Though I’ve always been a voracious reader, I tend to go through phases where I simply can’t get enough of the written word. I’ve been in one of these reading spells for the last couple of months and have really enjoyed the below books. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next read or thinking forward to buying books for Christmas, consider these…
– At Home by Bill Bryson // It’s hard to find fault in this book which is dense with Bryson’s discoveries on how we humans have gone about our daily lives over the centuries. It’s a hefty read, but a thoroughly rewarding one.
– The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch // The best book I’ve read all year, this has it all – Murdoch’s brilliant turn of phrase, proper, believable characters and a plot that twists and turns until the very end.
– The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz // A series of stories told by a psychiatrist about cases he’s worked on, I ended up reading this from cover to cover within two days.
– The Violins of Saint-Jacques by Patrick Leigh-Fermor // This was my book club’s summer read. It transpired to be a perfect book for warmer days. As usual, Fermor employs his evocative style, which lends itself perfectly to a tale of bygone days on an exotic island.
– The Dinner by Herman Koch // My interest was piqued by this one when I heard the entire book is set over the course of one evening. Handling a crime committed by two teenage boys sets said evening in motion. It’s pretty hard to put it down.
– Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig // Zweig is one of my favourite authors on the strength of his short stories. Having ploughed my way through many of them, I decided to read his only novel. It’s a breathtaking story of the pitfalls of human nature and difficulty in extricating yourself from a situation. I’d recommend it to one and all.
– The Awakening by Kate Chopin // Having read this book as part of my degree, I wanted to revisit it to see if years gone by changed my perspective on it. The story of boredom and infidelity which shocked readers in 1899 is still a powerful read. Years on from first reading, I found new poignancy in the account of adult life and the shortcomings of ‘grown up’ responsibility.