I love to read, there is absolutely no question about that. When I was little I used to sit under my reading light until well into the night, and my family encouraged my fascination with words throughout my younger years. This reading list is a labour of love, and takes no prisoners. It includes books I want to read as well as books I think I should read. I share it with my friends and family and if I’m lucky someone else will have read the same book and we can talk about it afterwards. We don’t necessarily read the same thing at the same time, but act more as inspiration to each other. I realise there are too many books in this world for us to read them all, even the truly astonishing ones, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give it a go.

Reading right now:

  • Things fall apart – this is a book club choice, and probably not something I would have chosen myself. BUT it has proved interesting so far. More to come on the Igbo population, the fall of an old societal system and fears for a changed future.
  • Nobody told me – after seeing Hollie at the Greenwich literary festival earlier this year I was completely bowled over. Her reading made me cry, and not only for the recognition of what a beast motherhood can be, but also for the comedy with which she shares her own experience. I would recommend this to everyone who is thinking about having kids/about to become a parent/is a parent, or even not thinking about it at all. The poetry is raw, honest, funny and cringe-worthy (all poetry should be like this). One to keep by the bed for a long time, dipping in and out when the mood strikes.
  • After her – my good friend Anna gave me a couple of books before heading off on maternity leave (she is an excellent editor) and this is one of them. After ploughing through a couple of chick lit titles I landed on this one. This book unnerves me. I started it a while back but the plot, and the main character Rachel, makes me feel so uneasy about reading on that I can only manage a couple of pages before I have to put it down. Maynard is excellent at triggers and there are so many seeds planted in the first chapters of the book that my mind has been reeling with potential outcomes and even though I am very eager to find out what happens, I am also afraid. I like Rachel and her younger sister Patty, I don’t want a child to succumb to a raping murderer. It is just too much. Perhaps I need to be in a different place to finally push through and finish it, a sunny beach with lots of laughter and little shade. A place where murky truths can’t hide.
  • Butchers Crossing – this one is taking me a looooong time. Can’t get into it. At all. 🙁 Disappointed after Stoner, but perhaps that is just the way it is.

On the list (a VERY small selection of what is actually on it):

  • Invincible summer – another one from the lovely team at Picador. Having just finished The Muse I am enamored with their entire summer list and will likely read many listed on it these coming months.
  • The Last Photograph – this is a strange one for me as I read, and didn’t particularly like, How to be a Good Wife (Emma Chapmans debut novel) but for some reason this one keeps popping up in my head and I have a feeling I will really like it.
  • Freedom – Jonathan Franzen I was convinced to read The Corrections by the same author as an introduction before embarking on this one. I have to say I struggled with the writing style and running detail of the title but, after seeking refuge in a few online reviews, I started reading it differently and reached an understanding for the characters and Franzen’s writing. I am not opposed to immerse myself in Freedom (which, is meant to be better, according to my friends), although I think I have to intersperse my repertoire with a couple of very different novels before I do so.
  • The Last Runaway – Tracy Chevalier Ever since seeing (and hearing) Tracy talk in the  Dovegreyreader tent at Port Eliot last summer I’ve wanted to read this book. The idea behind the story about Honor Bright, a quaker in the 1850’s is something I’ve not delved into before. It’ll be interesting to see how she tackles this relatively modern story in comparison with Girl with a Pearl Earring where she eloquently led us through 17th century Holland. A book that I loved not only for its prose, but also for it’s personal rendition of Vermeer, one of my favourite painters.