I love reading but often find it hard to carve out the time. I walk to work, so don’t have a commute on which to read. I fall asleep after reading one or two pages in bed at night. When I come home from work, there is dinner to make and chores to do, and then in the evening we like to sit and watch something (so many good things around at the moment too – are you watching The Undoing? ). There are some weeks when I find the only reading I do is on a Saturday morning in Squirrel café. I do try to carve out other time at the weekends, and occasionally during the week, but there always seems to be other things going on.
Nothing beats a chance to have an extended chance to read, perhaps with a pot of tea and some sort of treat like rhubarb and custard tarts from Arobake. If it is raining, the sofa beckons, if it is warm and sunny, you can sit in the garden with a cooling glass of water with slices of lime. Oh for those summer holidays where there is nothing to do but read all day!
Anyway, what did I read in October? Well, after a poor page count in September (I struggled with Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore for some reason), October proved more fulfilling. To get me back into reading, I went back to old favourite Barbara Pym and re-read one of her early works Less Than Angels. I love her writing style and humour – there is so much to smile about in her books.
I then picked up Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld, a really clever novel, which poses the question, what would have happened to Hillary Rodham if she hadn’t married Bill Clinton? It weaves together real historical events with fiction, and is such a good read. Highly recommended even if you aren’t particularly interested in US politics.
We have a book club at work, and rather than pick one particular book, we select a theme. The next one up is ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’, and on looking at my pile of ‘to read books’ I spotted Kelvin Kwan’s latest novel, Sex and Vanity. It has the vague structure and character names to that of E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View and is full of hilarious moments. This is a great read and I found quite a few deadly sins for the book club too. Also highly recommended.
I also managed to read another volume of Ruth Reichl’s memoirs, Garlic and Sapphires, which concentrates on her time as restaurant critic at The New York Times. An interesting book, she describes the various disguises she used to visit restaurants and how the different personas were treated in the places she went. There are also a few recipes.
The last book I confess I actually did not finish in October, namely Hiromi Kawakami’s The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino. It is the story of a man who falls in love easily, and how his life unfolds: an intriguing and interesting read.
What have you read recently?
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