SPOON-FED by Tim Spector (Cape £12.99, 288 pp)
by Tim Spector (Cape £12.99, 288 pp)
As well as keeping us alive and healthy, food should be one of life’s great pleasures. But the question of what and how to eat has become a source of increasing confusion and anxiety.
Faced with myriad options and a barrage of contradictory information, how can we separate fact from fantasy when making decisions about our diet?
Professor Tim Spector suggests that much of what we are told about food is misleading at best, at worst actually bad for our health.
His latest book debunks popular myths about nutrition, from the health benefits of veganism to the widespread obsession with food allergies. He argues that, along with avoiding hype, fads and highly processed food, the healthiest option is to ask searching questions about the food we put on our plates.
LUSTER by Raven Leilani (Picador £9.99, 240 pp)
by Raven Leilani (Picador £9.99, 240 pp)
Edie, the 23-year-old heroine of Raven Leilani’s debut novel, has encountered formidable difficulties in her short life: her mother killed herself and she was estranged from her father.
Now living in a squalid flat in New York, where she has a low-paid job in children’s publishing, she hooks up with Eric, a middle-aged white man with an ‘open’ marriage. When he takes Edie to his family home in suburban New Jersey, she encounters his wife, Rebecca, a medical examiner at a morgue, and Eric and Rebecca’s 12-year-old adopted black daughter, Akila. When Edie loses her job and her flat, Rebecca invites her to stay, suggesting that she can befriend Akila.
In voluptuous and vivid prose, with razor-sharp comic timing, Leilani’s novel is a savagely tender account of a young black woman struggling to find her way in the world.
NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS by Patricia Lockwood (Penguin £8.99, 224pp)
NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS
by Patricia Lockwood (Penguin £8.99, 224pp)
Patricia Lockwood is a poet, memoirist and Twitter virtuoso. The last of these talents she shares with the unnamed narrator of her Booker-shortlisted first novel.
Her heroine is both a star and an addict of social media platform ‘the portal’. Her viral posts have made her a celebrity, but she is so in thrall to the portal that she asks her long-suffering husband to lock her phone in a safe. Soon she is screaming at him to tell her the code.
The first part of Lockwood’s novel is composed in the glittering, fragmentary style of Tweets.
But when the narrator’s pregnant sister discovers that her unborn child has a catastrophic brain condition, the tone changes to an appalled, reflective gentleness.
Beneath the toxic shoutiness of the portal, it seems, love and sorrow still survive intact.