Thursday, November 26, 2009

Booky Wooky

Was thinking back over the past several months and happily realised that I have managed to do enough reading to do a little round-up post for book lovers. In my sleep deprived state (on which I conveniently blame everything these days) I make no promises about the incisiveness of my reviews, but here you go . . .

BB who can always be counted on for great recommendations (book and otherwise) gave me The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney. Historical fiction set in colonial Canada? Yes please! An engaging story so good I read it by the glow of Seb's nightlight in the wee small hours.

Along with stacks of baby gear, I packed a few novels for our trip to Sasky in August. Luckily I included Heartburn (thanks Dwd!) by Nora Ephron, the darkly comedic story of a cookbook author whose husband cheats on her when she's pregnant with her second child (interestingly based on Ephron's real life - poor thing!) Sounds a bit tragic, but it was just the right amount of funny and fluffy for the summer hols. While in Saskatoon I enjoyed seeing Julie & Julia also by Ephron which combined two of my favs - rom coms and cooking! Can't go wrong.

Shortly after moving to the big(ger) smoke, I indulged my yearning for all things Belfast by finally reading Number 5 by Glenn Patterson, local Norn Iron author who we used to spot frequently on our beloved Belmont Road. I really enjoyed this story (ready Selfy's review here) of one house in Belfast spanning five decades and five families. I was particularly impressed how the story spans and touches on the Troubles without being exclusively about them.

Later in the fall I turned to a little bit of crime fiction by devouring Kate Atkinson's mini series of Case Histories and One Good Turn. I must confess here to developing a little crush on super sleuth and all round cool guy with hard luck, Jackson Brodie. Excited to have read something that Stu might actually enjoy, I excitedly passed them on but I think he found them kindof blah.

Not sure what this reveals(!), but lately I seem to have read a few angst ridden, slightly depressing books about marriage including The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller (yes, DwD the ending was weird), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller (do you think she gets tired of being described as daughter or Arthur and wife of Daniel D-L?) and The Family Tree by Carole Cadwaladr. I think I would describe all three as good but definitely not great.

And that brings me to now, where I am unusually in the midst of reading some non-fiction. Stu enjoyed A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller so much that I had to give it a try. Perhaps best described as a kind of 'spiritual memoir' this book makes you think about the kind of story you're living. Deep stuff man.

Of course, an Always Paddle blog post wouldn't be complete without a food reference (or two!) and so I bring you our cookbook of the autumn, China Modern by Ching-He Huang. I have had it on repeat loan from our local library for several weeks now and have enjoyed several good dishes.

So that's the run down! Now on the hunt for titles for the Christmas season and 2010 - leave me a comment with your top tips . . .


BethB said...

I do love a shout out x

The Clothesline said...

So glad to see you're reading Kate Atkinson - READ EM ALL! For North American reads I'd suggest Olive Kitteridge and Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Ann Fadiman. Canadian must-reads include Galore by Michael Crummey, Alice Munroe's latest stories - it won the Booker! - and Year of the Flood. Also read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society if you haven't. Happy night reading!

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