Socialist Worker

It’s going to be hot inside the covers

Socialist Worker selects some great reads for the weeks ahead

Issue No. 1911

The Mermaid and the Drunks

Ben Richards, £6.99

The daughter of two Chilean exiles returns to the country of her birth to find herself. She finds that the shadow of the Pinochet dictatorship still hangs over Chile.

She becomes entwined in an adventure with a university lecturer which leads her to explore Chile and the meaning of friendship.

The White Room

Martyn Waites, £10.99

This intriguing crime thriller is based on real life events in Newcastle after the Second World War. A young soldier, traumatised by the war, looks to the vision of T Dan Smith.

Smith later became the Labour leader of the city council and was the architect of tower blocks in the city.

Another damaged individual carries out murder across the city.

This book comes from the writer of Born Under Punches, which was based on the miners’ strike of 1984-5.


Luther Blissett, £7.99

A Protestant student throws himself into the German peasant uprising of 1525.

He spends the next 30 years attempting to bring about another revolution while avoiding the Vatican’s top agent, Q.

Four Italian anarchists who have taken the name of the former English footballer Luther Blissett wrote this entertaining historical adventure.

Welcome to Paradise

Mahi Binebine, £6.99

Beautifully written and shocking tale of seven refugees who gather in Tangiers on the coast of Morocco in the hope of making it to a better life in Europe. They wait a month for the tide to be right, learning of one another’s different experiences.

It shows tremendous sympathy with the characters’ plights. It is a cracking read.

I’m Not Scared

Niccolo Ammanti, £6.99

Set in the south of Italy in 1978, when a tremendous heatwave swept the country.

A nine year old boy makes a discovery that will change his life at a scary abandoned house up in the hills.

A successful film based on the novel has recently been released.

The Carpenter’s Pencil

Manuel Rivas, £6.99

In a prison at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, an artist uses a carpenter’s pencil to sketch the famous porch of the cathedral

in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela.

Instead of the faces of the prophets and elders he draws the faces of his fellow Republican prisoners.

Many years later a survivor returns to his native Galicia and memories and struggles come together again. The book is translated from the Galician language of north west Spain.

A Sunday by the Pool in Kigali

Gil Courtemanche, £7.99

Every Sunday afternoon the pool at an upmarket hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, is the gathering place for wealthy Rwandans and foreign workers and visitors. They compete for power, influence and wealth.

This novel exposes the corruption of the Rwandan government and the foreign powers that led to the ripping apart of Rwandan society and the genocide of almost one million Tutsis in 1994.

hile There is Light

Tariq Mehmood, £7.95

Saleem Reza is sent from Pakistan to live with his uncle in Bradford in the early 1980s. He grows up not feeling part of British society or Islamic culture.

The book looks at the similarities and the differences between “cultures”. Mehmood co-directed the film Injustice, about the deaths of black people in police custody.

Saint Oscar

Terry Eagleton, £3.50

A new reprint of Terry Eagleton’s brilliant play about the trial of writer Oscar Wilde, who was prosecuted for being gay. Wilde was also a socialist and Irish. This play captures his superb wit.


More than just one


Anna Funder, £7.99

This award-winning investigation into the East German secret police and their victims after the fall of the Berlin Wall has become a best-seller. It is incredibly moving, shocking and well written.

Vive La Revolution

Mark Steel, £7.99

This funny and informative look at the French Revolution of the late 18th century is just out in small paperback. It is very accessible and will make you laugh out loud.

I’m Not The Only One

George Galloway, £10

The anti-war MP lambasts New Labour and imperialism, and puts forward the case for the anti-war movement and the Respect coalition, in his book.


Get lost in these adventures

Lost at Sea

Jonathan Neale, £4.99

Brother and sister Orrie and Jack have to take care of their mother and navigate a 36-foot boat safely back to Antigua. This is a gripping and intense adventure.

Witchchild and Sorceress

Celia Rees, £5.99 each

Mary flees to the US after her grandmother is hanged for witchcraft. These two books follow her new life and look at the conflict between the Native Americans and the new settlers.

Walking Naked

Alyssa Brugman, £5.99

This powerful novel sees Megan, one of the leaders of the “in” group, and Perdita, known as the “Freak”, become friends while together on detention.

Megan has to choose between her popularity and her new friend. Her choice will have shocking consequences.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack

Doreen Cronin, £4.99

The hilarious sequel to the bestselling Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. When Farmer Brown goes on holiday his brother looks after the animals. Duck has a few tricks planned for him.

All these books are available from Bookmarks

the socialist bookshop. 1 Bloomsbury St, London WC1B 3QE To order go to or phone 020 7637 1848

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Article information

Sat 24 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1911
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