Team Repeater select some of their favourite reads of 2021 in this festive end of year recommendation blog.
Publisher, Editor and Author Tariq’s favourite reads:
Peace is a method-actor writer that fully inhabits all of his characters from the thinnest to the thickest, each page heavy with dirt, perspiration and anxiety. A painful pleasure.
There Is A Graveyard That Dwells in Man edited by David Tibet
A collection that is not only fucking frightening, but humane, wise, compassionate and very moving. Horror operating at its full potential.
This first hand account of a time when wickedness could pass as liminal if not progressive behaviour, is told with a beautiful lack of self pity or hatred (towards its deeply unpleasant subject).
Production Manager and Editor Josh’s favourite reads:
Recommended to me by our publicist Mike, I really enjoyed this brilliant, satirical novel about academia, poetry and plagiarism set in a sort-of near-future UK. This is also the first ever novel I’ve “read” as an audiobook, and it has opened me up to a reading experience I thought I would dislike, but actually ended up really enjoying (thanks again to Mike for that tip, too).
The Disinherited, by Jack Conroy
An American “proletarian novel” from the 1930s about mines, trains, unions, strikes, factories, hardship, violence, hope, socialism and collective struggle, The Disinherited is a truly remarkable work about a time in American history when socialism was closer to being realised than ever before or, perhaps, since. A true worker-writer, the book was originally intended as non-fiction and based on Conroy’s own experiences growing up in a coal-mining camp, and his later life as a factory worker, union organiser and railway carman, until his editor convinced him to novelise it — and the result is a startling, sad and episodic exploration of working-class life in 1920s and 1930s America.
Transgender Marxism, edited by Jules Joanne Gleeson and Elle O’Rourke
Published by our friends at Pluto Books, Transgender Marxism is an incredible collection of essays that explores transgender life under capitalism. The strength of the collection is not only its breadth — with essays on work, disabled bodies, workplace organising, psychoanalysis, Deleuze, and so much more — but also the way it uses these topics to shed new light on how we can understand capitalism, and eventually overcome it.
Marketing Executive Ellie’s favourite reads:
Sterling Karat Gold by Isabel Waidner
Looking for a book to lose yourself in over Christmas? Pick up a copy of Waidner’s deservedly prize-winning debut novel for a showreel of wild characters and deliciously unpredictable prose.
Unreal Sex edited by Adam Zmith and So Mayer
A sticky, sultry anthology of queer erotic sci-fi, fantasy and horror which showcases the finest, most mind-blowing writing on intimacy and the boundaries of sex and language. This will knock your socks off.
Make Bosses Pay: Why We Need Unions by Eve Livingston
Another incredible addition to Pluto Press’ Outspoken series, this handbook is an intelligently written, urgently needed roadmap to better ways of working through consolidating union powers.
Senior Publicist Mike’s favourite reads:
Black Spartacus by Sudhir Hazareesingh
A magisterial biography of Toussaint Louverture, the leader of the Haitian Revolution and governor of the first black republic. It rises to the task of demystifying the legend of the “first black superhero”, revealing a brilliant, complex figure and canny operator in the face of enormous challenges. The new research on how exactly Toussaint and his comrades sought to construct a new society after the horrors of slavery is particularly fascinating.
Reckoning with how Covid-19 has changed even the most everyday, mundane aspects of life, I relished my time spent in this extraordinary novel which perfectly encapsulates the ineffable unpredictability of urban life that I’ve so dearly missed, and the joy, humour and solidarity of community. Intricately told and with a powerful sense of place, this is a brilliant and dazzling ode to London.
A warm and engrossing novel about how space and place shapes our lives and relationships, as well as being a potent resource of collective power. It was deeply gratifying to get acquainted with Annand’s fully-realised cast of characters and with the fictional city of Peterdown itself, vividly detailed through sections of football podcast dialogue and winding architecture tours with an acerbic unknown critic.
From all of us at Repeater Books, we’d like to wish you all a very merry and safe festive time. We are alive and we don’t agree.