Tuesday, 10 June 2014

What are you reading...

...at the moment? I'd be most interested to know. So - I'd be really grateful if anyone who happens to read this post could say (a) what you're currently reading, and (b) what's your top read for this year so far.

I'm currently reading Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, the fascinating account of the work of a brain surgeon (ie the author). It makes for riveting reading, but should be avoided by the faint-hearted or those who tend towards hypochondria. Not all his stories have happy endings!

My best read is Stoner, by John Wlliams. This is a brilliantly written novel which originally appeared in the 1960s. Beautiful, spare prose. One of those novels that manages to make a great novel out of a relatively slight plot (think Ian McEwan's Saturday).

Now, over to you, please. If you can spare a minute.

29 comments:

  1. I am currently reading Dr Sleep by Stephen King. My top read this year so far is Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill x

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    1. I haven't read any Colin Cotterill. Looks interesting!

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    2. I think you would enjoy his books, Frances. I like the Dr Siri ones best (The Coroner's Lunch is the first in the series) x

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  2. I am not reading at the moment as Amazon have taken away download to computer and it now says download to cloud. I don't have a cloud. Well I have plenty but not the sort of ones Amazon is talking about. I refuse to discuss in public my reading matter Cheeky you are.
    The last thing I read was a treatise on front coated optics, you'll be pleased to hear that I split it with Dead Earnest. I enjoyed it after the intricacies of coated glass but it wasn't a patch on Fallen women.
    I read Stephen Leather, Bernard Cornwall and Michael Edwards but mostly I read about mirrors and glass and coatings and refraction and reflection in all their various incarnations.

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    1. I'm glad you l ike Fallen Women, Adrian. Not least because it's the least successful of my books...

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    2. Now that really surprises me Frances. I enjoyed Fallen Women. I enjoyed the others too.

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  3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, recommended by my library and an excellent book. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave also recommended but although good I found unbelievable bits irritating. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh about fostering. Made me cry, loved it. Best book: Life, Death and Vanilla Slices by Jenny Eclair, a very well crafted story

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  4. I am ashamed to say I'm not reading anything but blogs these days! I would like to get 'into' a book...but most that I have started have bored me and I've given up on them......although I loved The Book Thief and I Know this Much is True......

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    1. I couldn't get on with The Book Thief, Libby, but lots of people seem to have loved it.

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    2. I couldn't get into The Book Thief either although I tried several times: irritating style. The film was terrific though.

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  5. Current read: The Riddle of the Sands, Erskine Childers.
    Best read: tricky one, there are three or four equal firsts, but if I'm only allowed one, I'll go for: Under Another Sky, Charlotte Higgins.

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  6. Just started read Dodie Smith I capture the castle... I'm enjoying reading it but the plot is very slow and I have no idea what sort of genre it is.. etc. romance etc. The best book I've read so far this year is one I picked up in a charity shop and what go me hook was the opening paragraph... First published in 1954 it's the Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. It was magical. I love finding new old book and getting hooked with the opening line.

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    1. Paula, I loved I Capture the Castle.It's worth persevering with it.

      How's the writing going?

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  7. You have accuse me before of being a pedant. You are probably correct. When I was reading the words 'What are you reading at the moment' my immediate reaction was 'your blog post'.

    What am I reading at the moment?

    Advent Cataclysm by Sarah Quinn (a young Island writer).
    The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith
    NewZealand Holiday by Rosemary Rees (pub 1933 my copy 1936)
    How to Look at a Painting by Justin Paton

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    1. GB, as a fellow pedant, I would suggest that to mention what you are "reading at the moment" is an acceptable colloquialism; like, for instance (in modern parlance) who you are "seeing at the moment" (ie whom you are in a relationship with). You might not be actually seeing them as you speak, but the listener will know what you mean. Unless the listener is, well, an ultra-pedant?

      Interesting selection of books. Thank you!

      PS And please don't tell me I ended a sentence with a preposition. I know.

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    2. Oh dear. Am I so predictable? Actually, although I'd flirted with the idea, I decided not to.

      I agree with your substantive comment of course.

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  8. I do wish that I'd proof-read my comments properly before letting them enter the public domain.

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  9. No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I've read it before but not the others in the series so I thought I'd start from the beginning and read them all.

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    1. I love those books, Patsy. The trouble is, they are so similar that I can never remember which I have and haven't read before. But then, does it matter?

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  10. I am reading " The Cuckoo's Calling" by R. Galbraith aka J.k.Rowling…it is a book club read and I am really enjoying it. She describes a place so well, that I feel I am there, and the characters all seem very real. Earlier this year I read " The boy with the topknot", which is a biography of a sikh young man and his early life in Wolverhampton, and as he got older and more and more " westernised" his determination to marry someone he loved rather than have an arranged marriage…it was a very interesting insight into a culture I am not familiar with.

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    1. Hi, Frances. I read his column in The Times. He writes well, doesn't he. I'm ashamed to say I haven't tried JKR in either of her genres.

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  11. If ' Cuckoo" was in book form, rather than on my Kindle ( iPad) I would send it to you…do give it a try if you happen across it. Not read " A Casual Vacancy" though several copies have passed through the Oxfam bookshop where I help out. That one got poor reviews.

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    1. Thanks, Frances. I'll look out for it.

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  12. The latest Donna Leon. Love that other view of Venice and the character of Brunetti. It often seems to be crime writers who give us believable complex characters, a great sense if place and some social critique eg out Peter Temple. Jean

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