Couple of quick recommendations and quick reads; both Booker shortlisted (Grossman won this year’s International prize); both looking darker sides of life; both well written.

Hot Milk – feels like a holiday read that’s a bit more than your regular “holiday read”; set mostly in Spain, a tight knot of untrustworthy main characters, some jelly fish, newly discovered lust, a woman from Warter who wants her feet amputated, a dodgy doctor and a german shepherd that swims out to sea…

A Horse Walks into a Bar – a brilliant idea, starts as the narrator, a stand-up comedian in his late fifties, in Israel, walks on stage and finishes as he leaves it. In between, his act is an “act of telling” of major episodes in his life…he is troubled, shall we say, while the crowd becoming increasingly hostile…(It felt a bit like suddenly finding a grown up Holden Caulfield who was busy hating himself, his job as a stand-up comedian and pretty much everything else…)

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