Mr Burkinshaw’s request for recommendations gave me the excuse of rushing to Waterstone’s to choose some summer reading books! This year I have chosen:
The Disappearance of Emile Zola by Michael Rosen – I did not know that Zola had fled to England, having lost a libel action in Paris. This book tells the story of his flight and subsequent life in London
As far as I Know by Roger McGough – I admit to never really having studied poetry or read much since school. However, I saw this selection by McGough whom I enjoy hearing on Radio 4 and thought it would be a good start to correcting this gap!
The Careful Use of Compliments Alexander McCall Smith – this is my book for the plane – easy to enjoy and well-written, I have much enjoyed his other books
I also have a couple to dip into when time allows:
Carol Klein's Favourite Plants – Carol Klein a fabulous presenter on the television (notably Gardeners’ World) and this is a beautifully put together book, listing and explaining some popular and others much less known plants
Chasing the Dram - Finding the Spirit of Whisky by Rachel McCormack – a history of whisky and its myths. In the introduction, she writes: “The Scottish approach to whisky – drunk with no ice and maybe only a ‘wee’ bit of water – can often be similar to the Presbyterian approach to sex: lights off, one position and never admit that you are actually enjoying it. Rachel believes that there is a whole Kama Sutra of uses that whisky can enhance. Not just in cocktails but in food too.” Should be a fun read!
Going back to childish roots, I am planning on re-reading Cider With Rosie. The descriptions of childhood, nature, loss and friendship are my main motivations for wanting to come back to this text.
Books I am reading right now and hopefully going to read this summer include:
The History of Tom Jones: a Foundling by Henry Fielding
Stalin's Englishman by Andrew Lownie
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton