Incoming Thoughts…

It has been about a month since I shared some of the highlights of the books that have come through the Savidge letterbox and so I thought I would share some of the books (as I am being very tough on books that now come through the door unsolicited) that I will be reading over the next few months as the mood takes me. Though I have been thinking about how I might change things on Savidge Reads in the New Year, but more on that after I have mulled it further. Anyway back to the books that have come to Savidge Reads HQ and have made themselves most at home. First up some books which have come out quite recently…

Out Now

First of all, I have to mention the book that is causing some big buzz here there and everywhere at the moment and that is S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. I have to admit that initially I was a bit sceptical about the book because of all the hype. I knew it was written by ‘the man behind Lost’ and if I am honest I wasn’t sure about it because I stopped watching Lost after the first series as I got, erm, lost. However as I saw people discussing it and how the book houses postcards, napkins with maps on, letters and much more my interest was officially piqued. When it arrived in the post last week I will admit I did do a little dance of glee. As yet I haven’t dared open it, I am planning on spending the day with it next weekend – as I don’t want to lose the pieces inside or put them in the wrong order. This is partly why I still haven’t opened Building Stories by Chris Ware, it is still wrapped on the top of my bookshelves.

Elsewhere in that pile are some new to me authors such as Ismail Kadare (who won the International Man Booker Prize, and its short so worth a punt), Jorn Lier Horst (who I was recommended I would like for giving a very different twist on the cold crime genre) and Nadifa Mohammed (whose Black Mamba Boy I have always meant to read and haven’t and is one of the Granta Best Young British Novelists), all of whom I am going to give a try.

There are authors I know too of course. M.R.C. Kasasain’s The Mangle Street Murders was one of the books I mentioned in my ‘books to look out for in the second half of 2013’ on The Readers, I love a Victorian mystery and this looks like a great start of a new series with a duo with a new dynamic and looks at the roles of women in Victorian society, ace. Val McDermid I have been a big fan of for ages and am very excited to read the next Tony Hill and Caron Jordan series after how she left us with The Retribution, this time Tony is prime suspect in a crime. Kishwar Desai’s series is one I often tell myself off for not reading more of, this is her third so I really must read her second.

The last two books are from more famous authors I suppose you would say. Donna Tartt really needs no introduction at the moment as The Goldfinch has had more press and social media buzz than I have seen in a book in ages. It has really put me off and after hearing the last episode of The Readers, her publishers sent me this to see if I could be tempted. We will see. I loved The Secret History so I am not sure why I am so anti this one. Finally there is the memoir of Anjelica Huston (who I like to call Jelly Who-Who, and have been slightly obsessed by since she played the Grand High Witch in the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches and as Morticia in The Addams Family) I can be a bit funny about celebrity memoirs but I find her a fascinating woman and apparently her mother was a great writer and it runs in the family by all reports. Actually a bit giddy about this one.

Next up, some more books to keep your eyes peeled for in 2014…

Coming 2014

Oh actually Essie Fox’s latest The Goddess and the Thief, another Victorian delight, is out at the start of December my mistake. Louise Welsh is back with A Lovely Way To Burn the start of a new trilogy which sounds like a crime set in a dystopian London from the blurb. Tim Winton is back with Eyrie a novel of a man who has shut himself off from the world and whose past comes to haunt him through some neighbours he meets. Kinder Than Solitude by Yiyun Li (who I have meant to read for some time) also sees the past coming back to haunt three friends, now living continents apart, who were involved in a mysterious accident in their youths that saw a woman poisoned.

Eat My Heart Out is meant to be the debut of the Spring as Zoe Pilger has apparently written The Bell Jar meets The Rachel Papers, intriguing – Sam Byers loves this book. Lost tribes are hunted in 1950 in Hanya Yanagihara’s The People in the Trees which Ann Kingman of Books on the Nightstand has been raving about. If you like your books with a dark disturbing twist and sense of malice The Bear by Claire Cameron looks amazing as a camping trip goes horribly wrong and five year old Anna is left to fend for her and her three year old brother as her parents have disappeared and something is lurking in the woods.

Ray Robinson’s Jawbone Lake is one that will intrigue me personally as it is set in the Peak District, which is of course my homeland, and you know I love a good tale set in the countryside and a literary thriller, which apparently this is. I actually spent some time with Ray when he was writing it and we hunted murderous spots in Matlock – though I’ve noted there are no thanks for this tour in the author’s acknowledgements, the bugger, ha! This is probably going to be my next read.

