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Books that disturb and disrupt

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For our Magazine: Disruption we asked Rebecca Worth, Myf Williams and Odette Shenfield of Paperchain Bookstore to choose their favourite ‘disruptive’ texts.


Megan Hunter

The End We Start From

Amongst the rising sea waters in London, a woman gives birth to a child and names it ‘Z’. Britain is irrevocably thrown into a whirl of disorder after flood waters force residents of cities to flee their homes, causing widespread panic as food and shelter become a scarce resource.

After the disappearance of her husband and the death of her in-laws, the unnamed narrator must walk the path of motherhood alone, keeping a chronicle of ‘Z’s’ first year growing up in an increasingly chaotic world. Though it could be considered a cautionary tale told through the lens of motherhood, this is not a story of how to address the social and environmental stresses of our time, but rather an intimate account of motherhood held captive by disorder and the resilience that can rise from the love of one’s child.


Grayson Perry

Descent of Man

What does it mean to be a man? Grayson Perry investigates this curious question, uncovering the complex nature of masculinity, often disguised as an incredibly simple concept. Unpacking his personal explorations of manhood through an anecdotal style, Perry investigates the pitfalls of toxic masculinity and seeks to reframe the traditional notion of ‘manliness’.

Ultimately, it explores the narrow set of behavioral expectations that surround masculinity and disrupting long-held social expectations for the sake of men and women everywhere.


Naomi Alderman

The Power

A revolution is coming, and this time it’s women who will rise to power. Akin to Atwood’s unnerving The Handmaids Tale, women all over the world slowly discover ‘the power’ of electricity that pumps through their bodies, giving them the ability to kill anyone instantly. Women are truly free, acting without fear of retribution, indulging base whims, while men are told not to walk the streets at night. Alderman has constructed

Women are truly free, acting without fear of retribution, indulging base whims, while men are told not to walk the streets at night. Alderman has constructed a satirical masterpiece, where gender roles are turned on their head. The well-deserved winner of the 2017 Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction.


Katherine Arden


Set in provincial pre-revolution Russia, this is the story of Lila, born in the depths of winter to a wealthy farmer and his wife, who dies shortly after childbirth. Lila has the gift of ‘the sight’ and it isn’t long until it begins to cause unrest with the newly-arrived and overly-zealous clergyman.

Incorporating traditional Russian and Baltic folktales along with the iconography of the Russian Orthodox Church, Arden works the two elements of disruption into a battle between cultural tradition and religious ideology, both vying for the faith and commitment of the community.

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Capitalism vs the Climate

Naomi Klein


Originally published in 2014, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate is more pressing than ever. Naomi Klein examines the relationship between the climate crisis and capitalism, arguing that to truly confront and halt the climate crisis we must address global capitalism.

While confronting, the book is hopeful, positing that the climate crisis might provide a vital wake- up call for society to create a more environmentally and socially-just world.

All titles available for purchase instore,

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Disruption for Spring 2017, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here


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