Verso Summer Reading 2016!


Whether you’re spending this summer under a beach umbrella or a rain umbrella, contemplating a future free from work, or wondering where it all went wrong, we have lots of books for you to get stuck into!

In our 2016 Summer Reads we bring you a mix of translated fiction, new (and famous) names, revolutionary spirit, riots, and lots more: all 50% off until June 30th (with free shipping worldwide, & bundled ebooks where available). The discounts should already be visible, but please click here if not.

You can also WIN ALL our Summer Reads in our epic book giveaway! See full details at the bottom.

We Want Everything: A Novel
 by Nanni Balestrini

An explosive novel of Italy’s revolutionary 1969 by leading Italian novelist, with an introduction by Rachel Kushner.

“A fine example of a literary use of expressions that were then burgeoning in factories and mass meetings, caught between student unrest and worker fury.”
 – Umberto Eco, author of The Name of the Rose

“In this fierce, compelling novel, Balestrini has found a way to individualise the universal, and universalise the individual, creating a document of the Italian labour struggles of the 1970s that has great value both as art and history. Balestrini becomes a channel for the working-class narrator, who stands for all the Southern masses who come north to the car factories to participate in the Italian ‘economic miracle.’ It’s a book which charted a new course for fiction, one that deserves further exploration.” 
– Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men

>>> read the first two chapters from
We Want Everything in our ebook sampler.

The Storyteller: Tales out of Loneliness
by Walter Benjamin
Edited by Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie, and Sebastian Truskolaski

A beautiful collection of the legendary thinker’s short stories.

“Benjamin was the interlocutor of all the demons and angels of storytelling. And this is why he knew its endless secrets. Listen to him.” — John Berger

“This volume collects an extraordinary array of short pieces by Walter Benjamin that lets us see the centrality of stories, dreams, and tales to his own experimental writings… This elegant and moving volume is beautifully edited, including an introduction that shows how these collections of short tales and dream sequences are already doing the critical work of the essay form. This volume is a marvelous gift that will reorient our reading of Benjamin in startling ways” — Judith Butler

LISTEN! Walter Benjamin, The Storyteller: The Verso podcast with Esther Leslie, Marina Warner and Michael Rosen join Gareth Evans

[*The Storyteller is not available in North America until July]

The Lamentations of Zeno: A Novel by Ilija Trojanow

Translated by Philip Boehm

A literary fiction about climate disaster and a scientist imploding on a journey to the Antarctic.

The Lamentations of Zeno is a novel of existential dread... in contemplating the already accomplished destruction of habitats, the consumerism that marks nearly every human activity and the digital onslaught that has colonised our minds, the reader may discover that Zeno’s soul-sickness speaks to some disquiet in his or her own battered soul.” — Financial Times

“A topical polemic about global warming and climate change... The Lamentations of Zeno is half the length and twice as good [as Ian McEwan]. Trojanow has set out on a particular expedition: to unsettle. This wise, cunning book, which does indeed possess the complex depths of an iceberg, achieves exactly that.” — Irish Times

Man Tiger: A Novel by Eka Kurniawan
Translated by Labodalih Sembiring. Introduction by Benedict Anderson

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016.

“A supernatural tale of murder and desire fascinatingly subverts the crime genre… Kurniawan’s writing demonstrates an affinity with literary heavyweights such as, yes, García Márquez and Dostoevsky.” — Deborah Smith, Guardian

“[It’s] telling that many have deemed Kurniawan the next Pramoedya Ananta Toer, an acclaimed pioneer of socialist realism.” – New Yorker

“Brash, worldly and wickedly funny, Eka Kurniawan may be South-East Asia’s most ambitious writer in a generation...” — Economist

“Without a doubt the most original, imaginatively profound, and elegant writer of fiction in Indonesia today” — Benedict Anderson

Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg
 by Kate EvansEdited by Paul Buhle

A graphic novel of the dramatic life and death of German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg.

“Utterly brilliant” — Steve Bell, Guardian

“This book is hard to put down and contains a challenge that is impossible to turn away from: We could create a better world—peaceful, egalitarian, even joyful—if we are willing to learn from Red Rosa.” — Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Living with a Wild God

Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
by Richard Seymour

“Richard Seymour has a brilliant mind and a compelling style. Everything he writes is worth reading.”
 — Gary Younge

“One of our most astute political analysts turns his attention to Corbyn, and the result is predictably essential: not just to make sense of how we got to this unlikely situation, but for his thoughts on what the left might do next”
 — China Miéville

[*Corbyn is not available in North America until July]

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams

A major new manifesto for a high-tech future free from work.

