I’ve been reading a lot this year. Usually I go thought phases of reading feverishly every night and weekend for a month or so then I don’t pick up a book for weeks and weeks on end. This past year, I’ve fallen into a different pattern. I read every day at the moment but I’m in no hurry to finish books at all. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so very, very busy at work; it is, after all, my main way to relax and I don’t need anymore deadlines. Or maybe I’m just mellowing as I mature… Whatever the reason, I like this steady reading routine that I’ve settled into.
These are my favourite reads from the past year:
The Pursuit of Love – Nancy Mitford
I’m a wee bit obsessed with Nancy Mitford at the moment and am reading everything I can find by and about her. Nothing beats this book though. An extremely funny period romance. One of those books I finished and consider just starting all over again.
Red Dust Road – Jackie Kay
Jackie Kay is a Scottish poet and this is an autobiographical account of her attempts to get to know her birth parents: a Highland woman and a Kenyan man. It’s cracking. Funny and interesting and touching. I devoured this book in a day and I keep telling people to read it.
The Fault in our Stars - John Greene
Am I the last person in the universe to read this? Perhaps. Beautiful, emotional, humorous book. Not going to tell you what it’s about because it’ll sound too depressing and that’s not what this book is. Well, it is. But it’s really, really not too. Read it. Really.
Maine - Courtney Sullivan
Despite the troubled characters and tense conversations, there was something very peaceful about this book. It’s all about a mother and her daughters and a summer house in Maine and it’s really rather beautifully written. I have Sullivan’s other novel, Commencement, in my case for my trip to Italy this summer.
The Accidental Tourist - Anne Tyler
I’ve read several books by Anne Tyler and I recognised many of the characters in this novel. It’s my favourite book of hers so far though. Macon is a travel writer for people who doesn’t like to travel and he finds comfort in the rigid routines of his life. Then everything falls apart. A subtle book that’s stayed with me months and months after reading it.
100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Ran Away - Jonas Jonasson
Probably should have put this first on the list. I’ve been giving it to everyone as a present! So much fun! Laughed my way from beginning to end.
Heartburn - Nora Ephron
Wry, funny, semi-autobiographical tale of a pregnant woman whose husband cheats on her.
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Odd and fascinating novel. It’s a journey through America with ancient Gods who’ve seen better days, ghosts, leprechauns and the idols of the new world. Weirdly addictive.
So these are my recommendations. With seven weeks of holidays fast approaching, I’d love to hear some of yours.