Thursday, 3 June 2010
Books are probably like wine, and you should select the right one for the time of year but I treat them like Lambrini. I'm sure that there are 'summer books' and there are 'winter books' but I always pick the wrong ones. Like when I read Wuthering Heights in the heatwave of 2006 or Kate Chopin's The Awakening in January. Anyway, since submitting my MPhil in March I've been reading furiously and indiscriminately. Here are some of the books I've read in the last few months:
1) Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition, B. R. Burg
Gay pirates aside, this is a really interesting look at homosexuality in Stuart England.
2) Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
I rushed through this for the third year of my undergraduate degree back in 2005 but after reading The Handmaid's Tale (below) I decided to give it another go. I got way more out of it this time around (and finding my original notes scrawled inside was a total beamer) but I felt it peaked long before the end. Still worth a read though.
3) The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
So awesome. I asked for this as part of my Christmas stocking because it seemed like the sort of book one reads. I see why.
4) Be Near Me, Andrew O'Hagan
My pal Lee gave me a loan of this last year and I never got round to reading it until last week. I thought this would be a dour west coast tale (and in a way it was) but it totally surpassed all my expectations. I should read it twice but my heart can't take it.
5) The Secret History, Donna Tartt
I read this everywhere: on the loo, in the park, eating my dinner, at bus stops, at the hairdressers, on the phone to my mother. I wanted to study Classics and wear tennis jumpers and drink too much at a country house. Bunny had it coming...
6) Comet in Moominland, Tove Jansson
I read this as part of an ongoing attempt to read all the Moomin books in chronological order. I hear there's a film coming out this summer (in the fuzzy felt tradition) and Bjork is doing the soundtrack! There's something to live for.
7) The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Antonia Fraser
I was surprised to find that The Tudors doesn't do too badly for historical accuracy (I'd say a 70% success rate).
8) Four Tales, James Hogg
Four tales. Don't think I can remember what they were.
9) The True Deceiver, Tove Jansson
A book about two women in one house during a long winter. One of those books where nothing happens but everything changes.
What are you reading guys? As per usual I'm scavenging for suggestions! I'm especially keen on crime novels and psychological thrillers right now...