More book stuff

Great fun, this ‘not judging a book by its back cover’ lark. I’ve done it again. But first, I should tell you how the previous one went.

Oh, I keep hearing weird noises from above (unit, rather than heaven). We haven’t lived here long: am I obligated to investigate our neighbours’ weird noises yet? Some noises sounded like coughs: if I thought he was choking, I would go. Oh no, he’s still doing it. I just heard him talking, though; I know he is not alone. It’s okay. Back to this. (Please be okay, new neighbour).

Completely distracted now and listening out for noises to suggest all is well. Is a lack of noise good or bad...?

I know he is fine. He is.

So, that book I was reading. The Guernsey Literary...

...What if it’s some kind of building initiation and I am failing?

...No, that would clearly be sick and I do not wish to pass such a test anyway. He. Is. Fine.

...and Potato Peel Pie Society.

One of my top ten books of all time!I do not actually know what my top ten list of books looks like. I could probably name two books that would be on there, then I’d need to do a bit of remembering. But this one has joined the hallowed, if hazy, ranks of my top ten.

As my sister did before me, I shall give nothing away. Okay, not nothing. It’s about the Occupation of the Channel Islands during the Second World War. It is also an epistolary novel, the kind I used to love as a teenager but which have a tendency now to leave me a little chilly. Ah, but this is no ordinary novel. Oh, it was written by a 70 year old lady as her debut novel, too. I’m selling it to myself, now, and want to read it again, although I’m acutely aware that nothing I have written so far makes it sound appealing (to me, at least). I just know how good it is. You should try it.

I can’t read it again yet, anyway, because I have another sensational book to complete. It’s another of those that I wish wouldn’t end; at the same time, I am powering through it, scared in case someone takes my dish away before I have finished it.

White Teeth. Zadie Frost. Another debut novel (how DO they do it? I am guessing the dual luxuries of all the time and none of the expectation. There speaks a bitter writer manqué).

I am fewer than 100 pages from the end of White Teeth and wish I hadn’t checked: it’s going to be over too soon. Unfortunately, I have already read another of her books – NW or some such – and did not enjoy it at all, so I will find myself with the best of three dilemma in the not-too-distant future. If you can recommend another of her works – provided you loved White Teeth and loathed NW, naturally – do let me know. That way I can blame you for any time wasted on an inferior read (I am increasingly finding that life is too short to finish crap books for the sake of completion. I DNF books with gay abandon these days).

With regard to my next read, I bought a pile of books at a book fair last weekend, including Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells. I think this may well (ho ho) be the next to come under scrutiny. I also picked up Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë) and Arthur and George (Julian Barnes). Hmm, they’re all names for titles.

Checking the bookshelf to see if it was Arthur and George or George and Arthur, I was reminded that I also finished On Chesil Beach last week. An excellent short novel by Ian McEwan, I began reading On Chesil Beach several years ago at my uncle’s house: he had a copy and I would read a few pages before bed each time I stayed over, but never got very far with it. I bought it not expecting to have time to read it, but it was a beautiful hardbacked edition and I am a sucker for a pretty face, so on the pile it went. A good decision. Well done, me.

So much reading going on at present! If you’re feeling helpful, what was the last book you read and should I read it or leave it, please? Thank you x