This Mournable Body, Jack Charles and more: Happy’s Weekend Reading

This Mournable Body, Jack Charles: Born-Again Blakfella, Red Pill, A Field Guide to Punk and If Then are the best new books for this weekend in reading.

On the list for this weekend: Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Booker Prize shortlisted masterpiece, This Mournable Body, as well as the unflinching memoir of Jack Charles: Born-Again Blakfella.

Hari Kunzru’s Red Pill is a tale based on the modern phenomenon of the alt-right, in A Field Guide to Punk, Steve Wide puts the musical movement in historical context and Jill Lepore tells us the backstory to our algorithmic 21st-century in If Then: How One Data Company Invented the Future.

Jack Charles

This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

The psychologically intense novel has found itself on the shortlist for this year’s Booker Prize. It traces the tale of Tambudzai, who is pushed to the margins of Harare, as she clings to the hope that she can make a better life for herself. Via Faber & Faber.

This Mournable Body

Jack Charles: Born-Again Blakfella by Jack Charles with Namila Benson

One of the most recognisable faces in Australian screen and theatre, Jack Charles has one hell of a story to tell. From a childhood in institutional care, occasional crime and prison stints, fame as an actor to his current status as an esteemed Aboriginal Elder, he explains how the trials and successes have shaped him. See Penguin for more.

Jack Charles book cover

Red Pill by Hari Kunzru

Truly a novel for our times, Red Pill is a tense journey into motivations of the alt-right. It’s a story that interrogates online culture, history, and how they’ve contributed to a world where truth has lost all meaning. Visit Simon & Schuster for more.

Red Pill

A Field Guide to Punk by Steve Wide

Beyond the three chords and a snarl, what is there to punk music? DJ and author Steve Wide draws the connections between social movements, fashions and controversies that gave birth to punk on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as down under. Via Smith Street Books.


If Then: How One Data Company Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

You’d be forgiven for thinking that data-obsessed techniques of big tech was a wholly 21st-century invention. Jill Lepore highlights the fact that this philosophy had its roots in the 1950s when The Simulmatics Corporation used computer power for its own manipulative ends. See Hachette for more details.

If then