Backstory #2 - The War on Books

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Backstory #2 
Welcome to our new magazine for book lovers. Rather than page after page of reviews, it bursts with colour.
Published twice a year, Backstory is lively, informative – and just a little bit cheeky. Books and the places we encounter them deserve that treatment: spark and playfulness, not snobbery or hushed reverence.

I hope readers share just an ounce of the joy we have in making the thing, commissioning some of our favourite writers from Alice Winn and Stephen Bush to Ed Caesar, Hollie McNish, Julia Armfield and Sophie Mackintosh.

There’s crunch, there’s light relief and there’s a ton of book recommendations. 

On the cover of issue 2 (April-October 2024) there’s a reported feature from Penguin’s New York HQ on the company’s fightback against America’s new wave of book banning. It’s chilling and, ultimately, cheering.

As usual, my favourites are the juicy and irreverent bits. Yael van der Wouden — whose debut novel, The Safekeep, is my pick for this summer — has written a gorgeous essay on how to write good sex. And New Yorker journalist Ed Caesar has filed a delightful piece explaining why he is now full-time writer, part-time DJ.