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What we've been reading

With the start of summer, our minds are turning to sunny days in the garden, making the most of Bristol’s glorious parks and harbourside, or perhaps even a getaway to the beach. If you’re looking for some reading inspiration to take with you, here’s what our staff, volunteers and members have been reading recently:

This is a collection of short essays and stories written by people from refugee backgrounds from countries around the world. Beautifully written, it’s a powerful and thoughtful look at the stories going on behind the headlines that is sure to leave you feeling simultaneously inspired, outraged, and with new understandings of what refugees and other people fleeing conflict and persecution experience. There’s something for everyone in here, but my personal favourite is Dina Nayeri’s essay ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’

A tale of love and change through conflict, Exit West uses a modern ‘sci-fi’ twist to challenge how we think we understand escape from war and sanctuary in the West. Although relatively short, it’s a compelling story of loyalty, hope, and opening the door to the unknown.

Who is the eponymous ‘Pew’? Where have they come from, and what is that they want or need? This short novel recounts the arrival of an unknown person into a small community. Found alone, with little to identify them the community is forced to reckon with how they ‘should’ treat someone about whom they have no information. What are the limits of hospitality, and what do we expect from those that we help? A gripping read, that will leave you with questions that linger well after the last page.

All books are available through Bristol Library, or you can order them from one of Bristol’s excellent independent bookstores!

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