Marian Keyes recommends! The bestselling author shares a list of books she’s enjoying and writers she loves
Looking for something good to read? Here’s a list of books that Marian Keyes recommends!
‘So, I read mostly women,’ Keyes says. ‘I will only read a man if he’s really good. Because I read to find out what people are thinking. I don’t need to find out what men are thinking – their voices dominate all media, whereas it’s much, much harder for women to get our opinions out there. So I’m doing my little bit to burn down the patriarchy!’
Last night, Marian Keyes joined us from Dublin, Ireland, to chat about her latest book, Grown Ups.
Keyes chatted to fellow novelist Paige Nick about her incredible career, her special relationship with her readers, and her – bestselling! – writing process.
Towards the end of the discussion, Keyes shared a list of books she’s been enjoying recently and authors she loves.
Scroll down for a list that you can print and take to your book club!
Marian Keyes’s book recommendations fall into three loose categories: crime novels written by women, books about women’s lives, and books by young women writers.
‘I love crime, written by women usually, where there’s a woman detective,’ she says. ‘There’s an Irish writer called Jane Casey, I love her books. Tana French, another Irish writer. Liz Nugent, another Irish writer. Caz Frear, a British writer, CL Taylor, another British writer. Ann Cleeves, do you read Ann Cleeves in South Africa? Oh my god, her books are set in Shetland, and they’re just … it’s like going on holidays as well as reading about murders, it’s fabulous.
‘I like a good crime. And I mean, nothing gruesome. Absolutely nothing gruesome. None of those awful ones about young women being prisoners in basements, nothing like that. I’m more interested in characterisation, about communities, you know, and the kind of people that you have in them.
‘And I also love reading books about women. Women my age, still being relevant. I’m reading a book by Taylor Jenkins Reid at the moment. She’s written I think five novels now, she’s a US author. Also Tessa Hadley is a British writer who wrote Late in the Day, and it is, my God almighty, like, it is unsentimental, it is savagely unforgiving of the human condition, but I liked it because it’s so honest. She’s great.’
Keyes also recommend the South African-born novelist Barbara Trapido.
‘I read her books years ago,’ Keyes says, ‘and I got them off the shelf again because I suddenly felt a longing for Barbara Trapido! I love how she writes about, I mean the people in the books are nothing like me, they’re so clever and they know about classical music and stuff, but I like how she writes about relationships.
‘And I love reading young women. I love reading thirty-somethings, or younger. Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer who’s written a book called Exciting Times, and she’s sort of being called the new Sally Rooney, which I think it’s unfair to compare the two. I find Naoise’s work incredibly … I really laughed. And it gave me an insight into what it is to be a twenty-something woman in the world right now. The things that worry them. It is much, much harder than it was for us!
‘And Louise O’Neill is an Irish writer, and she is my great friend and beloved, and her new book After the Silence is coming at the end of August and I would recommend it so, so much. She wrote Asking For It, that’s probably her most famous book, about a young woman who gets raped and how she ends up getting the blame. Again, not for the faint-hearted. But important, you know. Necessary.
‘And if I can just recommend one more book, it’s Jaclyn Moriarty, sister of the fabulous Liane Moriarty. Jaclyn has written Young Adult books and children’s books, and they’re just magical and gorgeous, but her first adult novel is called Gravity Is the Thing, and it is one of the books I have loved most in my life. It is a combination of very whimsical and very earthy and it just … it really did it for me. And especially at the moment I think a lot of people would find it very comforting.’
Marian Keyes’s recommended reading list
(With specific titles, if mentioned)
Ann Cleeves’s Shetland series
Books about women
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Tessa Hadley, Late in the Day
Jaclyn Moriarty, Gravity Is the Thing
Young women writers
Naoise Dolan, Exciting Times
Louise O’Neill, Asking For It and After the Silence (out in August)
Watch the video conversation here:
Penguin Random House and The Reading List invite you to the launch of Grown Ups by bestselling author Marian Keyes!Keyes will be in conversation with another bestselling author, Paige Nick.The launch will take place on Facebook Live in a video stream on The Reading List’s Facebook page! (No Facebook account will be necessary to view the live video.)Virtual book launch event detailsDate: Wednesday 3 June 2020Time: 18:00 (CAT)See you then!About the bookThey're a glamorous family, the Caseys.Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it.Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much …Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara, gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time – finally – to grow up?
Posted by The Reading List on Wednesday, June 3, 2020