Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Read With Us: It's a New Book!

Welcome to the Spring 2022 announcement of our new Read With Us Book! This is not a very well-kept secret, especially because we announced it during a previous Zoom book discussion, but I hope you'll all be as excited as I am to read our choice.

Because so many of us loved Shuggie Bain, we were compelled to choose Douglas Stuart's second novel, Young Mungo

NPR's Maureen Corrigan said, "Reading it is like peering into the apartment of yet another broken family whose Glasgow tenement might be down the road from Shuggie Bain's." Shuggie and Mungo are both gay, with alcoholic mothers, and growing up in working-class Glasgow. But never fear, Stuart has said he doesn't want to take readers on what he calls a "working class poverty safari." “These characters are very close to my heart. I’m writing about me. I think my entire life’s work will be about searching these wounds. I am fascinated by belonging and families when they disintegrate, about what it means to be young and queer and working class, what it means when you don’t belong in the only place you know. What I’m always writing about is gentleness in the face of oppression. Really, I’m only writing love stories.”

I was initially a bit fearful of Shuggie Bain because I anticipated a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, and emotionally intense book. But Stuart's writing carries such depth and is so powerful that I call it my favorite book of 2021 and my favorite Read With Us book (so far). Young Mungo has the same stunning writing, and I'll admit, some of the same dangers.  Because Stuart's writing is so detailed, we see the scenes he's written, both brutal and beautiful.

Young Mungo is being published today and is available from Amazon, Audible, and hopefully, your local book store and library. I'm in the process of reading it on Kindle, and will also be listening to it in audio format because I want to hear it in the voices it's reflecting. Kym will be doing a promotional post on April 19th, I'll have one on April 26th, and Carole will write one on May 3rd. Our blog and Zoom book discussion will be on June 7th. And a possible helpful reminder: Kym had previously linked to a useful Glaswegian dictionary while we were reading Shuggie Bain, so here it is again as I've found it helpful while reading Young Mungo.

I very much hope you'll grab a copy of Young Mungo and Read With Us!


  1. I'm #3 on the hold list at my library!!

  2. I only started it at the end of last week but I love it already - even though it's brutal! It's also beautiful and Stuart does a wonderful job of exploring those wounds once again.

  3. I'm ready to return to Glasgow! XO

  4. I am going to listen to it (for my second read!) I am so eager to discuss this book!

  5. Thanks for the link to the Glaswegian "dictionary" -- I have started reading my ARC and have already come across a few terms I need to look up!

  6. Thank you for the link to the dictionary, I know I will use it.
    I am first on our library system's hold list and was notified that the book is on its way to my local library.

    1. I'm glad you're first on the list and will get the book soon! I do hope you enjoy Young Mungo.


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