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5 books to read during summer

Still looking for beautiful, poignant or profound reading material for during your holidays? We give you 5 book tips that will also take you straight to the writers and thinkers who will be on our stage next season. Read them now and meet them soon.

Mona Chollet, In Defence of Witches

This book is a feminist manifesto that argues for the recognition and respect of witchcraft as a form of women's knowledge. Chollet discusses the history and cultural significance of witches, and how they have been vilified and repressed for centuries. She also explores the ways in which witchcraft is still relevant and powerful today, as a form of resistance against patriarchal oppression. Chollet argues that witches offer a radical alternative model of femininity, one that is confident, independent, and unafraid to challenge the status quo. Through her insightful and passionate writing, Chollet calls for a revaluation of witches and the wisdom they offer.

Adania Shibli, Minor Detail

Minor Detail, written by Adania Shibli, is a thought-provoking book that delves into the power dynamics of occupation and oppression. The book is set in a Palestinian village that is under constant surveillance and control by Israeli authorities. The story follows several characters who are struggling to survive in this oppressive environment, each with their own unique perspective on the situation. Through their experiences, the book explores themes of resistance, trauma, and memory. Shibli's writing is subtle and atmospheric, drawing the reader into the world of the novel and allowing them to experience the harsh realities of life under occupation.

Helen Thompson, Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century

Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century is a long history of this present political moment. It recounts three histories - one about geopolitics, one about the world economy, and one about western democracies - and explains how in the years of political disorder prior to the pandemic the disruption in each became one big story. It shows how much of this turbulence originated in problems generated by fossil-fuel energies, and it explains why as the green transition takes place, the long-standing predicaments energy invariably shapes, will remain in place.

Akira Mizubayashi, Fractured Soul

The story of Fractured Soul takes place in Tokyo in 1938 where a military police raid disrupts a string quartet rehearsal, causing the group's leader to be taken away and his violin shattered. The leader's son manages to save the damaged instrument and escapes with the help of a mysterious soldier. Fast forward to Paris in 2003, where an instrument maker named Jacques meets a world-renowned Japanese violinist and grapples with his own past. The story explores themes of profound loss and ultimate healing, while also showcasing the transformative and healing power of music.

Philippe Sands, The Last Colony

The Last Colony by Philippe Sands is a book that brings to light the story of the British Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. After World War II, new international rules formed an age of human rights and self-determination, with Britain supporting the movement to end colonialism. However, in the 1960s, Britain's colonial instinct flared up again, prompting a secret decision to create a new colony at Diego Garcia, deporting the entire local population including Liseby Elysé. The British government fought Mauritius for four decades to keep the territory, but in 2018, the dispute reached the World Court in The Hague. This book details Liseby Elysé's story and her fight for justice, showcasing the horrors of colonial rule and Britain's racist grip on its last African colony.