I'm blaming this slightly on the fact that I'm suffering from a common complaint. Despite having all those books next to my bed, I can often be found wailing "I've got nothing to reeeeeaaaaadddd!" The local library comes in handy when this mood strikes me but bless them, they don't have the greatest selection in the world. Or perhaps I'm losing my ability to pick out the good ones?
The last armload I took out was a truly mixed lot. It contained Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger and William Walker's First Year of Marriage by Matt Rudd and they are two of the worst books I've ever read. What was Audrey Nifenegger thinking with this one? I won't even bother reviewing it because it will make me want to set the book on fire. Just look at some of the things people have written on Amazon and ignore the 5 star reviews because they were clearly written by lunatics. The plot is frankly ridiculous. I can't believe it got through the whole editing and publishing process without someone pointing out that it made No Sense. As for the other one, well I honestly don't know how he ever got a book deal. I'm sure he's a competent enough writer (it is his day job after all) but the characterisation is horrendous and the viewpoint of the title character was really quite nauseating. I felt thoroughly depressed after it and it was meant to be funny. Doom.
However, in the same batch were The Importance Of Being Seven by Alexander McCall Smith (oh Bertie, what a joy you are), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Six Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce, all of which were really rather good. The latter in particular is absolutely wonderful. It's not on general release yet - this copy was available as part of World Book Week as the author is from Liverpool and does lots of work with local libraries. His books often bring a little tear to my eye but they also really make me chortle.
Also worthy of a mention was a recent holiday read, Nemesis by Lindsey Davis. It's the latest (20th) in a series of detective novels set in Ancient Rome and the surrounding Empire, so I wouldn't recommend you start with this one if you haven't read any of them before. Grab yourself a copy of The Silver Pigs and start there. Oh they're brilliant - she creates such a sense of time and place and they're so interesting and funny. Not to mention the food descriptions - yum! Don't be put off by the historical setting either. I always think that they've got a very modern air to them and they're not difficult reads.
If you do follow my recommendation then I envy you, I really do. I would love to discover Falco again for the first time - he's one of my very favourite literary characters. This book is quite noticeably darker than some of the other recent books from the series but that's not a bad thing.
The to-read pile won't be going down any time soon either. My recent birthday has meant that I now have another 24 books to add to it:
I've been watching lots of sci-fi films recently so am muchly looking forward to reading the Philip K. Dick stories. And I don't think I've ever mentioned it on here but I do love wrestling, so the Chris Jericho book is bound to be v. entertaining.
You can always count on Lee to buy brilliant presents. Aren't these two sets lovely? I really like the clashing covers on the Penguin set but the cover designs on the Harper ones are just beautiful.
These are going to be so useful. The sewing book is amazing; absolutely packed with hints and tutorials.
I think I should probably just give up on further efforts to reduce the pile and embrace the fact that my bedside table is entirely made up of books. Does anyone have any recommendations for me?