The Whistle Book Club: Fiction


The latest recommended reads from The Whistle


Things Bright and Beautiful

by Anbara Salam

In the 1950s a missionary and his wife hope to bring God to a remote South Pacific island, but instead fear losing their souls . . .

Mission House was not built for three people. Especially when one of them won't stop humming.
When Bea Hanlon follows her preacher husband Max to a remote island in the Pacific, she soon sees that their mission will bring anything but salvation. It's not just the rats and the hordes of mosquitos and the weevils in the powdered milk. Past the confines of their stuffy little house, amidst the damp and the dust and the sweltering heat, rumours are spreading of devil-chasers who roam the island on the hunt for evil spirits. And then are the noises from the church at night...
Just as Bea begins to adapt to Advent Island, the arrival of an unexpected, wildly irritating and always humming house guest rattles her new life. And before long, trapped in the jungle and in the growing fever of her husband's insanity, Bea finds herself fighting for her freedom, and for her life.

Things Bright and Beautiful is a powerful portrait of a mission gone awry and a marriage in crisis, with the strength of Bea at its heart. 


Birds of America

by Mary McCarthy

An electrifying modern American classic about a young man's political awakening, with an introduction by Penelope Lively

Peter Levi, a shy and sensitive American teenager, moves to Paris to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War, where he is determined to live a life in harmony with his own idealistic views. But the world is changing at breakneck pace, with nuclear war looming abroad and racial tensions simmering at home. Before long, Peter's naïve illusions are shattered, as he finds himself an unwilling participant in an era of extraordinary change.

Birds of America is an unforgettable and deeply moving story of personal and political turmoil; of the strange and surprising nature of growing up; and of the questions we face when we examine who we really are. 


The Monk of Mokha

by Dave Eggers

From San Francisco to Yemen, the gripping true story of a young American immigrant and his quest to resurrect the ancient art of Yemeni coffee - while escaping a terrifying civil war.

Mokhtar grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings in a tiny apartment, raised by Yemeni immigrant parents. As a young man he learned of the true origins of coffee making - an ancient art born in Yemen, the secret stolen by European colonisers - and became determined to resurrect the ancient art of Yemeni coffee.

Mokhtar dedicated himself to coffee, quickly becoming one of the world's leading experts, the first Arab in the world to qualify as a 'Q Grader'. But while visiting Yemen on a research trip, he was caught in the maelstrom of sudden civil war. The US Embassy closed its doors, and so Mokhtar embarked on a nail-biting adventure - to escape the country with his precious coffee samples intact.

The Monk of Mokha is heart-pounding adventure story, a tale of underdog entrepreneurship and true passion, and a fascinating modern take on the great American dream. 


The Adulterants

by Joe Dunthorne

Ray is not a bad guy. Sure, he's just cheated on his heavily pregnant wife. He secretly despises all of his friends. His career as a freelance tech journalist is dismal, and he can't afford any of the hovels that pass for a first-time-buyer's house, and he spends his afternoons churning out listicles in his pants. But Ray is about to learn that no matter how low you sink, things can always get worse...

Brace yourself for a wickedly funny look at modernity from the comic genius behind Submarine. The Adulterants is a tale of sadistic estate agents and catastrophic open marriages, helicopter parents and Internet trolls, riots on the streets of London, and one very immature man finally learning to grow up.