Finally, blimey I have gone on, three books I bought when I fell into a second hand bookshop the other day…

Second Hand Treats

You will read my thoughts on A.M. Homes May We Be Forgiven in the next few weeks and suffice to say I am a bit on the fence with her. I think she’s an incredible writer but almost too good. That might sound crazy though it will make sense when you see my review; I decided to grab Jack as I want to try more of her work. Tove Jansson is an author many people, especially Simon T of Stuck in a Book, have recommended so I thought I would try her short stories. Paul Bowles The Sheltering Sky I know NOTHING about but it was a silver Penguin Classic and so I thought ‘oh why not?’ and snapped it up.

Phew – that is more chatter than I had planned, I do apologise. So do tell me your thoughts on any of the books that are out, the ones that are coming and any of the authors mentioned. Oh and if you think this is a showy off post go here and see my thoughts on that. Also do let me know what books you have got your hands on lately or what you are keen to read, I look forward to hearing all about them.


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

18 responses to “Incoming Thoughts…

  1. I am in no way tempted to read The Goldfinch either for the very same reasons you quote here.

    The Mangle Street Murders sounds totally up my alley. I hope you review it soon 🙂

    • It is one I am certainly planning on reading in the near future Elena, the time of year is perfect for a good Victorian mystery. The Goldfinch might languish for a bit, I really need to decide how I feel about it!

      • Oh dear, the flu got into my grammar’s way! I meant FOR the reasons you quote here.

        And yes, prer-Christmas time is perfect for a Victorian mystery. I should look for one for me, actually. Any recs?

      • Have you read Gillespie and I – though that isn’t quite that era? If not you can never go wrong with a good sensational Wilkie Collins from the period itself.

  2. LauraC

    First of all, let me say that The Secret History is my favorite book (and due for a reread.) I just finished The Goldfinch. It is nowhere as good as The Secret History. I rated it only a 3 on Goodreads. It is WAY too long, WAY too many details, and the ending is AWFUL. The writing IS excellent though. It took a long time to read it. It is only because of The Secret History that I stuck with it. The beginning of the book was excellent, but once he got to Vegas it steadily went downhill. There is still a lot more book after that. I was disappointed.

    • I have been questioning the ‘length of a book’ thing on and off this year and unless the novel was written in the Victorian period I seem to have an issue reading some of these massive tomes. I should work on this, the problem is there is invariably the thought of ‘how many other books could I be reading’ especially if a book is a bit ‘meh’. Maybe I just need to sit down with it and see how I go?

  3. gaskella

    I bought two copies of S. – one to read and one to keep sealed! I’ve read the first half a dozen pages or so only so far – and it took me about an hour – not wanting to miss any tiny little thing. However I’m sure that once I can devote a bit more time to it, it will be a faster read. I’ve not delved deeply either into all the bits as I want them to be surprises!

    • Wow, that is book collecting indeed Annabel. I have to say though the thought has crossed my mind as I think, like Chris Wares ‘Building Stories’, this is set to be a collectors item one day. I have had a look through the book now and the additional inclusions are AMAZING!

  4. David

    You’ve completely sold me on ‘Jawbone Lake’ and for the same reason you want to read it too: the Peak District setting.
    ‘The Bear’ sounds interesting, though child narrators (especially very young child narrators) can really irritate me so I might wait to read a few reviews of that one.
    ‘The Eyrie’ is the only one of these I’ve read and it is very good, though I say that as something of a fan of Winton’s writing. That being said, for me it wasn’t up there with his best (Cloudstreet, Breath, The Turning) and has a rather ambiguous ending that I’m not sure about – on the one hand it works and I’m not sure how else he could have ended it, but on the other I did feel like “you had me gripped for 400+ pages and THIS is how you end it?!” 🙂
    Oh, and last time you did one of these posts I’m sure you had a copy of Christos Tsiolkas’s ‘Barracuda’: I read it the other week and it is brilliant, one of my reads of the year.

    • I am very excited about Jawbone Lake. I wanted to start it last night but then remembered I have a book club book to read so will read that then Robinson and then the two Hear Read This selections too. Blimey, that’s my reading sorted out for a few weeks then.

      The Eyrie is one I a unsure about, I think I like Tim Winton but I am not sure. I read Breath and thought it was ‘ok’ I don’t remember it at all now.

      I do have Barracuda indeed and that is on the shelves by my bed where ‘imminent’ reads are housed. I think he is coming on You Wrote The Book!

  5. The Goldfinch is brilliant!

  6. I read The Sheltering Skywhen I was twenty-something and have been – from time to time – haunted by it ever since. I wonder how it would strike me now … looking forward to your review. (Although if you don’t like it I may have to shut my eyes and return to my private haunting.)

  7. I love looking at what other people are reading! We share about 5 books in common. I am so looking forward to People in the Trees. Sounds like it is right up my alley. And I’ve also been toying with Kishwar Desai.

    • Kishwar I can vouch for and say is officially brilliant! The People in the Trees I am just excited about because if Ann Kingman says its good (and she has a few times) then it will be really good.

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