What Have You Been Reading & What Should I Be Reading?

On Tuesday the 21st you will all get to finally hear what I have been reading over the summer. Well that isn’t technically true, you will all get to hear about a selection of the particular highlights of my summer reading as the Costa Book Awards 2017 shortlists are announced, including the First Novel selection which I have been judging along with the lovely Sophie Raworth and Sandy Mahal. We have had a wonderful summer of reading and the judging process has been hard (well, choosing the final four books was, the rest was lots of laughing, eating lovely food and having some great discussions about literature and life in general – lovely how books bring people together) because there was a plethora of wonderful books yet only four places allowed on the shortlist, we did ask for five but it was a no go. I can’t even think about how we will decide on a winner. Anyways, let us not think of that now.


In what seems like a timely fluke two other things have happened which mean I am finding myself much more footloose and fancy free. Firstly my issues with WordPress seem to have been sorted and the site seems to be working now, meaning the end of the great ‘blog freeze’ which I have been fretting with behind the scenes (and then happened again hence why this is back dated) halting the lovely plans I had for the Savidge Reads relaunch and ten year celebrations. However they can continue now and we can all have a jolly time in the lead up to the New Year, which links nicely into the second timely thing…

I have now finished all my events (workshops, author interviews, etc.) for the year which feels very strange and now makes 2018 – and that small thing of hosting Christmas at my house for my family for the first time ever beforehand – feel all the closer and so my brain is now free to start plotting what I want to do next year. At the moment it is just a mulling but really regular routine is top of the list with blogging, podcasting and just life in general, there is still lots to do on the house including finishing the library.

There is also the biggest joy of being able to read just whatever on earth I fancy after a whole summer and most of autumn having a list of required reading. This is both thrilling and weirdly terrifying (I made a video about it here if you want to watch my full panic) as the options seem endless and suddenly I am rusty at just picking what I want to read, when I want to. There are just so, so, so, so, so many books that I could choose from, it is weirdly intimidating.

So I thought you might help, as well as it be a rather lovely way to catch up and have a chat in the comments below, by sharing the books that you have loved and read so far this year that I might like to give a whirl before I share four books I hope you will on Tuesday. So let me know, what books have you loved this year/summer and why should I be rushing to read them myself? I look forward to all the tempting recommendations.


Filed under Random Savidgeness

20 responses to “What Have You Been Reading & What Should I Be Reading?

  1. David Llewellyn

    Have you read Paul Beatty’s ‘The Sellout’? Won the Booker last year. I read it in about three sittings and laughed like a drain throughout.

  2. Paula

    Hi Simon
    I have just finished “Birdcage Walk” by Helen Dunmore and “Man with a Seagull on his Head” by Harriet Paige. Helen is a sad loss and an experienced writer while Harriet is a first time novelist. I enjoyed both of them alot.

    • Helen Dunmore is/was one of my mum’s favourite authors and she has told me to read her for many years. I have only read her Hammer Horror book and I don’t think that was the best example of her work, so always looking for more recommendations. I liked the Paige quite a bit when I read it.

  3. Kevin Duffy

    The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers. I think he’s probably one of the best
    writers of landscape and nature.

  4. OK, this is a bit obscure, but it can be found in second-hand bookshops, including Abe Books online. Karel Capek’s Letters from England was recommended to me by a French friend and it’s a charming, amusing portrayal of the Czech writer’s visit to the UK in the 1920s/30s which still rings remarkably true.

  5. I have been reading October by China Mieville and it’s fabulous and everyone should read it. As for Marina’s recommendation of the Capek book I have to agree – it’s a delight!

  6. If you’ve not yet read it do give Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor a go. It’s superbly constructed and a twist on the missing child device.

    • I shall be reading that very soon one of my fellow debut judges Sophie is reading it right now and has said very promising things, plus its a Costa shortlisted book which wins me over instantly. Ha!

  7. J. Newton

    Do try Liquidity by Rosco Low, a few hiccups early on but it soon becomes an unputdownable page turner. The pace picks up and you just have to know what the next twist and turn is going to be. I think it’s a great first novel and I am looking forward to the sequel.

    • Wow, I see there is a Rosco Low fan club… this many recommendations of a book always makes me feel slightly suspicious. So I have kept just this one. At least you have mentioned it has flaws unlike everyone else did.

  8. Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, so worth the twenty year wait!

  9. Kayla

    I recently finished and recommend A House without Windows by Nadia Hashimi. I thought it was well written with an eye opening look into the lives of afghan women.

  10. Linda aka Sherpagirl

    Have you read “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”? I wasn’t convinced I would enjoy it, but I tackled it over the summer and it became my book of the year – fabulous, unforgiving and beautifully written. Go for it! It’s not quite a chunkster (your wonderful word, which I have now adopted!) but it is rather substantial.
    Also, I would love to know what you think about readers keeping book diaries – I have kept diaries recording EVERY book I have read since 1995 – these diaries are the only books I would rescue from a fire. Sometimes I just re-read my entries for sheer joy and nostalgia at my reading past. Now that just makes me sound like someone who doesn’t get out much…:)

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