Books: Chapter and verse on high-profile Rev's grief and longing
BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Madness Of Grief: A Memoir Of Love And Loss by Reverend Richard Coles. Published in hardback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, priced £16.99 (ebook £9.99)
High profile clergyman, TV’s most famous vicar, ex-Strictly star and man of a myriad panel shows, Reverend Richard Coles brings us this heartfelt, moving account of his grieving process following the death of his beloved partner David, from alcohol addiction.
He relates with disturbing honesty David’s body closing down as alcohol damage takes its toll during those final days, the blur of bereavement he feels as he wades through the ‘sadmin’ of the funeral and other arrangements, while attempting to keep a lid on his own mental health as he struggles to adapt to life without his partner. We also get a glimpse of his life with David, and his pain and frustration with each alcohol-ridden episode. Moving and candid, this book will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one, or has had to cope with someone they love who they just cannot help.
My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley. Published in hardback by Granta, priced £12.99 (ebook £12.99)
Unsettlingly funny and sharply observant, My Phantoms follows academic Bridget as she reckons with a complicated relationship with her mother, Helen.
With notes of Sally Rooney’s style in its tightly-written dialogue, the book is a subtle dance between two people who struggle to understand each other. The novel builds rich, nuanced characters, although they’re not propped up by quite as much plot as some readers may be used to. It can feel hard to get into at first, but you’ll be gripped once immersed in the characters’ worlds. My Phantoms is a dark, honest look at difficult family dynamics, where no character escapes without their flaws being examined, leading to a slow-burning unease with several tender moments.
CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK
My Dad Is A Grizzly Bear by Swapna Haddow. Published in paperback by Macmillan Children’s Books, priced £6.99 (ebook £2.99)
Little kids love to make up stories – they pretend to be characters, taking on the role of different animals with their parents – and that’s why My Dad Is A Grizzly Bear is a winner.
It is easy for small ones and carers to imagine themselves as the father and daughter in the book: dad as the grizzly bear and daughter as the narrator. With some lovely words and beautiful illustrations, the book carries the reader away on adventures, camping under the stars and looking for bears in the forest. Meanwhile, dads everywhere will sympathise with the father and his scratchy beard.
This week's Top 10s
1. First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami
2. Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
4. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
5. The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
6. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
7. A Court Of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas
8. The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz
9. Near The Bone by Christina Henry
10. The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
(Compiled by Waterstones)
1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
2. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
3. The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths
4. To Sleep In A Sea Of Stars by Christopher Paolini
5. The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin
6. Please Yourself by Emma Reed Turrell
7. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
8. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
9. Atomic Habits by James Clear
10. Why We Eat (Too Much) by Dr Andrew Jenkinson
(Compiled by Audible)