Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Bookworm: Squeezing in the reading...

Ok, so here's the first Bookworm post at Note to Self... Hope you like it!

In between working miles away from my house (hello horrid 2 hour commute), studying like a crazy person for my MA, seeing my lovely Boy, hanging with my awesome friends, and occasionally sleeping, I've been reading, lots of reading, not all of it uni related.
I should know better, when I did my BA in English Lit, I ended up having to abandon personal reading choices for academic ones for months at a time, which made me miserable, but also let me discover some great writers. I'm after the complete Mapp and Lucia books by E.F Benson at some point, as well as a few more of Elizabeth Taylor's (not the movie star) books as I think they're both fantastic. Benson is hilarious, especially if you're a Wodehouse fan.
But I'm determined to read some of my own choices and not have everything dictated by reading lists and research.
I've been contemplating re-reading the Sandman books and all of my Tamora Pierce books again, it's really starting to bug me that I don't have masses of reading time anymore. So I need to carve out a bit of time to just wallow in words.
I have however read Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant, Room by Emma Donaghue, A Room Swept White by Sophie Hannah as well as my required reading in the last week or so. I recommend them all. All completely different, all really well written.
Dunant is a writer of historical fiction, commonly set in Italy, as Sacred Hearts is, it tells the story of Isabetta re-named Serafina when she is incarcerated in a convent by her father, because she dared to fall in love. It's also the story of the infirmary sister Zuana, and the connection between the two women. I've read Dunant's previous novels, heartily enjoyed them, and devoured this one.
Emma Donaghue is an interesting writer, she's written all sorts of things, Slammerkin was a historical novel, Kissing the Witch a collection of fairy tale retellings, Stir-fry and Hood lesbian love stories. Room is none of those things, it tells the story of Jack and his Ma and their life. It's gripping, compelling, shocking and rather brilliant writing. Shortlisted for the Booker last year, go get a copy and get reading.
Sophie Hannah used to be a poet, now she writes thrillers. A Room Swept White is the latest in paperback. A woman has been murdered, she was cleared of killing her children, and now there is a concern that the murderer is looking for those connected to her case, and it's up to two detectives from her previous novels to stop them. If you like tight, intelligent crime novels, read this. If you like poetry, try Hotels like Houses, same author, completely different, it's a definite skill.

And that's my little book round up for you. Look for the next Bookworm post soon.

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