Guest Bookseller: Octavia Bright 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 for Lockdown 2.

Octavia Bright (Literary Friction podcast) joined us on Twitter (follow the thread) to share her brilliant tips Friday 3 Nov, 3-4 pm. At peak doomscroll, she brought back our passion and hope for the book you haven't yet come across that may change your life!

Here are her 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: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, The Topeka School by Ben Lerner?

Octavia recommends: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver serves exquisitely complicated family dynamics, I'd really recommend The Poisonwood Bible - I read it about twelve years ago and think about it all the time.

If you liked: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Octavia recommends: All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

One of my favourite thrillers I've read in the last few years - it's set in Australia and is super compelling, about a young woman with a dark past... I won't say more though!

If you liked: Milkman by Anna Burns

Octavia recommends: The Unmapped Country by Ann Quin

If you like experimental prose then I think you'll really enjoy Ann Quin's work - The Unmapped Country from And Other Stories is a great place to start, it's a collection of her stories and fragments and has an ace intro by Jennifer Hodgson.

If you liked: Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo

Octavia recommends: This Brutal House by Niven Govinden

Bernardine 4eva! I think you should get your hands on a copy of Niven Govinden's This Brutal House immediately to avoid any post-fiction crash when you finish. And keep your eyes out for his next novel, Diary of a Film, in Feb. [preorder it here]

If you liked: Rapture by Susan Minot

Octavia recommends: My Year Of Rest And Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

You know I haven't read that but it sounds ace - have you read any Ottessa Moshfegh? By the sounds of that Minot I think you might really dig My Year Of Rest And Relaxation.

Octavia also recommends: The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

Hot is important, especially in these chilly months. Very hot sex in that one.

If you liked: Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Octavia recommends: Cleanness by Garth Greenwell

We interviewed him for Literary Friction, and he was an absolute diamond, and the book is so enriching and beautifully written.

If you liked: Shame on Me by Tessa McWatt

Octavia recommends: Blueberries by Ellena Savage

If you're after something that breaks things down in a creative but analytical way.

Octavia also recommends: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

If you're after something equally thoughtful on race then you can't go wrong with Claudia Rankine's Citizen

If you liked: The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink

Octavia recommends: Cool for You by Eileen Myles

extremely banging

Octavia also recommends: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

One of my OG recs for all time and beyond

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