I haven’t been brave enough before to list publicly, ‘books I have been reading lately’ for fear that I will show my true nature. Then I thought…'what IS my true nature?’ and what do I like in a book? Do I read them to impress others or because I think I should or because I chanced upon one or had it recommended to me? Do I take notice of reviews both good and bad and find in the reading that my own opinion is what counts. Does it appeal? Does it have me riveted? Does it make me laugh, cry or think a bit about the world and where I sit within it? Do I press it on other people saying ‘You MUST read this!’
So in that spirit (the one that asserts itself above any pretensions I might have to anything) what I have really enjoyed lately are these three. This is how I stumbled upon them and why I didn’t turn to the last page after the first chapter to see if it was still worth reading…
The Ten PM Question- Kate De Goldi.
Heard reviews, saw it was still on the top ten best seller list and wholly admire Kate for her astounding knowledge and contribution to Children’s’ Literature. Loved the quirky characters, detail and writing style (also the cover by the exceptional Sarah Maxey) Left me with a smile and a genuine fondness for Frankie and his family. I cared about them. Wished I could write like that.
On Top of Everything- Sarah-Kate Lynch
Saw it was still on that top ten best seller list (this is a fairly good indication that something is eminently readable). Had a spare book voucher, was in Whitcoulls at the airport, am trying to write a kind of chic lit myself so deemed it ‘research’. Read it on the plane to and fro the capital, laughed as I continued to read, whilst waiting for a mammogram, then finally, reluctantly finished it late at night, sobbing deliciously into my pillow. Cried in the shower again the next morning just thinking about the ending. Wished I could write like that.
End of The Alphabet- Fleur Beale
Someone pointed out to me that Fleur had written me into her new YA book as 'Fifi on the telly' who on that occasion made houses and shops from boxes. So in case of art imitating life, or is it the other way around? I made the boxes detailed in the text, on the Good Morning Show today and we promoted Fleur’s latest book (see what you can happen if you mention me?) But to talk about the book of course I had to read it. And you know, I learned something new- about getting backbone (which the main character, Ruby, sets about doing). Whilst Ruby’s fortitude is needed around her brother, mine is around my son. So I followed the advice she was given and I can say….it worked! A great read with plenty to offer anyone who feels a little taken advantage of… and I wished I could write like that.
Here are the house boxes I made- 'Dream Homes'. Each has the thing you'd love most in them- you can just see Mr Darcy in one of them, and a man cooking in my kitchen in another. I am hoping that my three authors of the month might just think if they saw them ‘I wish I could wield a glue gun like that!’