Monday, 24 May 2010

Summer Reading

Lately I have been mostly going to the Lido very early in the morning to avoid the crowds, and after the slightly euphoric last post in which I dreamt a new heroine I have been knee deep in re-writes which has been alright, but not ecstatic.
But what is ecstatic is my forthcoming holiday and the decisions to be made about books to take.
I love my French holidays. That's me there on the balcony, well my feet anyway. I do nothing but stand in the shallow end of the pool with a book, until my top half gets so hot I just have to swim.
There's only so many books one can take, which does make me start to see the advantages of an e reader, or even an I-phone which has a readable screen. But as my phone is current;y suffering badly from a dunking (not in the pool ahem hem) then God knows what the pool would do to an e reader.
What I do is scour bookshops, second hand shops and Amazon for a selection of adult, YA and children's and non fiction. I amass great bookpiles which are all over my secondary desk - my writing desk is too covered with gack to put much down I'm afraid - then these piles are sorted and sifted, not unlike auditionnees for some tv talent show, until I narrow them down t the final ten.

At the moment my list looks like this;
Jason Goodwin's Lords of the Horizon - non fic bout the Ottoman Empire
The Snake Stone - second in his series about Yashim, historical Ottoman empire set dectective tales.
The Bellini Card follow on from above
Penny Dolan's A Boy Called Mouse in proof - don't worry Penny Jo at Vicky Park Books was sent two proofs!
William Nicholson's Rich and Mad
Celia Rees' The Fools Girl although this is in Hardback which is most annoying
Kate Thompson's Creature of the Night
Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to The Dogs Tonight Memoir of growing up in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe/Malawi
Nobody's Girl By Sarra Manning
Unsticky by Sarra Manning
Byzantium by Judith Herrin non fiction
Jerry White London in the 19th Century non fiction
The Italian Boy Sarah Wise non fiction
In the Driver's Seat Helen Simpson short stories
The Silver Blade Sally Gardner...
Oh I'm going to stop there, who wants to read a list of books? BUT if you have any recommendations for me I would love to hear them.
Happy reading and enjoy the sunshine,


Anonymous said...


Stroppy Author said...

Oh, what a lovely prospect, Catherine! I wish I were at that stage rather than still trying to muster the energy to book a holiday!

My recommendation - not very summery, as it's set in the arctic - is The Solitude of Thomas Cave, Georgina Harding. The most wonderful, lyric book I have read in years - totally fantastic and haunting (and not very long, so not too heavy!)

Frances said...

"Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" is a rivetting memoir. I do hope that it goes with you.

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Love lists and love the skirt, Catherine! This is odd following on from Frances, I was about to say the one book you shouldn't take is 'Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight'. For me it was too close to home. I found it stomach churning. (that doesn't mean to say it shouldn't be read)For the same reason and even more so I absolutely can't read 'When a Crocodile Eats the Sun'(also about Zimbabwe)What I can recommend is 'The Lacuna' Babara Kingsolver's newest set in Mexico and a telling statement about a certain period in US history but also full of Mexican vibrancy including Frieda Kahlo. I found it in paperback in South Africa but here in the UK seems only to be in hardback... might be wrong???

Catherine Johnson said...

Thanks for the recommendations, everyone, especially nice light books Ann. I'll look for The Lacuna - I really loved Poisonwood Bible - it made me read Heart of Darkness. Hmmmm When the Crocodile Eats the Sun sounds v interesting, I remembering reading about it somewhere. Dianne, Africa is such a long way away from me!