Guest Bookseller: Andy Miller Recommends #YourNextBook

Way back in March when we were biking books around E8, some of our favourite writers and publishers stepped up as guest booksellers on Twitter, making recommendations for #YourNextBook based on something you'd recently read and loved. And now we're doing it again.

Who better than Andy Miller, author of The Year of Reading Dangerously: How 50 Great Books Saved My Life, contributor to 2020's ultimate gift book The Gifts of Reading, and host of Backlisted, to recommend #YourNextBook? 

Over on Twitter 🐦@burleyfisher Friday 4 December, Andy showed us how a professional bookseller does it with these incredible recommendations.

Here are his recommendations, listed A-Z by your choice of great reads. Click on any title to browse and buy, and find all our Guest Booksellers recommendations here.


If you liked: And Quiet Flows the Don, Mikhail Sholokhov, translated by Stephen Garry

Andy recommends: Everything Flows, Vasily Grossman

"not just the Don, quietly"

If you liked: Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner

Andy recommends: Lunch Poems, Frank O’ Hara 

"a little book one can never really finish"

If you liked: Beyond Black, Hilary Mantel

Andy recommends: The Orchard on Fire, Shena Mackay

"I recommend the queen of suburbia Shena Mackay, probably starting with The Orchard on Fire - similarly funny/bleak/shoppingprecinct”

If you liked: The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald

Andy recommends: The Corner That Held Them, Sylvia Townsend Warner

"Another masterpiece of the historical novel by an incredibly intelligent and waspish writer. Warning: contains olde pandemic."

If you liked: Complete Stories, JG Ballard

Andy recommends: Complete Short Stories, Saki

"When did you last read Saki? More elegant than Ballard but no less bleak, funny or intellectual."

If you liked: The Road to the City, Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Frances Frenaye

Andy recommends: I Wanna Be Yours, John Cooper Clarke

"As I suspect JCC is well aware, there is something epigrammatic and quotable ON EVERY SINGLE PAGE."

If you liked: Flames, Robbie Arnott

Andy recommends: I’ll Sell You a Dog, Juan Pablo Villalobos, translated by Rosalind Harvey

"Mexico City has never been so hilariously unappealing. Really good novel and not really like any book by anyone other than Juan Pablo Villalobos."

If you liked: The Friend, Sigrid Nunez

Andy recommends: Something in Disguise, Elizabeth Jane Howard

"Whatever I thought it was going to be it wasn't, in the most surprising way."

If you liked: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Andy recommends: The Watch Tower by Elizabeth Harrower

"horribly convincing and deeply moving"

If you liked In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust

Andy recommends: The Bookshop, Penelope Fitzgerald

"An amazing reading experience"

If you liked: The New Wilderness, Diane Cook 

Andy recommends: Tory Heaven, by Marghanita Laski

"If you are into feminist dystopian fiction of unparalled bleakness then Tory Heaven - IMAGINE IT - by Marghanita Laski, republished by Persephone Books, is horrible fun."

If you liked: Nine Stories, JD Salinger (US only)

Andy recommends: The Housing Lark, Sam Selvon

"a short-yet-rich book, brimful of humour and character. I think you'd enjoy it"

If you liked: Now We Shall Be Entirely Free, Andrew Miller

Andy recommends: Sacred Hunger, Barry Unsworth

"It seems to have drifted out of public consciousness but NWSBEF reminded me of it – attention to historical detail but ruthlessly selective at the same time."

If you liked: The One and Only, Francis King (out of print)

Andy recommends: Capital by Maureen Duffy

"Her idiosyncratic history of London? It has ALMOST NO PLOT yet is completely gripping, full of brilliant lines and imagery."

If you liked: The Past, Tessa Hadley

Andy recommends: Small Pleasures, Claire Chambers

If you liked: Piranesi, Susannah Clarke

Andy recommends: The Liar’s Dictionary, Eley Williams

“kept surprising me and making me laugh."

If you liked: Silver on the Tree, Susan Cooper

Andy recommends: Angel, Elizabeth Taylor

"by the third goddess, Elizabeth Taylor"

If you liked: Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse

Andy recommends: The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson

"how to follow up one unclassifiable book? With another one of course!"

If you liked: There There by Tommy Orange

Andy recommends: The Blue Fox by Sjón

"A very short novel with an entire country (Iceland) packed into it'

If you liked: They Came Like Swallows, William Maxwell

Andy recommends: Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, Barbara Comyns (pre-order)

"you think you're not ready for another pandemic novel, but you are"

If you liked: This Brutal House, Niven Govinden

Andy recommends: All the Days and Nights, Niven Govinden

Andy also recommends: The Driver’s Seat, Muriel Spark

If you liked: War in Heaven, Charles Williams

Andy recommends: Cold Hand in Mine, Robert Aickman

"For something intellectual, fantastic but also really quite disturbing"

If you liked: The Woman in Black, Susan Hill

Andy recommends: I Used to Be Charming, Eve Babitz

"a collection of her 70s and 80s pieces, she is just the most laid-back but somehow sharp prose stylist around. So funny and stylish."

If you liked: Xstabeth, David Keenan

Andy recommends: Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry

“David Keenan would want me to say – and I always agree with him – Under the Volcano, even if you have read it before. Every reading of that novel is prep for the next time."

If you liked: A Year in the Country, William Beach Thomas

Andy recommends: Train Dreams, Denis Johnson

"a) short, b) accessible and c) beautiful."

If you liked: The Year of Reading Dangerously, Andy Miller

Andy recommends: The Gifts of Reading, edited by Jennie Orchard

"proceeds go to charity Room to Read. The essay is called ‘Andy Miller and the Brain of Terrance Dicks.’ Andy Miller likes typing his own name, eh? #andymiller"

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