Easy reads for busy weeks, dreamy interiors and supermarket bao
We can’t always face a hefty literary tome when life gets hectic. Keep things light with these uncomplicated (but still intelligent) new books

When we’re juggling meetings, deadlines and social plans, cracking open the latest 600-page prize-winner can feel like just another task on our to-do lists. At times like these, stick to slim, nimble reads – like Grand Union, Zadie Smith’s first collection of short stories. Published last week, it tackles subjects including cancel culture, desire and race with Smith’s trademark insight and lightness of touch.

If memoirs are more your thing, dip into the Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen, the cult Danish poet and author who died in 1971. Across three featherweight volumes (Childhood, Youth and Dependency), Ditlevsen’s taut, simple prose shines a light on what life and love were like for working-class women in 20th century Copenhagen. Elena Ferrante fans, take note.

Finally, Lillian Li’s Number One Chinese Restaurant – which follows Chinese-American teenagers Annie and Pat as they try to extricate themselves from the grip of their family restaurant – is now out in paperback. Longlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction, it’s warm, moving and extremely funny. Happy reading.

In today’s good news: you can now chow on delicious bao without leaving the house. Stylist’s food editor Jenny Tregoning explains

Since Bao first opened in Soho four years ago, those springy, pillowy soft Taiwanese buns have rocketed in popularity. But if you don’t fancy the queues, head to your local supermarket. Itsu has just launched hoisin duck bao in Sainsbury’s that can be cooked from frozen in just 60 seconds (there is a god), while Marks & Spencer has also added ready-made bao to its shelves. 

Need some filling inspiration? Try Jeremy Pang’s fish finger bao recipe (the acceptable face of the fish finger sandwich) and Izy Hossack’s vegan take, using crispy, gochugang-glazed tofu. Pang’s School Of Wok also sells step-by-step kits to make bao from scratch in just 30 minutes, with a video to help. Yum.

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There’s nothing quite like sitting yourself down in a good armchair and catching up on a pile of books you’ve been too busy to read. Or if it’s a Sunday, make that the list of Netflix shows you’ve been coveting along with a big bag of posh crisps. We’ve got our eye on this teal armchair from John Lewis & Partners as the perfect companion. The scalloped back and swivel base is a chic detail making it the ideal living room or bedroom accessory.

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It’s Stylist’s 10th birthday – and here’s the soundtrack to our celebrations 

Ten years ago this week, Stylist launched its first ever issue. Angelina Jolie was the cover star, The Style List featured the snazzy Samsung’s Genio Touch, and our actress to watch – fresh from filming An Education – was Carey Mulligan. We haven’t stopped since. To celebrate the last decade, you’ll find heaps of nostalgia over on this week – and to really get the party started, we’ve created a playlist of 2009’s hottest hits. Happy birthday to us!    

Embrace autumn in style with this unique new subscription service

Autumn is officially here, and so are our delicious veg boxes packed full of harvest bounty. But as we tuck into our roasted squash, other seasonal riches await. From The Post House is a new subscription service created by ex-fashion buyer and interior stylist Hannah Risbridger, offering packages of beautifully curated homewares just in time for the start of each season.

From bespoke scented candles and British-grown flowers to table vignettes and hand-designed prints, these quarterly boxes are filled with gems to reinvigorate your living space. Plus, they’ll always give you a reason to look forward to the post – just ask the Stylist Loves team, who can vouch for the best unboxing experience of the year. From £35 for a set of six autumnal table settings

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