I can’t believe how many books I’m getting through at the moment. I’ve always been a fast reader, but recently I’ve got back into the mode of completely getting lost in a book, devouring it, and moving onto the next one! I’m watching less tv – which I’m sure can only be a good thing – and choosing to spend extra time reading, which is definitely helping me to relax, too. Here’s the latest instalment of The Reading List:
The Believers, Zoe Heller
Audrey makes a discovery about her husband, Joel, which makes her rethink everything about their forty-year marriage. At the same time, his children are all wrapped up in their own dilemmas, and it builds up into a family tale of drama and finding out the truth.
The writing of this novel was good, but something didn’t quite sit right for me. The characters all felt very separate from one another, and there wasn’t much emotion, especially considering some of the topics. It was fine, but I just wasn’t fussed about it.
Any Human Heart, William Boyd
These are the diaries of Logan Mountstuart, from his schooldays in the 1920s to his life as an old man. It is written as fact, and features footnotes and biographical additions, with the book sectioned into significant stages of his life.
I thought this was absolutely fantastic. A novel written as a journal can be difficult to sustain, and to keep believable, and this is the first I’ve read in a long time that really gets it right. Sometimes there are half-entries, or he can’t fully remember things, or he can’t be bothered writing for a few days or months at a time. You can create a fully-formed picture of the man you are reading about, and it takes you on a great journey through the twentieth century. Well worth a read.
Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire, Mireille Guiliano
Non-fiction now, and Guiliano has drawn on her own experiences of the business world to offer advice to other women. It is quite chatty, and not at all pushy, the general tone is along the lines of ‘this is what has worked for me and people I know, it could work for you’. It is a book about not underselling yourself, and covers areas such as communication, work/life balance, and stress.
Her advice is accessible and useful, and it’s just a good little read.
The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman
This is set in the world of a newspaper that was originally founded in the 1950s. Circulation is now down and the future looks bleak for its writers. The novel focuses on both the early, booming years of the paper, and the current team, and reads like a collection of short stories.
There were witty and sad moments to this novel, and every character was so different, yet shared the fact that their life revolved around the newspaper. It’s brilliantly written, and I enjoyed it a lot.
So there we have it… Have you read any of these books?