Simon’s Bookish Bits #9

On these weekly bookish bits I am beginning to sound like a stuck record, once again last week was a busy one so I am once again spending this morning catching up on commenting back and other people’s blogs. However now that the latest issue of the magazine I write for is done I have a week off! Hoorah, a week for some unadulterated reading pleasure and so am mulling over my reading plans. So I think today I will in the main hand over to you and see if what you are reading or have been reading can inspire me.

The book I am just about to crack open and have been itching to get into for well over a week is ‘A Life Apart’ by Neel Mukherjee. It has been in the house since just after Christmas but I like to put my thoughts up after something’s published date rather than before so you can all get hold of it. For the last week I have been sneaking glimpses at it and getting very exciting about reading it, does anyone else have moments like this or is it just me? I have heard marvellous things about ‘A Life Apart’ (Mariella Frostrup was raving about it on Open Book – and I like her), has anyone else read this? I seem to have gained two copies so maybe a giveaway is in the pipeline?

It is nice to be foot loose and fancy free in terms of reading, even if I do have two titles lined up for reading in the non too distant future. The latest Riverside Readers choice of ‘July’s People’ by Nadine Gordimer, which I got from the library the other day – the first book group choice I have managed to actually, is going to be one I read in preparation for meeting on the 4th. Then of course we have ‘Vanessa and Virginia’ by Susan Sellers for Kirsty at Other Stories hosting of the Not The TV Book Group choice in two weeks. I am so nervous about mine tomorrow I don’t even want to speak of it, in fact am trying not to think of it.

Apart from ‘A Life Apart’ the only other book I really am itching to read arrived in rather mysterious wrapping this week…

It is ‘Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand’ by Helen Simonson and the note inside side ‘I have sent you a book you must sit down with a nice cup of tea and some biscuits’ which the lovely Penelope at Bloomsbury had also thrown in (along with some lovely greeting cards), she must be a little psychic as I adore shortbread! I am now very excited about what I think will be a reading experience with all these goodies. I also have two copies of this so I think some nice giveaways are definitely lined up!

So what are you all reading? What’s been your favourite book of late? What book are you really, really excited about right now? What are your weekend reading plans? Any other bookish bits of business you have to divulge?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Neel Mukherjee

33 responses to “Simon’s Bookish Bits #9

  1. There is nothing better than tea, biscuits and a good book!! I’ve just finished reading The Road and started The Picture of Dorian Gray, no tea for me though have to go shopping. Which is taking valuable time away from my Saturday Reading Day. However I am most excited about heading over to my Grandad’s tomorrow for sunday lunch, where I plan to make a steal of my Nan’s copy of Rebecca. Recently read The Birds and Other Stories by du Maurier and loved it.

    Hope you have a nice a reading weekend!

    • Blimey thats a very diverse set of reading following The Road with Picture of Dorian Gray.

      Definitely get a copy of Rebecca if you can its one of my very favourite reads. I havent read The Birds and Other Stories and I really should.

  2. Over the past few days I’ve mainly been reading The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, having had to return Solo by Rana Dasgupta to the library to avoid an overdue fee. I’m surprised at how long it is (637 pages), the thin paper my edition’s printed on makes it look nowhere near that long. I’m starting to feel a bit in the mood for a horror or ghost story though. Being relatively unemployed (one day of work a week as a journalist) and looking for work since finishing uni in November I’m constantly fighting the blues and lately tense horror fiction seems to be doing the trick. Which is funny because I used to be such a book snob once upon a time!
    Also my copy of The Girl With the Glass Feet has arrived so I’m looking forward to reading that!
    Happy weekend reading! 🙂

    • Hope you enjoy The Girl With Glass Feet (which I very naughtily keep calling The Girl with the Glass Feet) the discussion is going on today and its lovely hearing everyones thoughts on it all. Hope to see you there later.

      I was discussing ghost stories yesterday, I havent read one in ages and really think one might be called for in the not too distant future.

  3. I’m reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and loving it so far, so that’s where my weekend’s going. I’ve just posted something on my blog with a list of some of the library books I’ve got, and I’m actually itching to read all of them right now, so that’s something to be excited about. =)

    • I really enjoyed the first one but then after that I went off it I think The Subtle Knife introduced too many worlds and too many people and I couldnt quite keep up with it, maybe one day.

  4. I’m reading ‘Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand’ right now, have the shortbread and tea ready as you will be craving them about 20 pages in! So far it is a great book, can’t wait to read your thoughts on it.

