The Librarian’s Cellar: Catching up on the recommended reads!

Apologies for the recent silence on here – I’ve been in the writing cave, but also dealing with severe back pain and spinal issues. That’s not to say I have not been reading – I have. A lot! With brief descriptions, here are three books that rated highly on my recommended reads list:

All We Shall Know: Donal Ryan

I do love a short novel. All We Shall Know is short. And really quite wonderful. Told from the perspective of Melody Shee, over the course of her pregnancy, Ryan’s beautiful prose delves into the life of a complex, and not altogether likable character. No indeed, Melody is a hard woman, but a fascinating one, and her actions will have far-reaching – and redemptive – consequences for other lives that so dramatically weave with hers.

At Home In The World: Joyce Maynard

In light of the news that J.D Salinger’s son and wife are preparing to publish his previously unseen writing, I was interested to read author Joyce Maynard’s memoir, which also details her experience as an eighteen-year-old, living with the reclusive (53-year-old!) Salinger. Maynard recounts such a strange and frankly, unsettling relationship, and although the book is not about Salinger, the legacy of his treatment of her permeates the text. Quite sobering in parts, but ultimately, Joyce triumphs in her life and her writing.

Mind on Fire: Arnold Thomas Fanning

A very honest and thought-provoking memoir from Fanning that recounts his devastating experiences of severe depression and mental health break downs that ultimately led to alienation, homelessness and institutional care. A successful playwright, the author recounts his path towards recovery through an intensely raw and painful narrative, but also a compelling one. A must read.