What are you reading?

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I am on something of a reading frenzy at the moment. DorkyDad and I are having a few weeks detox, and the nonsense on television every evening is so much less bearable when you’ve not had a glass of wine. So we’ve been turning the TV off and heading to bed at 9pm most nights for an hour of reading before we go to sleep.

My tastes have always been fairly eclectic, but I think with the last ten books I’ve read I may have surpassed myself.

Sarah Brown – Behind the Black Door

Mark Thomas – Extreme Rambling

Caitlin Moran – Moranthology

Robin Harper – Dear Mr Harper

Marian Keyes – The Mystery of Mercy Close

Raja Shehadeh – Palestinian Walks

Gaby Hinsliff – Half a Wife

Mourid Barghouti – I Saw Ramallah

Train Dreams – Denis Johnson

Alan Warner – The Deadman’s Pedal

They were all, believe it or not, really good in their own way. I always find that I need to switch between fiction and non-fiction like that. If I read too much non-fiction then I find myself endlessly huffing and puffing about politics, and getting frustrated about all the wrongs in the world. And if I read too much fiction then I go too far the other way and just find myself switching off from what’s going on because imagined worlds are so much better!

The stack beside my bed that I’ve got to read now contains: The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling (which I’ve just started and am enjoying so far), You are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier, The Filter Bubble – What the Internet is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser (I think that’s one is going to scare me quite a bit), The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, An Equal Music by Vikram Seth, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Have you read anything good recently? Any recommendations?



27 responses

  1. I recently finished The Silver Linings Playbook and Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Both 4 stars. Now reading The Interrogative Mood and Gone Girl.

    I LOVED The Lacuna and really liked An Equal Music.

    American Gods is on my bedside table as well!

    • Ooh maybe we should go for American Gods at the same time and compare notes! Glad to hear you enjoyed the Lacuna, I’ve heard mixed things, so that’s encouraging. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Although I have heard of most of the books you mentioned I haven’t read any of them. Looking after two boys age 14 months you do want to switch off when they go to bed and the best way we found how to switch off is watching TV. I do however agree with you that watching tv without a drink can sometimes be a bit of a drap event.

    Last couple of books I’ve read were both by the same author: Laurell K Hamilton!
    She has two series going at the moment “Anita Blake” and “Merry Gentry” if you do like fantastical fiction with some supernatural storylines these book series are fantastic. Well I am a big fan I’ve read every book in those two series.

    • I’m not a huge fantasy fan, but happy to give it a try sometimes – thanks for the recommendations! DorkyDad might enjoy them too…

      The other thing that makes crap tv better is Twitter, but I’m trying to be offline more in the evenings 🙂

  3. I’m half way through a blog on reading – comfort reading, in particular – so it’s interesting to read this. I’m doing a lot of re-reading of old favourites, but the stand-out book of the last few months has been The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. It absolutely transported me – beautifully written, and utterly absorbing.
    Having never heard of him before, you’re the second person in two days I’ve heard mention Neil Gaiman, so may go and look him up.

  4. I have to say I am mightily impressed with the amount you are reading. I really, really want to read a lot more but my spare time is taken up so much with writing. The last few books I read included the Ruby Wax biography which was great, a book on writing, and er, I have to admit to reading the Twilight series, as I wanted something light, a good yarn!

    • The whole vampire thing has passed me by entirely, which I can’t say I’m too sad about! But definitely nothing wrong with light books! I’m a bit of a sucker for a celebrity bio too…

  5. Love, love, LOVE Barbara Kingsolver, although I’m yet to read The Lacuna. I also loved Half A Wife. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend The Other Hand by Chris Cleave and The Road Home by Rose Tremain. Both are very sad, but really stayed with me long after reading.

    If you want to link up over at the new Me Time Monday feature at the Mums and Me blog with this post we’d be more than happy to see you – reading most definitely counts as “me time” when you have small children!

    • Havent read either of those, so I will definitely add them to the list, thank you. Never read any Barbara Kingsolver either, so The Lacuna should be interesting. I’m encouraged by the fact you like her so much! xx

  6. I love reading and definitely don’t do enough of it. I have been reading a lot of novels about the Caribbean recently especially Jamaica…I guess cause I miss it so…who knows. Anyway I would love to recommend “The Lunatic” by Anthony C Winkler and “The Book of the Night Women” by Marlon James. I am going to go through your lists now as I shamefully have not read any of them!

    • Thank you – I love reading about parts of the world that I don’t know so well, and it’s especially great to get recommendations from someone who does know it, so I will definitely add those to my wish list!

    • Ooh lovely. I’m a big fan of books where you get a real sense of where they’re set. Don’t think I have read any du Maurier since I was a student, so I should probably rectify that!

  7. Oh, you knew this wouldn’t pass me by!
    The Lacuna was great, a little tough at the beginning but worth it in the end.
    In response to an earlier comment, I found The Other Hand offensively twee and badly researched. Read At the Swimming Pool in Kigali or Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward instead.
    On the zombie front, Lish McBride is the BEST young adult author out there right now. Funny, heart-rending, imaginative and really really well written.
    Other recs, Fiction, Gerbrand Bakker, Claire Kilroy, Sarah Hall, Miriam Toews, Rawi Hage, Adam Thorpe, Elizabeth Stroud, Michael Collins, Marilynne Robinson
    Non fiction, Barbara Ehrenreich mostly, and then other really good political commentary, which I mostly find by reading papers online and then finding the books they reference.

    • Sigh I wish I could just have you sitting on my bookshelf and passing me recommended reads every time I walk past. Thank you lovely, I will add ALL of these to my list of must reads! I hope Santa is feeling generous this year…

  8. Imaginery worlds are indeed far better. Right now I am not reading anything at all, I just finished a Jane Green ‘full of fluff’ type of book and I needed that. Netx book will bve Half the Sky but I need to catch my breath first. Mich x

  9. That’s some reading your doing, clearly I need to drink less wine! Lacuna is fantastic by the way. I’m hoping for JKR from Santa – didn’t ‘do’ the Harry Potter but a few people have assured me I’ll enjoy this one.
    I’m currently reading Joanne Harris – Holy Fools and I’m thoroughly gripped by it.

    • I’ve just finished the JKR – I really enjoyed it. Will be interested to hear what you think.

      Haven’t read any Joanne Harris since Chocolat, so it’s good to hear a recommendation, I might have to check that one out.

  10. Indeed an ecclectic mix!
    I’ve just finished ‘End of the wasp season’ by Denise Mina. A who dunnit set in Scotland and very well written right up to the last page. I’m off to find more from her.
    But I have a 3ft stack of books to read and another half dozen on my kindle.
    I just need more hours in the day!

    • OhI’ve seen Denise Mina – I used to work at the Edinburgh Book Festival and I think I’ve sat in one of her events, but never read any. I don’t read many whodunnits but DorkyDad loves them, so I might recommend that. Have you read any Val McDermid? She is another Scottish crime writer. If I had more hours in the day I would definitely spend more of them reading 😉 xx

  11. Currently in the middle of reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and loving it. I so wish I had more time for reading. My ‘to-read’ pile is getting pretty high.

    • I’ve seen people talking about Jojo Moyes on Twitter, but I’ve never come across her. Might check it out on the basis of your recommendation though – thanks! xx

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