So I am off ‘oop north’ for a weekend and this of course means that myself and The Converted One have got some quite long train journeys each way and of course this means that we need something to read. Yes, you have noticed it is we now not me. Book sharing thats a whole can of worms that I have opened for myself unwittingly… does anyone else do this? I am finding it hard to share after such a long time of having all of my books to myself. I don’t think that The Converted One has started planning a blog yet though. Anyway the books that ‘we’ have decided to take are…
The Gathering – Anne Enright “The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him – although that certainly helped – it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968. “The Gathering” is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.” After receiving this in the new series of Man Booker winners by Vintage I have been told several times that this is one of the harder Man Booker Winners, so I am going to give this challenge a go.
Ask Alice – D. J. Taylor “In 1904, a pretty young woman travels apprehensively across the American prairies; on a whim she makes a bold decision, grabbing her future with both hands. A lonely little boy, growing up a world away between-stairs in an Edwardian country house, has his future decided for him by impending war and an old woman who parcels him off to her eccentric brother in the flatlands of Norfolk. Later, in the brightly coloured world of late 1920s London high life, Alice Keach is queen among society hostesses. Behind her lie a marriage to a wealthy landowner, and a career as a celebrated actress. But Alice has a secret, whose roots run five thousand miles away to that Kansas train-ride, and a chain of connection with the potential to blow her comfortable existence apart. A half-hearted blackmailer making his way across the Atlantic; a watchful teenage boy observing the birth of a lucrative new colour in a Norfolk pigpen; a bright young woman coming to terms with an unsatisfactory marriage; a country house party that ends in tragedy; and, a sensational murder trial – all these are gathered up in the story of Alice’s rise and fall. Ranging from the Dakota badlands to the drawing rooms of Mayfair, and from the Norfolk back lanes to the casting couches of the Edwardian theatre, “Ask Alice” is a remarkable novel that confirms D.J. Taylor as a novelist of scope, imagination and great writing.” Another book that has been on my TBR for quite a while and I have been meaning to read. I am also going to stay with my Aunty Alice so I thought this was quite apt and a possible conversational piece.
Call Me By Your Name – Andre Aciman “Call Me By Your Name” is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blooms between seventeen-year-old Elio and his father’s house guest Oliver during a restless summer on the Italian Riviera. Unrelenting currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire threaten to overwhelm the lovers who at first feign indifference to the charge between them. What grows from the depths of their souls is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration, and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing they both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.The psychological manoeuvres that accompany attraction have seldom been more shrewdly captured than in Andre Aciman’s frank and unsentimental elegy to human passion. “Call Me By Your Name” is clear-eyed, bare-knuckled and ultimately unforgettable.” Sounds quite different and Atlantic Books sent me this quite a while ago and when sorting my shelving out I rediscovered it and felt a bit ashamed I have left this for so long and wanted to read it too.
So let’s see how I get on with them, mind you we are going up to look after two ten month old twin girls so reading might not be on the best weekend for reading, we shall see. What reading do you have planned this weekend?