July 8, 2012

Book Time with KSack

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.

I read a lot of non-fiction (I mean, seriously, how great is non-fiction? A 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...


  1. Reading Ellen's book right now, love it! Highly recommend The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, amazing.

  2. googline tomkat.. my husband is so over hearing about their divorce as I sit on google!! lol!!

  3. Great post :) I could write a reply that was novel-length itself, so much do I love books, but I'll restrict myself to just mentioning that yesterday I finished "Bring Up The Bodies", Hilary Mantels' sequel to her Booker-prize winner, "Wolf Hall", and it was FUCKING BRILLIANT. I'm not even into historical fiction usually, but these books aren't really that- just an incredible (true) story, masterfully written. My life now feels a bit empty without having BUTB to look forward to. Luckily there are always new books coming along...

  4. "Gone Girl" is 600 words .... or 600 pages? ;-)

    No matter, I've made a note of it, along with your other suggestions. Thanks! Always looking for recommended reading.

  5. Buy, buy ? That's what libraries are for, isn't it ?

  6. LOVED Perfume. I've bought it, read it, then lent it out never to get it back, and then re-bought it, reread it and lent it out again, never to get it back. And William Gibson's Necromancer is amazing when you consider it was written in 1984(!) and talks about cyberspace at least 10 years before anyone had heard of the Internet.

  7. Kerri Have you read the book "Man's search for meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl?

  8. Oh and by the way you are now on my favorite
    list of authors!!!

  9. My therapist wants me to read that book and I am not sure about it.
    Also when you have another book out you may just become the number 1 author on my list!!!! lol

  10. *gasp*
    Am so into reading right now. Just read the little book of anxiety. Great read!
    Except one part (right at the end) made me feel a little bit hurumph - apart from that great reading!!

  11. What_Sarah_Did_NextJanuary 13, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Ooh, big fan of reading here! Absolutely LOVED Atonement. Read that over a weekend. At the moment though, I'm reading the first book in the A Game of Thrones series by George R.R Martin. It had me by the end of the first three pages.
    I'm a long-time buyer of books, I must confess. Nothing pleases me more than the sight of a bookcase packed with stories. Best form of wall insulation there is!

  12. Ah, you about to lose a good month or two reading the Game of Thrones series of 5 books! :)

  13. Argh of course you had to put Perfume in there, not avaiable on the Kindle and not easily accessible on the internet-found it at abebooks.co.uk .

  14. Will definitely read the Tina Fey and Ellen books now - never really think of non-fiction. Thanks


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