This is where my review of Laurie Graham’s latest book The Grand Duchess of Nowhere would usually be – but in exciting news, I’ve actually reviewed it over on the wonderful Novelicious. You can read my thoughts Ducky’s Adventures by clicking here.
And in case you’ve found your way over here after reading Novelicious and come to see what I write about – Hello! It’s lovely to see you. This blog started as a means of forcing me to take action against my burgeoning to-read pile and to try and control my book buying. It hasn’t entirely worked. You’ll find I post a weekly list of everything that I’ve read, a monthly update on the state of the pile and what I’ve bought and then other posts reviewing books that I’ve read, authors that I like and just general recommendations.
Please do go and read my review of The Grand Duchess – and then go and buy a copy. And if you’ve already read (and I hope loved) Ducky’s story, then go and fill in a gap in your Laurie Graham back catalogue. If you’re new to Ms Graham’s work, may I recommend Gone With the Windsors (my favourite) or At Sea or Mr Starlight. But really they’re all good.
Now seemed like a really good chance to mention a few books that I’m really excited to read over the next few months. And also if I tell you that I’m going to read them over the next few months, then I might actually manage to do it!
Firstly, out this week just finishing, Laurie Graham’s The Grand Duchess of Nowhere. I love Laurie Graham’s books – as I may have mentioned before, Gone with The Windsors is one of my all time favourites, so I’m always excited to read something new from her. Grand Duchess has just come out in hardback, so it may well go on my Christmas book list if I don’t manage to resist snapping it up before then!
Coming out in November is the latest book from Marian Keyes. I’m expecting The Woman Who Stole My Life to be one of the big books this Christmas and I’m excited to see what Marian has come up with this time. She’s one of my favourite authors on Twitter (so funny) and her books are always the right balance of funny, sad and thought provoking.
Also on my watchlist is Mhairi McFarlane’s It’s Not Me, It’s You – which is out the same day as the Marian Keyes. The blurb for this is totally up my street – a quest for the heroine’s real self with dodgy jobs, weird bosses and handsome journalists. Sounds perfect and I’m really looking forward to it.
Now there are a whole bunch of other books that are coming out soon that I’m hoping to read too – but they’re all themed around a major festival that happens in December and I refuse to start talking about that this early. Having worked in a shop through sixth form and university I have developed an aversion to the countdown to that particular event starting too early. But rest assured, I will be posting about books suitable for reading at that time of year in enough time for you to get them on your gift lists or to stock up for reading in front of roaring fires whilst you eat seasonally appropriate food stuffs. Just not in early October. I can’t do it.
You’ll remember a few weeks back I spoke about my poor record with Booker-nominated books and their authors and my pledge to do better. Since then I’ve read one of the Muriel Spark’s from my backlog and then got distracted by upcoming new releases and #Sunathon. Well today the Booker Longlist is out and I thought I’d check whether this year’s nominees increase my hit rate!
As five of the list haven’t been published yet, I think I can be forgiven for not having read them, and there’s one book on here that I actually already had on my to read list (but not the pile!) and that is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, who is one of three authors on the list who I’ve read books by. And I need all of those three (the others are Siri Hustvedt and David Nicholls) to make the shortlist because it would really improve my record, with no extra effort from me. Of the other authors, I’ve got an Ali Smith waiting to be read – and I really should read some David Mitchell. As for the rest, I need to go away and read about them and read some reviews and decide which I might want to read and then wait for the Kindle discounts to come around!
The Longlist in full:
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
J by Howard Jacobson
The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
Us by David Nicholls
The Dog by Joseph O’Neill
Orfeo by Richard Powers
How to be Both by Ali Smith
History of the Rain by Niall Williams