HIIT in book form

You know that thing that every spiralising #cleaneater worth their coconut oil bangs on about – high intensity interval training, where you do bursts of hard exercise? Well these books are like that for your brain, but with less pain, lycra and hashtags. Think short, sharp bursts of writing that’ll do you the world of good.

1. Sum – Dave Eagleman

A set of very short stories that imagine the possible afterlives waiting for us, ranging in strangeness, from God being a microbe to an afterlife where you exist at every age.

2. One Million Tiny Plays About Britain – Craig Taylor

Craig Taylor eavesdropped on Britain, and turned what he heard into a wide reaching set of small plays about ‘ordinary people’. They switch between heartbreaking, funny and frightening so fast it’s like walking down a street hearing snatches of peoples lives.

3. True Tales of American Life – Paul Auster

Esteemed writer Paul Auster went on America’s National Public Radio and asked for stories that were true but sounded like fiction. He chose 179 out of the 4000 he received and compiled them under themes like ‘strangers’, ‘families’ and ‘slapstick’. Maybe there are answers in here about what’s happened to America.

4. The World’s Wife – Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy writes poems from the perspectives of the wives of famous men, giving scathing, hilarious voices to the women history forgot.

My favourite:

Mrs Icarus – Carol Ann Duffy

I’m not the first or the last
to stand on a hillock
watching the man she married
prove to the world
he’s a total, utter, absolute Grade A pillock.