The Descent of Man, by Grayson Perry

Filled with irony, cynicism and more than a touch of humour, The Descent of Man is a very enjoyable yet thought-provoking read on a subject that continues to have a major influence on society as we know it today. Masculinity.

From the bravado of sport and competition, to the strangled nature of male emotions, The Descent of Man takes the reader on a journey covering all aspects of the modern man. Reflecting on his own experiences, Perry lends a poignant observation on masculinity in today’s world, exploring it’s history and the predominantly damaging nature it has upon how half the population think and act.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Having somehow managed to avoid seeing either versions of the film, I was quite excited to pick up the first of this renowned trilogy and find out where the hype began. Just over a week of obsessive reading later, I was not disappointed.

While I’m certainly no expert on crime thriller novels, I can clearly tell that Larsson has produced a masterpiece of the genre. Murder, mystery and uncovered truths: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo bears all the hallmarks of a classic thriller, expertly woven into a sophisticated narrative that keeps you perplexed and second guessing from start to finish.

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The History of Bees, by Maja Lunde

Spanning across three different timelines centuries apart, The History of Bees tells a rounded narrative of mankind’s industrialisation, from its hopeful beginnings in the 19th century to the sorry aftermath predicted by the late 21st. Through the parameter of our hardworking honey-making friends, Lunde explores the all too real repercussions of humanity’s continuous strive to mold nature to its whims.

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The Talented Mr Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith

Tom Ripley is young, charming and unstoppably ambitious.

What has now become a timeless classic, The Talented Mr Ripley is a thriller that delves deep into the mind of a disturbed young man. Utilising the subtle arts of deception and persuasion, Highsmith creates a bold tale of crime and murder, observing the psychotic tendencies underlying her compelling character in a chillingly casual way.

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Solo, by William Boyd

It is no easy task to continue the story of another, however when I discovered that William Boyd had written a ‘James Bond’ novel, I knew that the continuation of this franchise would be safe in the hands of one of my favourite and most compelling authors. Solo certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

Set during the late 1960s, Norwegian Wood is a heartfelt ode to adolescence, filled with both the mindless and mindful meanderings of the young soul struggling along the path to maturity.

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The Incorruptibles, by John Hornor Jacobs 

In a land built on steampunk contraptions and demonic beings, The Incorruptibles mixes the dangerous ingenuity and extravagance of ancient Rome, with the hard corruption of the wild west. Along with a dash of fantasy, this cross-genre novel harbours both ingenuity and intrigue.

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