Book recommendations from Daniel Hahn


I’ve chosen five books that haven’t been in my life for long – they’re all very new, either just published or soon to be published. But they’re the ones that are buzzing around particularly noisily in my head at this moment, and they all deserve more readers!

Grounding – Lulah Ellender

This one’s non-fiction, about the author’s relationship to her garden. A beautiful, thoughtful book about how we connect to our place.

This World Does Not Belong to Us – Natalia García Freire (tr. Victor Meadowcroft)

A story of death, revenge, and a lot of insects. This novel is dark and very unsettling, but also beautifully written and translated – a striking and memorable debut.

Marzahn, Mon Amour – Katja Oskamp (tr. Jo Heinrich)

You probably weren’t even aware that you need the great contemporary German chiropody novel in your life, but you do. I’ll say no more than that – just trust me.

Super-Infinite – Katherine Rundell

Rundell has a very fine reputation as a writer of books for children, but this her first for adults – she brings all her story-telling skill to the life of John Donne, for this new biography – a work of rigorous scholarship and deep enthusiasm, and such a pleasure to read.

When I Sing, Mountains Dance – Irene Solà (tr. Mara Faye Lethem)

I’m right in the middle of this one – and struggling to extract myself even to write these few lines. This story from Catalonia does some quite startling stylistic things (a chapter narrated by clouds, anyone?) which you will imagine can’t possibly work yet they do. Original, rich and totally captivating.