I have returned to the world of work. It is far from my dream job, but it puts some pennies in the purse and takes me a step closer to paying for my masters in September. Another plus side is I have a half hour commute each way. Now, I know some might see this as a disadvantage but to me it is totally free time that I can spend in my favourite way.
Reading for fun!
Now I have done very little reading for fun through the course of my degree. True, I have read one or two plays every week for three years, and any number of journal articles and academic books on top of that, but nothing purely for enjoyment. Now things are going to change. I have one shelf and several large piles of books waiting to be read. So these are the books I have chosen to be read first:
I’m going to aim for a couple of chapters each day. I know my speed is still what it used to be – perhaps even better after the speed reading needed for essays – so I don’t think any of these are going to be a particular challenge to me. In order from top to bottom, here’s a little summary of each of them.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
“It should have been an ordinary birth, the start of an ordinary happy family. But the night Dr David Henry delivers his wife’s twins is a night that will haunt five lives forever. For though David’s son is a healthy boy, his daughter has Down’s syndrome. And, in a shocking act of betrayal whose consequences only time will reveal, he tells his wife their daughter died while secretly entrusting her care to a nurse.”
This book was recommended to me years ago by a fellow bookseller when I worked in Waterstones and only recently did I decide to give it a go. I found it in a charity shop some time ago and have decided to start with it.
Sovay by Celia Rees
“When Sovay becomes a highway robber, she does so to test her beloved’s ardour. But she continues for other reasons, reasons related to her father’s disappearance, and the claims that he has committed treason…”
Celia Rees is by far my favourite young adult author, and her historical novels in particular are a joy to read. In particular Witch Child is a novel I have read many times and enjoyed every time. I can’t wait to get lost in the 18th Century world of this book.
A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French
You may recall this was mentioned in a previous blog post about books I wished I’d read this summer but hadn’t (you can find it here). So I shan’t say much about this, except I can’t imagine Dawn French doing anything badly.
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
“In 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young Scottish woman, heads for Occupied France on a dual mission – officially, to run an apparently simple errand for a British special operations group and unofficially, to search for her lover, an English airman missing in action. As the people of the small town of Lavaurette prepare to meet their terrible destiny, the harrowing tale of what really took place in ‘the dark years’ is finally revealed.”
I saw the film of this years ago so when I saw this (again in a charity shop – how I love them) I decided to pick it up and give it a try. It has sat, forlorn and unread, for far too long.
12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
I can’t say I’m looking forward to reading this one. I saw the film and found it terrible for many reasons, but history fascinates me. I would hope the book is more… I cannot say enjoyable because of the subject matter, but perhaps it is more engaging than the film.
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris
“Loki, that’s me. Loki, the Light Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining. So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in rather an unflattering role. Now it’s my turn to take the stage.”
I also have a big thing for mythology, Norse in particular. And no, it’s not because of a certain Marvel hero with large muscles and blond hair. This is one of my birthday haul that my wonderful mum treated me to. Harris is great writer working with great subject matter and I can’t wait to get stuck in to the Trickster’s story.
So there you have it, the first lot of fun books I’m going to work my way through. I shall no doubt write about each as I reach the end of them (some quicker than others I am guessing) and let you know my thoughts. Also, if you have any further recommendations, please feel free to comment below so I can add them to my list!