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The London Review Bookshop's Weekly Bestsellers- 28th September 2021

The London Review Bookshop's Weekly Bestsellers- 28th September 2021

By The London Review Bookshop

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About the list

Friendspire handpicked this based on a list by The London Review Bookshop on 25 February 2021.

Reading is one of those pastimes that tends to stay with you for life. Sure, we might start reading children's books like Clifford The Big Red Dog, but as we get older, so too do the books we read. It starts with a simple book, then it progresses to young adult novels, biographies, and classics. Reading takes us out of our everyday
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The Right to Sex

2021 | Amia Srinivasan

"Laser-cut writing and a stunning intellect. If only every writer made this much beautiful sense." --Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women "Amia Srinivasan is an unparalleled and extraordinary writer--no one X-rays an argument, a desire, a contradiction, a defense mechanism quite like her. In stripping the new politics of sex and power down to its fundamental and sometimes clashing principles, The Right to Sex is a bracing revivification of a crucial lineage in feminist writing: Srinivasan is daring, compassionate, and in relentless search of a new frame." --Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self Delusion "Amia Srinivasan reveals both the material opportunities and dead-ends of a century-long conscious trajectory towards female empowerment. The Right to Sex reminds us of the foundational complexities to Women's Liberation ideas and why we are still grappling with them. This gathering of evidence invites readers to create new knowledge." --Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 Thrilling, sharp, and deeply humane, philosopher Amia Srinivasan's The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century upends the way we discuss--or avoid discussing--the problems and politics of sex. How should we think about sex? It is a thing we have and also a thing we do; a supposedly private act laden with public meaning; a personal preference shaped by outside forces; a place where pleasure and ethics can pull wildly apart. How should we talk about sex? Since #MeToo many have fixed on consent as the key framework for achieving sexual justice. Yet consent is a blunt tool. To grasp sex in all its complexity--its deep ambivalences, its relationship to gender, class, race and power--we need to move beyond yes and no, wanted and unwanted. We do not know the future of sex--but perhaps we could imagine it. Amia Srinivasan's stunning debut helps us do just that. She traces the meaning of sex in our world, animated by the hope of a different world. She reaches back into an older feminist tradition that was unafraid to think of sex as a political phenomenon. She discusses a range of fraught relationships--between discrimination and preference, pornography and freedom, rape and racial injustice, punishment and accountability, students and teachers, pleasure and power, capitalism and liberation. The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century is a provocation and a promise, transforming many of our most urgent political debates and asking what it might mean to be free.

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The Magician

2021 | Colm Toibin

From one of today’s most brilliant and beloved novelists, a dazzling, epic family saga set across a half-century spanning World War I, the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Cold War. Colm Tóibín’s magnificent new novel opens in a provincial German city at the turn of the twentieth century, where the boy, Thomas Mann, grows up with a conservative father, bound by propriety, and a Brazilian mother, alluring and unpredictable. Young Mann hides his artistic aspirations from his father and his homosexual desires from everyone. He is infatuated with one of the richest, most cultured Jewish families in Munich, and marries the daughter Katia. They have six children. On a holiday in Italy, he longs for a boy he sees on a beach and writes the story Death in Venice. He is the most successful novelist of his time, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, a public man whose private life remains secret. He is expected to lead the condemnation of Hitler, whom he underestimates. His oldest daughter and son, leaders of Bohemianism and of the anti-Nazi movement, share lovers. He flees Germany for Switzerland, France and, ultimately, America, living first in Princeton and then in Los Angeles. In a stunning marriage of research and imagination, Tóibín explores the heart and mind of a writer whose gift is unparalleled and whose life is driven by a need to belong and the anguish of illicit desire. The Magician is an intimate, astonishingly complex portrait of Mann, his magnificent and complex wife Katia, and the times in which they lived—the first world war, the rise of Hitler, World War II, the Cold War, and exile. This is a man and a family fiercely engaged by the world, profoundly flawed, and unforgettable. As People magazine said about The Master, “It’s a delicate, mysterious process, this act of creation, fraught with psychological tension, and Tóibín captures it beautifully.”

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