I won’t lie… this week inspiration fled for pastures new, probably with a good bottle of gin, some fancy tonic, some chilli chocolate and a stash of good books.
So I decided to let you into my book stash.
This year I’ve read quite a few books that I haven’t worked on, and as I work mainly in non-fiction I tend to read fiction when I get the chance.
First up here’s my stash of favourite books this year.
I’ve blogged about all but the top one. The one I didn’t blog about is actually a play – Dunsinane by David Greig (available from faber.co.uk). I went to see the play while it was on tour with the National Theatre of Scotland & the RSC, catching it at Eden Court Theatre. For those of you who’ve probably never heard of it, it’s a sequel to Macbeth (or should I say “the Scottish Play”? eek… this blog will probably now self-destruct in 60 seconds). The National Theatre website describes it thus:
Macbeth is dead. Under cover of night, an English army has swept through the landscape, killed the tyrant and taken the seat of power.
Attempting to restore peace and put in place a new ruler, Siward, the commanding officer, is beset by a brutal guerrilla uprising. Increasingly isolated from his own men and Scottish allies alike, his efforts to restore order appear futile as the situation spins out of control.
Now, I love the theatre, it takes up a large part of my life, but I can’t remember the last time I went to see a production and was moved enough to buy the playscript. This one is special… it takes all that is great in a Shakespeare play, continues with the story and with wit and wisdom takes us back into the ravaged Scotland of the original. I really wish they had filmed this play for Digital Theatre.
But anyway, there you go…my favourite books of 2013. I have also just realised that I left out one amazing book from the pile….Jo Baker’s Longbourn which is just out in paperback…if you are quick it’s on offer at Amazon.
You may have noticed I tend to blog about the books I like, and not the ones I don’t. There are two reasons for this.
- I really don’t like offending people who have put their heart and soul into their literary creations. Unlike many readers I’ve seen the other side of the coin… the work that goes into a book, the hours and hours, the blood, sweat and tears. I’ll happily praise a book that I love (for whatever reason), but sometimes it’s best to say nothing.
- If I don’t have something nice to say, I tend to try not to say it. I will give constructive criticism when it is asked for, but if it isn’t asked for I won’t spend hours on breaking down why I don’t like a book. That’s a paid reviewers job.
So here are the two books that I tried last year and just didn’t like:
Mantel’s… well I just could not get on with the writing style and as a result I felt no love for the characters. The second is not a new book, but I thought a book on the Resurrectionists would be good reading. It started well, I liked the characters… then everything slid, lost its way and ended as though the writer just ran out of steam. Shame.
Here is my current “to read” pile. Not in the order that I’m going to read them, I’ll pick whichever I fancy at the time. Although I actually need to buy the first Deborah Harkness book A Discovery of Witches… I thought I had it, then realised I don’t. Barbara Erskine is a favourite author of mine, so I shall probably read that next, then Cronin, then Herbert. Or I may change my mind. And there are other books that must be added to the pile. Lloyd Shepherd’s upcoming new novel for a start.
So there you go….my book piles.
Are yours bigger and better, are you on top of your reading or are you a rare creature that doesn’t have a book pile?