Last Resort by Andrew Lipstein
I love novels about novelists and this is one of the best. It has some good backstabbing, moneyed bad behaviour and a love story.
Vladimir by Julia May Jonas
The title is a bit dodgy and the imagery has hints of a Mills & Boon throwback, but this is proof that a book should not be judged by its cover. The story is partly about academic life and cancel culture but it’s really insightful about the difficulties of ageing as a woman and the complexities of marriage.
Destination, Baby by Torrey Peters
Everyone needs a friend who consistently sends great book recommendations and mine is Charlotte Appleyard (Director of Development at the RA). This novel is in parts ludicrous, laugh-out-loud funny and insightful about the queer experience in New York.
Self Knowledge by The School of Life
I read this in New Orleans and effectively condensed a year’s worth of therapy into four days. A must for anyone who wants to look in the mirror and not blink.
Luster by Raven Leilani
Raven Leilani was my big discovery of the year, alongside truffled cashew nuts. She explores questions of workplace sex, female desire and the racial politics of relationships effortlessly. I love this book so much, we did a whole podcast on it.