“A fascinating book about an alternative to austerity.” — Owen Jones

“A powerful book: it not only shows us how the postcapitalist world of rapidly improving technology could make us free, but it also shows us how we can organise to get there. This is a must-read.” — Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future

A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America by Óscar Martínez
Translated by Daniela Maria Ugaz and John Washington. Introduction by Jon Lee Anderson (read here)

“A chilling portrait of corruption, unimaginable brutality and impunity” — Financial Times

“If you take just one book to Central America on holiday, don't pick this one. Oscar Martinez has written a punishing account of the lives of the poor in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Melding acuity and anger, he unveils the scary realities of organised crime... Mr Martinez deserves credit for bringing it so effectively to life” — Economist

The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A beautiful epic of growing up in 1980s Baltimore, from the author of Between the World and Me.

- Image from The Atlantic “White Privilege” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“The intellectual heir to James Baldwin.” — Financial Times

“One of the most high-profile commentators on race in the United States ...Reading this book is an intoxicating experience” — New Statesman

[*The Beautiful Struggle is not available in North America]

How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature by George Monbiot

George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do.

“A dazzling command of science and relentless faith in people … I never miss reading him.” — Naomi Klein

The Ministry of Nostalgia: Consuming Austerity by 
Owen Hatherley

In coruscating prose—with subjects ranging from Ken Loach’s documentaries, Turner Prize–shortlisted video art, London vernacular architecture, and Jamie Oliver’s cooking—Hatherley issues a passionate challenge to the injunction to keep calm and carry on.

“A brave, incisive, elegant and erudite writer, whose books dissect the contemporary built environment to reveal the political fantasies and social realities it embodies.” — Will Self

False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton edited by
Liza Featherstone

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the mantle of feminist elect has descended on Hillary Clinton, as a thousand viral memes applaud her, and most mainstream feminist leaders, thinkers, and organizations endorse her. In this atmosphere, dissent seems tantamount to political betrayal.

In False Choices, an all-star lineup of feminists contests this simplistic reading of the candidate. A detailed look at Hillary Clinton’s track record on welfare, Wall Street, criminal justice, education, and war reveals that she has advanced laws and policies that have done real harm to the lives of women and children across the country and the globe.

Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London by Matthew Beaumont
Foreword by Will Self

“Part literary criticism, part social history, part polemic, this is a haunting addition to the canon of psychogeography.” — Financial Times

“This is a book pulsing with life, just as the streets do, despite attempts to cut that liminal, semi-illicit life off. The foreword and afterword, by Will Self, beautifully bracket the book, reinforcing the idea that the city is layered over time, and that each layer is accessible, and can be made vivid in the imagination. Why Nightwalking has not won a major award is beyond mine.” — Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques
Afterword by Sheila Heti

A moving memoir and insightful examination of transgender politics.

“Brave and moving, Trans is necessary reading for anyone who cares about gender, power, freedom and desire. Juliet Jacques deals with the forces of cruelty and ignorance with a hard-won clarity and calm. A vital voice in our turbulent times.” — Olivia Laing, author of The Trip to Echo Spring

“Powerful and engaging. . . it’s hard not to see her as anything other than brave, even as she pushes readers to recognize that what is revolutionary is the very ordinariness of her day-to-day life.” — New York Times

Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives edited by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton

With contributions from #BlackLivesMatter & Ferguson activists, as well as leading writers and experts, Policing the Planet traces the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton. It’s a doctrine that has vastly broadened police power the world over—to deadly effect.

Riot. Strike. Riot: The New Era of Uprisings by Joshua Clover

Baltimore. Ferguson. Tottenham. Clichy-sous-Bois. Oakland. Ours has become an “age of riots” as the struggle of people versus state and capital has taken to the streets. Award-winning poet and scholar Joshua Clover offers a new understanding of this present moment and its history.