  5. Ummm shortbread, my favourite!
    This week has been half term so I’ve read a far bit, generally I’ve been reading Caribbean books, its made me long even more for summer.
    I’m about to delve into the penultimate section of A Suitable Boy for a readalong and then I’ve got a Lost marathon after I’ve popped to the chippy for some Fish and Chips. Tomorrow I’m off up to London for the Chinese New Year celebrations with some of the school kids.
    Hope you enjoy your week off.

    • I do love shortbread, I also love, love, love coconut cookies and jaffa cakes should any other publishers wish to send me biscuits hahaha.

      Oooh I like the idea of a Caribbean book, I can’t think of any. Oooh enjoy London!

  6. JoV

    I’m excited about reading “Love in the age of indifference” recommended by your goodself. While browing through the library today, I can’t help but to pick up “One Day” by David Nicholls. Sounds like my kind of reading, 2 people going through life 20 years not knowing they have the hots for each other then.. One day!…

    Hope you enjoy your week off reading.

  7. How generous of Bloomsbury! They are so sweet sending gifts and I am still touched at my Valentine’s Day one last week. I am also LOVING the Bloomsbury group cards! I have the bookmarks, which are very funky.

    I haven’t heard a thing about A Life Apart so you have me intrigued…

    I only picked up The Girl With Glass Feet today so it is doubtful that I will have finished it in time for the discussion but I will try and join you later on tomorrow. Good luck!

    • It was very kind of them, they sent you chocolate and a book didnt they? Very good marketing skills me thinks and very sweet (in both senses) of them.

      A Life Apart will be started tomorrow I think am having a day off today with the NTTVBG, well I might sneak in a little read.

  8. Jessica

    Ive just finished Blindness by Jose Saramago and am going to start Flowers For Algernon. I only found your blog a few days ago and Im planning on reading The Illusionist as part of the not the TV book club read.

  9. Danica Rice

    I just bought SEVEN new books through (I love that site so much) but the one I’m most excited about has to probably be Her Fearful Symmetry… My boyfriend has been threatening to download the audiobook so that he can say he’s read it before me (I’m partially Deaf so no audiobooks for this one!) so I just had to buy a copy to trounce him before he actually did it! 😛 I can’t wait, since I LOVED The Time Traveler’s Wife (and indeed also want to re-read it as well, which is rare for me actually… I don’t re-read books much).

    Until that stack of books comes in, I’ll probably read A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, which was done in a book club on Twitter a while ago, and I was late to the party so now after hearing people’s comments, I can actually read it.. it’s kind of a slow starter though. I’m also finally reading The Count of Monte Cristo, and can’t wait to finish that either.

    Oh, and just finished Girl with the Glass Feet, and thought it was great… Don’t stress about tomorrow, you’ll be amazing! 😀

    • Thanks Danica I have lost the thread of who has commented and who hasnt today but thanks very much for your support. A Reliable Wife is definitely on my radar, and my TBR, so I will be reading that one in the not too distant future.

  10. I recently finished Jane Eyre which I read for the first time and utterly adored!

  11. fleurfisher

    Major Pettigrew has just landed here too. I love the look of the book, but I’m puzzled at the choice of name given the recent success of a certain Miss Pettigrew.

  12. Mome Rath

    I am in the midst of Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and it is thoroughly engaging. It’s been a while since I have wanted to meet a literary character as much as I’d like to meet Sam Hamilton. And, only halfway through the book, I have half a mind to pack up my bags and visit the Salinas Valley of California, just to see where this takes place.

  13. Bloomsbury send you shortbread? Wow. How lovely of them!

    Whispering Gums recently reviewed Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. I think she described it as a mix between Miss Garnet’s Angel and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which had me all in a quandry because I loved Miss Garnet but hated that bloody potato peel book!

    • They did indeed and some lovely tea which I might actually have to have a cup of shortly, the shortbread is being saved.

      You do make me laugh ‘hated that bloody potato peel book’ has made me giggle. I liked both books so this could be a hit with me.

  14. Ahhh I’m really excited about your new book, I just read a lovely short bit from Kaste Saunders in The Times about how ‘Major Pettigrew’ is such a rewarding book.

  15. Have been enjoying the somewhat unexpected convergence of Bolano and Woolf as I wade through The Waves and The Skating Rink at the same time.

    Enjoy those treats, and I hope life gets less busy for you sometime soon. I can completely relate. Feel bad that I have not kept up with the rounds of late.

  16. I’ve come to this rather late – read Disgrace by Coetzee which I found unsettling which is what I suppose I am supposed to feel and started on Age of Innocence.

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