Books By The Bedside #2

I meant to blog all weekend I really did, alas I just got to busy with other fun stuff. As I had intended to post something about what we are all reading at the moment I thought that I would back date a post, that’s allowed isn’t it? So here we have the return of ‘Books By The Bedside’, a peripheral view of what I am reading at the moment and planning on reading very soon, also a series I planned to make more regular, whoops!


At the moment my main read, and book of contention if I am being honest, is ‘Mary Barton’ by Elizabeth Gaskell. Yes, I am still reading it. It’s a bit like wading through treacle (we’ve all been there). Despite a murder happening, which I thought might spice it up a bit, Mary has almost instantly worked out who it is so now we know. If it wasn’t the first choice for ‘Manchester Book Club’ I would have given up by now. But, like the characters in the book actually, I have the grim determination to see it through to the end against all obstacles… Like boredom. Shall we move on?

I am combating the above book with a favourite thanks to pure timing. Monday is World Book Night and not only will I be giving away copies of ‘Rebecca’ I will also be reading it at an event at Waterstones Deansgate from 6.30pm. I’ve been dipping into Daphers for some favourite sections! I do bloody love this book.

The two books I am planning to read are ‘Home’ the latest Toni Morrison novel, which will also be my first foray into her work, for a review in We Love This Book, I am intrigued to see how great she is. I know lots of people who love her work. It’s fairly short but I am hoping packs a punch. I will then be reading ‘The Last Werewolf’ by Glen Duncan, described by one of my favourite book lovers Marieke Hardy as a ‘very silly book’ and a ‘cock forest’. It’s also the first of The Readers Summer Book Club choices so I best crack on.

It’s rather a small pile of books for me I admit, but at the moment I am splitting my weeks between Manchester and Liverpool (more on the lovely reason for this soon), so only so many books I can lug about.

Anyway… Which books are you reading and keen to read? Have you read any of the above, or other works by the authors? Do let me know as always.


Filed under Books By The Bedside

22 responses to “Books By The Bedside #2

  1. I… I cannot articulate how jealous I am that you’ve got a copy of ‘Home’ before the rest of us! I love Toni Morrison. ‘Beloved’ is one of the few books I’ve read that’s just utterly, utterly perfect. ‘A Mercy’ is brilliant as well. But, whatever you do, don’t watch the film version of ‘Beloved’ Uuurch! Such a mess.

    At the moment I’m reading ‘The Great Lover’ by Michael Cisco (unbelievably good), ‘The Luck in the Head’ by M. John Harrison, and ‘Enduring Creation’ by Nigel Spivey, which is a non-fiction art history book about how painters (especially religious painters) represent pain. Pretty darn cool.


    • I have only just reviewed Home, well on the blog, finally and am looking for more recommendations hint, hint! Ha.

      I have never heard of the books you’ve been reading, I’m going to look them up pronto.

  2. I’m reading The White Tiger at the moment. Strange, but that’s the only one. I’m always meaning to get to Rebecca, but paperback copies are very elusive in Australia. (In Singapore, I couldn’t reach the top shelf and nor could the staff!) One day I’ll get there!

    • Ruthiella

      I loved The White Tiger. I hope you enjoy it as well!

    • Col

      Mary Barton on my shelves unread – think it might linger there awhile yet! Currently am reading Muriel Spark Short Stories and also her Ballad Of Peckham Rye. Mixing this with Phillip Larkins Letters To Monica ( I love his poetry but the letters show that Phillip was a bit of an arse at times!). Rebecca I loved. Not read others but Last Werewolf ordered and due this week. Of Toni Morrison only read ‘A Mercy’. Strange book for me – I kind of liked the storytelling rather than the story if you know what I mean!

    • Col

      White Tiger was fantastic. Hope you enjoy it!

    • Really? Rebecca is that hard to get? Email me your address I still have a few copies ‘just in case’!

  3. Goodness, I am REALLY liking your pile of books. I approve! Esp. Morrison and Maurier. Hope World Book Night goes really well. I suppose you’ll be reading aloud the opening segment (you must! you must!)

  4. gaskella

    I’m only a Mrs Gaskell by marriage, and despite intending (for years and years) to read ‘Middlemarch’ have never picked it, or any other of her books up!

    Currently reading Muriel Spark and Stephen King – what a contrast!

  5. Jo

    Reading a Graham Hurley crime novel, Alison Weirs new book out in June. Plus The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Benett. Need to do some finishing of books.

    I have Rebecca to read as well. It was my World Book Night choice. Reading it again for a book club that I have started (at friends request). Not sure how it will go? I love Rebecca be interesting to see what others think.

    • I did like dipping back in, but oh the narrator is a drip… But for all the right reasons.

      I have that lots of books on the go but none finished feeling at this very moment.

  6. I think given your descriptions of Mary Barton I’m going to have to put it on the not-now pile! Love that you’ve a reason to read passages of Rebecca, and how exciting to be able to share it with others who will hopefully be intrigued to give it a go!

  7. Oh no I fear Mary Barton is a bit of a slog. It’s not the best Gaskell to start with: North and South or Cranford are better entry points. Mary Barton is a bit, well, sentimental and holier-than-thou. Poor you. Very jealous of Home (although it’s confusing me – why is it that two of America’s greatest female writers, Toni Morrison and Marilynne Robinson, have given recent novels the same title?) Beloved is one of my all-time favourite reads, and Song of Solomon is wonderful too. 🙂 In fact, Beloved was my WBN choice last year.

  8. Ruthiella

    I have just dipped into the first few pages of The Last Werewolf as well, as prep for the Reader’s Summer Book Club. I have also just begun The Good Earth for the Cornflower Book Group’s May selection. And I am currently in the middle of The Somnambulist by Essie Fox and A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin.
    I just found out that World Book Night is actually happening in the U.S. as well this year?!I! And copies of Patti Smith’s Just Kids are being given away at a store local to me. I might stop by and pick one up? Dunno, it is a college town…will they all be handed out by the time I get there? Anyway, exciting to think that this event has made it over here; it is such a great idea.

    • I was talking to Gav about The Last Werewolf just yesterday and I said I was worried that people might be offended by it… I was shocked at how saucy it is. Though brilliant too!

  9. I’ve recently begun The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larrsson, I am surprised how much I am enjoying this series, I was certain I would dislike it.

    I’ve not read any of your pile, but I have wanted to begin Rebecca for a while.

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