I’ve started the year in style and have done more reading than I would have thought possible. All the rain and darkness is paying off!
23 books – nearly as much as my best ever month, August 2013. Only this time I did have the children around. I must have locked them in a cupboard! (Only kidding: we often spent a cosy moment, all three of us on a sofa reading our separate books.)
Brenda Shaughnessy: Our Andromeda From playful to profound and moving, this book has it all. Additional claim to fame: had me in floods of tears while queuing at immigration counter in US.
Mahmoud Darwish: A River Dies of Thirst More of a diary and notebook rather than finished poems, this is one to savour, full of beautiful quotes and thoughts.
(Why do I not do book reviews of poetry? And why do I read so little poetry in book form? I do read lots of it on the internet, though.)
2 Non Fiction:
Christian McEwen: World Enough and Time On the importance of slowing down for the creative process – a must-have for my ‘Hurry Up’ and extreme multitasker personality.
Rachel Cusk: A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother Polemical, brutally honest, perhaps limited First World and middle class experience, but eminently relate-able. And, unexpectedly, very funny!
2 in French: Andrei Makine
Claude Ragon: Du bois pour les cerceuils To such lows do we sink when we are on holiday and have run out of books! Picked it up because it was set in the Jura mountains (where I live), but it was tedious.
1 in German: Erich Kästner
Pieter Aspe: The Midas Murders
Sebastian Fitzek: Therapy
Alma Lazarevska: Death in the Museum of Modern Art - review forthcoming on Necessary Fiction Stunning, very moving, economically and impeccably written.
Keigo Higashino: The Devotion of Suspect X
Ryu Murakami: Audition
Hamid Ismailov: The Dead Lake
Shuichi Yoshida: Villain
9 Others (Almost Exclusively Crime Fiction)
Peter Swanson: The Girl with a Clock for a Heart
Alison Bruce: The Silence Comfort reading, as I love Gary Goodhew and the Cambridge setting. A little disappointed by this one, though.
Martin Walker: Bruno, Chief of Police Ditto as for above, except the setting is south-west of France.
Adrian Magson: The Watchman
Sarah Rayne: The Whispering
Simon Brett: The Strangling on Stage
Peggy Blair: The Poisoned Pawn Review forthcoming on CFL. In one word: characters.
William McIlvaney: Laidlaw
Phil Hogan: A Pleasure and a Calling Forthcoming. In one word: creepy.
Travelled to Boston, Bruges, the North Sea island of Sylt, Sarajevo, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Cambridge, the Dordogne, Somalia, Russia, Canada and Cuba, Kazakhstan, Glasgow, Palestine and several small fictional towns in South-East England. Oh, and the constellation of Andromeda!
Where will we go next in February? Can’t wait!