Five books about… Tokyo

Five picks from the world’s largest metropolis, source of some of literature’s most imaginative writers, brilliant fictional feasts, and improbable true stories.   The Pachinko Parlour (pre-order) From the author of Winter in Sokcho, Winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Translated Literature. The days are beginning to draw…

Books by the Bonfire

This year we started what may be the only book club anywhere that sends you home with the smell of wood smoke in your hair. Books by the Bonfire came from an idea proposed by our Govanhill neighbours South Seeds, an environmental enterprise dedicated to helping Southsiders lead more sustainable…

You must read this! Books to pre-order

Here are some of the titles we’re most looking forward to this year. If these aren’t to your taste, try searching here

In memoriam Paula Rego

The great British-Portuguese artist died this week. Born in 1935, her expressive paintings were lurid but precise with drama and storytelling.

Park bench reads

When the sun comes out in Glasgow, it’s ‘taps aff’ and time to hit the park. Here are some short book that can be part of your picnic.

The New Scots

Scotland’s new generation of writers, from Sean Wai Keung’s love letters on identity and food in Glasgow to Ryan O’Connor’s unsettling tale of a life spinning into hedonism in a high-rise flat.

  • By Douglas Stuart
    £16.99

    The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker prizewinning author of Shuggie Bain, Young Mungo is both a vivid portrayal of working-class life and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James. Born under different stars, Protestant Mungo and Catholic James live in a hyper-masculine world.

    They are caught between two of Glasgow’s housing estates where young working-class men divide themselves along sectarian lines, and fight territorial battles for the sake of reputation. They should be sworn enemies if they’re to be seen as men at all, and yet they become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the doocot that James has built for his prize racing pigeons. As they begin to fall in love, they dream of escaping the grey city, and Mungo must work hard to hide his true self from all those around him, especially from his elder brother Hamish, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold.

    But the threat of discovery is constant and the punishment unspeakable. When Mungo’s mother sends him on a fishing trip to a loch in Western Scotland, with two strange men behind whose drunken banter lie murky pasts, he needs to summon all his inner strength and courage to get back to a place of safety, a place where he and James might still have a future. Imbuing the everyday world of its characters with rich lyricism, Douglas Stuart’s Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the meaning of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.

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