81d9e672280358b65a9 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Lessons by John Purcell

John Purcell
Fourth Estate, $32.99

Love and literature collide in John Purcell’s Lessons. Jane Curtis is a notoriously obnoxious novelist with a cruel side, and we immediately warm up when she plays with a reporter ready to interview her at a book festival. The action ricochets between the early 80s and early 60s, with two intertwined love stories. There’s an Austen-esque storyline with Jane’s niece, Daisy. She falls in love with Harry as a teenager, their interclass romance doomed when the teenager goes to live with her bohemian aunt. The other common thread concerns Jane’s love life and literary career, and just how much a vampiric writer can be in search of inspiration. Purcell quotes Patricia Highsmith who wonders if art has an obligation to be healthy, and there is certainly a morbid side to this complex, sharp, sex-studded novel built from life’s betrayals in the face of fiction (and vice versa).

<i>The Writer Exposed</i> by Lee Kofman” loading=”lazy” src=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.642%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C $y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/4f53b5ead583fbe4c315cfb76750d8f1ff7412e4″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.642%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0 .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/4f53b5ead583fbe4c315cfb76750d8f1ff7412e4, https://static.fx.io/images/$zoom_0.642%2C$multiply_0.8466%2C 666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/4f53b5ead583fbe4c315cfb76750d8f1ff7412e4 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

The Writer Exposed by Lee Kofman

The Writer Exposed
Lee Kofman
Ventura $32.99

Somerset Maugham said there were three golden rules for writing a novel – luckily no one remembers what they are. Indeed, there are as many writing rules as there are writers, which is something to keep in mind when reading Lee Kofman’s deeply thoughtful exploration of the craft. You don’t have to agree with what she says. This is valid for her – perhaps for others – and it is why her book rings with a passionate authenticity. She covers key practical concerns such as characters and reading like a writer, but her focus, addressing what’s urgent inside you because it keeps a writer emotionally honest, is just for the money. It is not a guide, but rather, like Hemingway’s Wonderful Bundle of Lies A moving party (to which she refers), a vivid portrait of the writer’s life and its endless lessons.

<i>The herd</i> by Johan Anderberg” loading=”lazy” src=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.473%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C $y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/bfa819c9d8500869a3caee47f45ab8f8700be1af” height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.473%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0 .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/bfa819c9d8500869a3caee47f45ab8f8700be1af, https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.473%2C$multiply_0.8466_0%2C$ratio. 666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/bfa819c9d8500869a3caee47f45ab8f8700be1af 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

The herd by Johan Anderberg

The herd
Johann Anderberg
Scribe $32.99

When the world went into lockdown, Sweden went its own way, and this is the fascinating inside story – superb long journalism. In a character gallery, the central character is Anders Tegnell, the Swedish state epidemiologist. In March 2020, doctors recommended strict measures, Tegnell, to their amazement, said it was not necessary. What followed – and it’s a gripping story of someone (with the support of other experts) who kept their cool in the face of enormous pressure both internally and externally – could be called the experiment. Swedish. Without closing schools and with minimal restrictions such as limiting public gatherings and no felt need to engage in contact tracing, Sweden negotiated the pandemic in its own way. At the end of 2021, Sweden was below almost all comparable European countries in terms of COVID death rate per capita.

<i>Detroit</i> by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto” loading=”lazy” src=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.666%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0 %2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/5b3f6a82af1edf68a79e51301694735f90837ec5″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.666%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.666%2C$multiply_0.84 ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/5b3f6a82af1edf68a79e51301694735f90837ec5 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Detroit by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Bloomsbury $39.99

Ferdinand Magellan and the strait that bears his name has long been a famous part of high school history. But this latest study of the explorer and his exploits debunks the whole Magellan myth. It’s fair to say that the myth surrounding Magellan annoys renowned historian Fernandez-Armesto, who says that Magellan never attempted to circumnavigate the globe and that the voyage he became famous for in 1520 was a torn utter failure. by death, desertion and mutiny. Based on available primary documents (we have many don’t know), it recreates in daunting detail the world Magellan was born into – Portugal, which later defected to Spain and was branded a traitor for it – while giving a strong sense of his adversarial nature, confident to the point disastrous irresponsibility. Academic, but very readable and often funny.

<i>Keith Urban</i> by Jeff Apter” loading=”lazy” src=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_1.097%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C $y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/11e73b96255f83fbc2a357a61013eac6aae7cbe6″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_1.097%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0 .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/11e73b96255f83fbc2a357a61013eac6aae7cbe6, https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_1.097%2C$multiply_ratio_0.8466%2C 666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/11e73b96255f83fbc2a357a61013eac6aae7cbe6 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Keith Urban by Jeff Apter

Keith Urban
Jeff Apter
Allen Unwin $32.99

When six-year-old Keith Urban, born in New Zealand and raised in Queensland, was taken to see a Johnny Cash show by his country music fan father, Urban, even then, swore he was the man on the scene. In some ways, Jeff Apter’s biography is a case of caution, as Urban’s eventual trip to Nashville and his astonishing success had the dark side of ambition in the form of drug addiction that led to a cure for detox. But, above all, it is a portrait of celebration of Urban’s life and career – the perseverance required, even for a natural, as Urban was portrayed at the start of the play – while enjoying key moments such as meeting future wife Nicole Kidman at an LA bash, which he described as floating across the room. Informed, engagingly written, this one is aimed at Urban fans – and there are plenty of them.

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Colin L. Johnson