bookhaus: our current picks

Our poetry stock is blossoming, here’s a couple we think you’ll love…

Homelands, Eric Ngalle Charles – In Homelands, his debut collection, Eric Ngalle Charles draws on his early life raised by the matriarchs of Cameroon, being sent to Moscow by human traffickers, and finding a new home in Wales. Rich in tone, subject and emotion, Charles’ poetry moves between the present and the past, between Africa and Europe, and between despair and hope. It discovers that historical injustices now play out in new forms, and that family tensions are as strong as the love within a family. Despite the difficulties Charles has faced, Homelands contains poems of fondness, warmth and humour and, as he returns to Cameroon to confront old ghosts, forgiveness.

Eric will be joining us on the 3rd of June to share his powerful poetry with us alongside a few extra guests. Tickets are available here: https://www.bookhausbristol.com/product/bring-down-the-haus-refugee-poetry/

Sorrow, Tears & Blood, David OnamadePoetry and prose exploring Homelessness. David’s book is one of despair and hope; it is a book that reveals the double-talk of homeless service provision – a society that consigns people as worthless without knowing their backgrounds; which assumes that homelessness is a choice rather than a predicament.

Lea says: “It is impossible to read this book and not come away changed! Read David’s collection to remember him as he sadly passed away shortly after publication. Incredibly moving!”

In fiction, we’re loving…

An Olive Grove In Ends, Moses McKenzie An absolutely stunning debut from a young local author offering a rare glimpse into the harsh realities of street life and love in luminous prose.

Jack says: “‘An Olive Grove in Ends’ had me captivated from start to end. If you don’t know, get to know.”

there are more things, Yara Rodrigues Fowler This is a empowering, radical and lyrical novel about history, revolution and love. In it we see sisterhood and queerness, and, perhaps, glimpse a better way to live. A collage of freedom, solidarity and joy. A beautiful and unusual reflection seeking and forging powerful connection across generations and political movements.

The Doloriad, Missouri WilliamsIn the wake of a mysterious environmental cataclysm that has wiped out the rest of humankind, a family descended from their incest cling to existence on the edges of a deserted city. Gothic and strange, moving and disquieting, The Doloriad stares down humanity’s unbreakable commitment to life for better or worse.

Jack says: “The Doloriad is “what the f*ck”, but in a good way. Rarely am I so thoroughly perturbed, yet utterly captivated by a book. Beautifully written and just as engaging as it is upsetting”.

You know we’re strong on non-fiction! See our recommendations…

The Nutmeg’s Curse, Amitav GhoshThe history of the nutmeg is one of conquest and exploitation – of both human life and the natural environment – and the origin of our contemporary climate crisis. Tracing the threats to our future to the discovery of the New World and the sea route to the Indian Ocean, The Nutmeg’s Curse argues that the dynamics of climate change are rooted in a centuries-old geopolitical order constructed by Western colonialism. The story of the nutmeg becomes a parable revealing the ways human history has always been entangled with earthly materials – spices, tea, sugarcane, opium, and fossil fuels. Our crisis, Ghosh shows, is ultimately the result of a mechanistic view of the earth, where nature exists only as a resource for humans to use for our own ends, rather than a force of its own, full of agency and meaning.

Abolition. Feminism. Now., Angela Davis et al In this landmark work, four of the world’s leading scholar-activists issue an urgent call for a truly intersectional, internationalist, abolitionist feminism. As this book shows, abolitionism and feminism stand shoulder-to-shoulder in fighting a common cause: the end of the carceral state, with its key role in perpetuating violence, both public and private, in prisons, in police forces, and in people’s homes. Abolitionist theories and practices are at their most compelling when they are feminist; and a feminism that is also abolitionist is the most inclusive and persuasive version of feminism for these times.

A History of Masculinity, Ivan Jablonka What does it mean to be a good man? To be a good father, or a good partner? A good brother, or a good friend? In this insightful analysis, social historian Ivan Jablonka offers a re-examination of the patriarchy and its impact on men. Ranging widely across cultures, from Mesopotamia to Confucianism to Christianity to the revolutions of the eighteenth century, Jablonka uncovers the origins of our patriarchal societies. He then offers an updated model of masculinity based on a theory of gender justice which aims for a redistribution of gender, just as social justice demands the redistribution of wealth. Arguing that it is high time for men to be as involved in gender justice as women, Jablonka shows that in order to build a more equal and respectful society, we must gain a deeper understanding of the structure of patriarchy – and reframe the conversation so that men define themselves by the rights of women.