I thought I’d take this photo of the books I got for Christmas sitting on my bedside shelf. I’ve read some of them but they looked so nice sitting there, all lovely and inky and wordy… Am I in danger of fetishising my paper books now I’m a Kindle owner? Oh yes…
The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
Just started dipping into this one. It’s written in an accessible style whilst still retaining a huge amount of detail and respect for the work that went on at Bletchley.
Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler
I love reading anything about the Brontes, and this novel plunges you into the mind of Charlotte Bronte as she writes her masterpiece. It’s beautifully written, almost poetic at times, but I found myself wishing she’d delved further into the complete family background rather than just concentrating on the progress of one novel, even though that was the point of the book. Fleeting glimpses of Emily, Ann and Branwell were just too tantalising.
Surface Detail by Iain M Banks
A triumphant return to space opera from the fantastically depraved mind of Mr Banks. Pure enjoyment and awe all round. (And nobody uses the f word better.)
Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James
I love the recent craze for return visits to Jane Austen’s creations and was sure I’d be in safe hands with PD James. She uses the settings well and I enjoyed the references to characters in the other books, eg Willoughby takes a position working for Mr Eliot from Persuasion. But I felt the novel lacked emotional substance; the murder victim is a minor character, and does anyone really feel sorry for Willoughby any more? Darcy and Elizabeth, who should light up every page, seemed shadows of their former selves.
Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
Imagine Jodi Piccoult crossed with Linwood Barclay and you have Rosamund Lupton – emotionally searing, dramatic, completely compelling; this was a book I couldn’t put down. (Thanks to my Secret Santa!) Have made a note to read her first novel Sister.
Snuff by Terry Pratchett
I haven’t started this one yet but I’m looking forward to getting on the back of that turtle!
Hope you are enjoying your Christmas reading too.
2 thoughts on “My Christmas reading pile”
I got a Kindle for Christmas and I love it. It’s so convenient. But I’ll never love it as much as lovely, glossy, wordy, paper-smelling books. I adore children’s picture books and I can’t imagine them ever being the same in electronic form. A mixture of old and new is perfection. I’ve just read Stuart Macbride’s latest novel. As always it was packed full of interesting characters and ‘colourful’ language. Couldn’t put it down. I’ve also just finished, Sarah Water’s ‘Affinity.’ A beautifully written historical novel about a repressed lesbian who visits a spiritualist in a women’s prison. I’m now reading ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo.’ It’s written from the perspective of the horse. Fascinating so far.
I think you’re right about the mixture of old and new; I can’t really imagine being given Kindle downloads as presents so I’ll always be reading a mixture of paper and electronic books. And I doubt there are many parents who will trust their toddler with an iPad or e-reader, except under strict supervision!
I loved Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith – must put Affinity on my reading list.