Bedside Table – Our February Reading List

With the weather seeming increasingly more dismal as the days go by, we’re all for CURLING UP with a GOOD BOOK beside a ROARING FIRE. Here are WILLIAM NICHOLSON‘s top picks for the month …


William Nicholson credit: Jerry Bauer

Epic, evocative and empathetic, Adventures in Modern Marriage is part of the Sussex Trilogy sequence by William Nicholson. Documenting a male mid-life crisis and the minutiae of family dynamics, the novel tackles love and sex in middle age. Nicholson has written Shadowlands and Life Story for television. Quercus, €24.99.

Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No 1 Enemy by Bill Browder

A terrifying true story of how Putin’s Russia works. The author watched aghast as the Russian prison system murdered his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky for daring to expose corruption. After a long battle he got the Magnitsky Law passed by President Obama to sanction the killers and show them they’re not untouchable. Bantam Press, €13.95.

Confessions Of An English Opium Eater by Thomas de Quincey

De Quincey was the first (in 1822) to write of the extraordinary dreams associated with laudanum – opium diluted in alcohol. He wrote what he called “impassioned prose”, meaning that he wanted the writing itself, through highly charged language, to convey the intensity of his experiences. Vivid, glorious, and ultimately horrifying. Penguin, €4.50.

What Do Women Want? by Daniel Bergner

A complete revelation, to me at least, about the nature of female desire. If you’ve always assumed, as I have, that men and women want very different things from sex – men want physical gratification, women want emotional connection – then read this book and experience a radically new perspective. Canongate, €10.50.


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This article appeared in a previous issue, for more features like this don’t miss our next issue out Saturday, March 4.

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