I love books. Most of us writers do. But I'm lousy at book reviews. This is because I simply can't be bothered finishing a book I am not thoroughly enjoying. I'm so frantically busy most days with work, child care, household tasks and Googling the Tom and Katie break-up that I simply don't have the time.
So this is not a book review post. There are plenty of them, anyway. This is a 'Books I Have Adored & Worshipped & Wish I'd Written' post. I'd love your feedback on any of the books I mention, and I'd also love your recommendations about books I (and everyone else) should read.
Little Book of Anxiety, anyone???), but not the dry, historical tomb kind of non-fiction. The funny, fascinating, can't-put-it-down kind of non-fiction. If you haven't read Bossypants, Tina Fey's memoir of making it big in Hollywood, or Ellen DeGeneres's Seriously... I'm Kidding, then do so. They are hysterical.
For something a bit more thought provoking, but utterly brilliant, you must must must read How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran. Every female should. Men, you can pass, but be prepared to hear the words 'vagina' and 'feminist' spouting from your partners' mouths. A lot.
And then there's Your Voice In My Head, by Emma Forrest. This powerful story of a young woman's relationship with her therapist and her famous boyfriend is mesmerising. With a writing style reminiscent of our own Edenland, it is a simply mind-blowing read.
I could go on forever about non-fiction (Malcolm Gladwell people. READ MALCOLM GLADWELL) but I'll move on to fiction.
You must read Perfume, by Patrick Suskind, and Atonement, by Ian McEwan. Perfume is so unique as to defy description, and Atonement (which was turned into a film with Keira Knightly) is heart-wrenchingly beautiful and devastatingly sad.
If you enjoy science fiction, you can't go past William Gibson. His books are extraordinary portrayals of a world just slightly beyond ours, but completely plausible in every detail. I lap them up.
And if you enjoy magical realism, you simply must read Haruki Murakami. Each and every one of his short stories and novels combine touchingly accurate portrayals of isolation, love and despair with fantastically improbable elements that somehow mesh together perfectly. Just don't start your Murakami career with his latest, 1Q84, which is quite dauntingly long, and only for the die hard fan.
Finally, to my latest read, Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. This book was recommended to me by Paula Joye and Amanda Whitley after I asked for recommendations online. Oh. My. God. I read the entire 600 page novel in three evenings. I was transfixed. The book starts out as a love story, progresses to a murder mystery, and ends with a shocking psychological drama. Astounding. Just buy it. RUN.
So that's it for today. Please leave your thoughts and recommendations, and we shall reconvene soon. And now for a quick Google search of TomKat and then I'm back to reading...