Monday, June 12, 2023

What is Alex Marwood reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Alex Marwood, author of The Island of Lost Girls.

Her entry begins:
I’m settling in to writing my next book, which means that my reading habits are taking on their writing pattern. Though I consume books in the manner of someone who fears that all the books will suddenly vanish from the face of the earth, I find it very difficult to read fiction while I’m writing, so my knowledge of contemporary fiction can be quite patchy.

There are a number of reasons for this: I’m always nervous that my focus, which is bad at the best of times, will be drawn away from the subject I’m trying to tackle by the ideas in other people’s novels. If the book is bad, I feel a gnawing sort of rage at the waste of my time, and if it’s good, I fill with melancholic self-criticism and a conviction that my own powers are lacking. So I generally stick, with the odd exception, to non-fic in this period. And obviously, that reading will often be related to the book I’m writing. You might, from the first two books on this list, get a hint of where I’m going with my work in progress. The working title is Boomers, though no doubt there will be reasons to change that by the time it’s published!

Days of Rage – Bryan Burrough

An deep-dive overview of America’s underground terror movements in the early years of the 1970s, this is a mad, broad sweep through a bit of history that seems to have fallen out of many people’s awareness. This study of how the civil rights movements of the 1960s metastasised in the minds of a subset of its followers is superb in every way: jaw-dropping statistics (a bomb a day going off in the States between 1970 and 1974!), beautiful pen-and-ink portraits of how the belief that one is well-intended can transmogrify into a ruthless belief that anyone who doesn’t agree with one is fair game, and moments of shout-out-loud laughter. Honestly, I’m in awe – and its relevance to the current world is...[read on]
About The Island of Lost Girls, from the publisher:
It's paradise for the super-rich, but hell for the girls whose lives they've stolen


To twelve-year-old Mercedes, La Kastellana is home, an island with deep-rooted traditions untouched by the modern world. But this secluded paradise is upended with the arrival of multimillionaire Matthew Meade and his pampered young daughter, Tatiana. While the Meades lavishly spread unimaginable wealth around La Kastellana, the price Mercedes and the rest of the islanders will pay is more than they could ever have imagined.


Robin has been desperately searching for her seventeen-year-old daughter Gemma, who’s been missing for more than a year. Finding herself on La Kastellana, an island playground for the international jet set, Robin quickly realizes she’s out of her depth. No one is willing to help and Robin fears she’s running out of time to find her child.

But someone has been watching, silently waiting for the moment to expose the dark truth of what really happens on the island of lost girls.
Visit Alex Marwood's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Island of Lost Girls.

Writers Read: Alex Marwood.

--Marshal Zeringue