Author, self-confessed bookworm and contributing editor at The Bookseller Cathy Rentzenbrink tells us about the hot new books that should be on your buy, beg or borrow list this month
I can’t imagine anything better than whiling away a November weekend curled up on the sofa with A Notable Woman, the diaries of Jean Lucey Pratt edited by Simon Garfield. One of my favourite books of the year, it’s full of fascinating details about rationing, fashion, how much she spends on booze and fags, and the difficulties of being a sexually active woman without a husband. Ever wanted to know how a woman in the 1940s would describe her periods? Now you can.
Jeremy Gavron’s moving memoir A Woman on the Edge of Time is an exploration of the life and death of his mother, who committed suicide when he was four, just two years after and a street away from where Sylvia Plath had taken the same exit route from this world. It’s a compelling read that sheds much light on life in the 1960s. For something bang up to date, Jonathan Coe is on top satirical form in Number 11. Underground extension, anyone?