Books By The Bedside #6

I am just sorting out which books to take with me back to Matlock while I go and look after Granny Savidge for a while and thought it might be quite timely to share with you the books on my reading periphery at the moment. I have noticed that reviews are piling up at rather an alarming rate at the moment, especially now I can talk about any of the Green Carnation Prize books submitted apart from the shortlisted ones. So while you might not see my thoughts on the books below for a while here is what I am getting my reading tackle around currently…

The first was a book I ran out and bought (okay, I didn’t run I just went online and got it for a bargain) as on the Halloween special of The Readers I waffled on about a short story, about a man who moves into a house that smells of almonds, that really freaked me out but I had no idea what it was. Big thanks to Goodreads member Kristin who knew it was Roald Dahl’s ‘The Landlady’ and I have read it and been freaked out all over again and am really enjoying ‘Kiss Kiss’ as a very odd collection. More on it soon…

Second and third up are books that might seem a little morbid with all that is going on and yet I think will be proof that books can help you in difficult times. ‘Mortality’ by Christopher Hitchens is a book that AJ has raved about and then Karyn recommended I try with everything going on, as it is Hitchens’ memoirs/essays that he wrote for Vanity Fair after he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Here he shares everything he goes through from that point and I have heard that whilst I might not agree with him and his views his writing is incredible. Another book that has recently arrived is ‘The End of Your Life Book Club’ by Will Schwalbe, this is an account of the conversations he had with his mother as she was having treatment and then dying of cancer about books as something else to discuss and yet at the same time use to address what was going on. Oddly Gran and I mainly talk about books at the moment, sometimes books really can mirror your life.

The book I really want to pick up after these two is ‘Gossip from the Forest’ by Sara Maitland. I hadn’t heard of the book until I caught up with a recent episode of the BBC Book Cafe where she took one of the presenters around a wood talking about the history of forests and fairytales and where the two meet and how forests inspired the latter. This is exactly what this book is all about and as a big, big fan of both forests and fairytales this sounds like one of those rare non-fiction books I might actually ‘get’.

The final book on the bedside is one that I mentioned in my library loot vlog post. If there is one thriller that I have noticed seems to have the word of mouth buzz, rather than publisher hype, then it is ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn which sounds like an ideal escapist thrilling read which I could do with right now. So I think I will be packing all of these for my trip to Grans where we have already agreed we will have some reading time together as she isn’t getting enough. Like I would say no to that!

So which of these titles have you read and what are you reading right now? What have you been reading and what might you read next?

20 Comments

Filed under Books By The Bedside

20 responses to “Books By The Bedside #6

  1. Loved GONE GIRL. That’s one sick and twisted book. Of course, all of Gillian Flynn’s books are. Might be why I can’t put them down once I pick them up.

    • It is wonderful, I am so pleased lots of you lovely lot recommended it to me on and off through various means, one of my favourite books of the year and I am now hankering after reading all of her books.

  2. Laura Caldwell

    “a big, big fan of both forests and fairytales” Did you try Mythago Wood yet?!

  3. Simon, I read “The End of your Life Book Club” and absolutely adored it. It will definitely make my “best of 2012” shelf. And you’ll get a whole slew of book titles to add to your TBR. (As an aside, I’d be curious to see the whole UK cover, yet another cover that is totally different than here!) I also read “Gone Girl” but read it during a difficult time, so while it was good, I also don’t think fondly of it. I think of it as a “grubby” read. Christopher Hitchens has never been my cup of tea, although lots of people rave about him.

    • Read a fantastic review of this book by someone who finished that last 40 pages before going to an author event, the waiter in the café asked if she was ok, noticing the tears and her book discussion started there. Sounds like a compelling read if you can handle the subject and inevitable tragedy.

    • Oooh you won’t have to wait too long Chris as my review should be going up in a week or two and I will unveil the whole cover then. Or you could google it if you don’t want to wait hee hee😉

      I loooooooved Gone Girl, one of my books of the year.

  4. I’ve just finished “Rivers of London” by Aaronovitch and am now on the sequel “Moon over Soho”. So far so good. Next book will be “Ludmilla’s Broken English” by DBC Pierre (whom I have not read before).

    • Gavin loves the Aaronovitch books. I read the first one and then never wrote a review of it. Odd, nor did I go and rush to read the sequel. I liked it though.

      I have yet to read an DBC Pierre, I have yet to have the urge for one of his books, let me know if I am missing out.

  5. I have often wondered if I would like Kiss Kiss – so should I get it?

  6. Simon,
    I have just bought Gone Girl and sitting on my bedside for reading in the near future. At the moment I am reading Spirit House by Mark Dapin. The author is an Australian journalist and this novel is based on his memories as a young boy hearing stories from his grandfather who was a POW interned by the Japanese. Brutal and sad but it has laugh out loud funny bits!
    I think sometimes books choose us and come along at the right time and your selection is perfect for your time you will be spending with Granny Savidge.

    • I think you are right about that Jenny. I think certain books can comfort, confront and also just hit home just at the right moment. That is very much so the case with Will’s book.

      Oh and if you haven’t started it yet, be warned, Gone Girl is completely addictive.

  7. ‘Kiss Kiss’ is great, and I also love ‘Skin and other stories’ also by Roald Dahl. Definitely worth picking up if you haven’t read it. He is a master of all things macabre.

  8. Russell Gray

    Gone Girl is great. And will suprise you – just dont let anyone ruin it for you. The End of Your Life Book Club is amazing. I loved, loved, loved it. I think you will find that it is so uplifting.

    • You are right about Gone Girl, if anyone had spoilt it (and I was super careful not to spoil anything in my review this week) then it wouldn’t have had the effect it did, what a great nasty thriller.

      Uplifting but saddening too.

  9. The End of Your Life Book Club, Gone Girl, and Mortality all get rave reviews from me. Especially Mortality – it’s not as gloomy and sad as you think it’s going to be. Happy reading!

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