Reading List: THIS IS PRIVATE | Free Word

We’ve teamed up with our residents The Reading Agency to produce the ultimate reading list for THIS IS PRIVATE, our Autumn season exploring our public lives and private fears. From love stories, to thrillers, comedy to poetry, mysteries and biographies, there’s something for everyone in this jam-packed list.

Have a suggestion to add to our list? Drop us a line on Twitter or Instagram using #ThisIsPrivate2018.


Stay With Me

by Ayobami Adebayo

A story of fragility, love, grief, and motherhood and the desperate attempts we make to save ourselves from heartbreak when we try to keep secrets.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

16 year-old Simon is trying to work out who he is, but when his private email falls into the wrong hands, things start to get complicated.

Untold Story

by Monica Ali

What if the world's most famous woman staged her own death and began a new life under an assumed identity? Does she deserve her freedom?

The Dark Net

by Jamie Bartlett

A revelatory examination of the internet today and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures.

The Lost Honour Of Katharina Blum

by Heinrich Böll

When Katharina is caught up in a scandal her life becomes undone by the distortions of a corrupt press.

Nothing to Envy

by Barbara Demick

A revealing and harrowing portrait of ordinary lives in the world’s least ordinary, and most secretive, country.

The Circle

by Dave Eggers

Mae is hired at the world’s most powerful internet company, leading a new age of transparency, but everything is not quite as it seems.

A Horse Walks Into a Bar

by David Grossman

A comedian exposes a wound he has been living with for years live on stage, as the audience watch him fall apart.

The Scarlet Letter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A story of crime, sin, guilt and punishment as the young mother of an illegitimate child faces the very public consequences of her infidelity.

Nina is Not OK

by Shappi Khorsandi

Nina wakes up after a drunken night out, feeling that something very bad has happened to her. Her private fears will soon become very public.

The Dinner

by Herman Koch

Two couples meet for dinner to discuss a crime committed by their teenage sons who, so far, have been unidentified by CCTV.

Ghost in the Wires

by Kevin Mitnick

A dramatic account of the world’s most wanted computer hacker on a three -year run from the FBI.

Privacy Policy

by Andrew Ridker (editor)

A powerful collection of poetry exploring the individual, information, and how we are watched.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

by Jon Ronson

An exploration of the reemergence of public shaming as an Internet phenomenon, and the damage it can have on people’s lives.

Behind the Candelabra

by Scott Thorson

An insight into the very private life of Liberace, going behind the flamboyant performer to show a man hungry for power.


Losing Touch

Digital Content

Part of How To Be Kind season

The Year That Was

Digital Content

Part of How To Be Kind season

Life isn’t a quiet river

Digital Content

Part of How To Be Kind season