Raven Leilani's Luster (Picador) illuminated this weekend's reviews. The Bookseller's Alice O'Keeffe selected the debut as her January Book of the Month, heralding it as "wry, sharp, honest, often caustically funny." The Guardian's Diana Evans selected the title as a Book of the Day, writing, "humour combines with crystalline prose in the story of a young American woman at the intersection of capitalism, racism and sexism." Over in the Sunday Times, Mika Ross-Southall dubbed the debut "caustic, candid and convincing," whilst the New Yorker's Alexandra Schwartz called the novel "a highly pleasurable interrogation of pleasure."
Jenni Fagan's Luckenbooth (William Heinemann) haunted the reviews over the weekend. In the Sunday Telegraph, Francesca Carington gave the book a near perfect score, calling the gothic tale "seedy, sexy and strange." The Scotsman's Stuart Kelly continued the praise: "Fagan’s new novel is radical, daring and beautifully written." Finally, in the Times, Sarah Ditum called the title a contender for the weirdest novel of 2021, adding "there’s a force in Luckenbooth’s bizarre assemblage that could come only from an author ambitious enough to risk making a mess."
Gavin Francis' memoir Intensive Care: A GP, a Community & COVID-19 (Wellcome Collection) was dubbed both hopeful and educational by the weekend's critics. The Times' Kate Saunders called the memoir of a GP working amisdt the pandemic a "concise, fascinating time capsule of a book that will be useful reading for future historians." In the New Statesman, Anoosh Chaklian said the "conversational" biography "documents how the policy failings that made headlines in 2020 impacted the day-to-day lives of GPs like Francis." The Scotsman's Allan Massie summarised: "You will learn a lot from it, and you will find much more that is encouraging."
Tamsin Hackett, Books Co-ordinator, The Bookseller