“In the split second between the throwing and the landing of a Molotov lies a world of conceptual confusion. Joshua Clover’s Riot. Strike. Riot is the crystalline analysis of this fraught moment—between communism and anarchism, between street protest and economic strike.” — Nina Power

Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics by Jules Boykoff
Foreword by Dave Zirin

“A great irony is that the modern Olympics, first envisioned as an alternative to war, have themselves become a form of low-intensity warfare. As Jules Boykoff chronicles in this pathbreaking history, host cities have used the Games to leverage urban renewal, neighborhood demolition, and mass population displacement. The preparations for the Rio Olympics have gone one step further and become a literal urban counterinsurgency, as elite police units occupy and ‘cleanse’ one favela after another.” — Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

Last Futures: Nature, Technology, and the End of Architecture
by Douglas Murphy

“No one warns you that when you get old eras that you lived through are, to the next generation, history. And it is salutory to have one of the wilder fringes of that history recounted with the acuity, sympathy and fluency Douglas Murphy brings to it. The cast is extraordinary: oddballs, philosophers, seers—and a few frauds.” — Jonathan Meades

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being by William Davies

“Deeply researched and pithily argued, Davies's work is a welcome corrective to the glut of semi-scientific happiness books that have become so popular in business and management circles, and which rarely, if ever, acknowledge the larger ideological goals of workplace well-being.” — New York Magazine

In a fascinating investigation combining history, science and ideas, William Davies shows how well-being influences all aspects of our lives: business, finance, marketing and smart technology. The Happiness Industry is a shocking and brilliantly argued warning about the new religion of the age: our emotions.

Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek

How the British government packaged and sold its people to the world— winner of the Orwell Prize for Books.

“Do yourself a favour: read Private Island and find out what has really happened in Britain over the past 20 years.” — John Gray, Guardian

“James Meek’s superb book exposes the perversities, hypocrisies and failures of privatisation. Meek is a writer of fiction as well as a journalist, and it shows: he crafts beautiful and vivid passages that turn what could be a dry subject into a highly readable study.” — Owen Jones, New Stateman

The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka's Civil War  by 
Rohini Mohan

The Seasons of Trouble is devastatingly good. Rohini Mohan’s intimately rendered account of the brutal end-game and unfinished aftermath of Sri Lanka’s civil war is breathtakingly well-told. By focusing on the lives of three Tamils and telling their stories in novelistic detail, Mohan has revealed a modern tragedy of truly epic proportions. Haunting and unforgettable.” — Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker

“In large part a chronicle of war and its aftermath, Mohan’s impressive study is also a Kafkaesque story of survival in a society riven by ethnic tensions and mutual distrust.” — Lucy Popescu, Times Literary Supplement

State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious by 
Isabell Lorey
Translated by Aileen Derieg. Foreword by Judith Butler

Years of remodelling the welfare state, the rise of technology, and the growing power of neoliberal government apparatuses have established a society of the precarious. Isabell Lorey explores the possibilities for organization and resistance under the contemporary status quo, and anticipates the emergence of a new and disobedient self-government of the precarious.

Planet/Cuba: Art, Culture, and the Future of the Island by 
Rachel Price

“A rich revelation of Cuban art today; it will amaze, fascinate and instruct.” —  Fredric Jameson


Let us sort out your summer reading by giving you a copy of EVERY BOOK ON THIS LIST (plus obligatory tote bag). We'll choose one super winner from the UK/ROW and another from North America to win this massive bundle of books. A futher 10 winners (5 from each region) will win a smaller bundle including We Want Everything, The Lamentations of Zeno, The Storyteller, and Man Tiger.

How to enter:

On Twitter! tell us your favourite summer read of all time AND share our Summer Reads using the hashtag #VersoSummerReading. Example here!

On Facebook!
like and share our Summer Reads post

On Tumblr!
reblog our Summer Reads post


There will be one super winner from North America and another from UK/ROW. They will win a copy of every book on this list, available in that region, & tote bag.

A further 10 winners (5 from North America, 5 from UK/ROW) will win a bundle of our new translated fiction (We Want Everything, The Lamentations of Zeno, The Storyteller, and Man Tiger), and tote bag.

The giveaway will end on 30th June at 23.00 EST

The winners will be picked completely at random and notified on 1st July by 14.00 ES

- Steven Spielberg in the mouth of Jaws