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Three books we've read recently and what we thought of them

Three books we've read recently and what we thought of them

Memory Piece - Lisa Ko

Moving from the pre-digital 1980s to the art and tech subcultures of the 1990s to a post-capitalist dystopic 2040s, Memory Piece is an innovative and audacious story of three lifelong friends striving to build satisfying lives in a world that turns out to be radically different from the one they were promised.

With the power of collectives, community gardens and shared living taking centre stage, we learn that our survival as a human species lies in the strength of our community networks. Ko masters three very different voices in this narrative, allowing you to chart the impacts of this dystopian vision on those from different class and racial backgrounds.

The Work by Bri Lee 

One of the most hotly-anticipated reads of 2023, Bri Lee’s first foray into the world of fiction is finally here. 

While this is a departure from her nonfiction deep dives and can’t possibly ever touch the raw vulnerability of Eggshell Skull, she still infuses The Work with thoughtful ponderings from the intersection of politics and art as she tackles cancel culture and millennial angst, all the while setting the tale against the backdrop of the lucrative and exclusive art world. 

There’s lots in here for lovers of a Sydney-based novel, as well as the glitz and glam of a New York jaunt. If you love a story you can inhale in a single sitting, this one will be for you. 

Thunderhead by Miranda Darling 

Billed as a ‘black comedy set in suburbia’, Thunderhead is a short book, but it is mighty. 

Winona Dalloway is trapped. But through one day full of the minutiae of motherhood – errands and kids and tears and letting the tradies in – we get a glimpse into her inner voice. While her running monologue is full of humour and self awareness, you can’t quite bring yourself to laugh as the tension builds. 

As you follow the sinister undercurrent, you won’t be able to stop yourself from turning the pages to find out whether Winona will ever really be free to let those inner thoughts out and live a different life. 

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