I thought I’d haul the first ten books off the top of the pile that is lurking behind my shirts in my bedroom cupboard – it’s my guilty trove of books that I’ve bought on sales, succumbed to on-line temptations – what can I say? Other people are hooked on booze and nicotine, I’m hooked on books.

  • Amrita – Banana Yoshimoto : I just couldn’t resist her name and it was a sale book, plus I’m in a Japanese novel phase
  • Double Negative – Ivan Vladislavic: Despite his name, a South African novelist with Yugoslav origins; he’s so good he makes me breathless; both his talent and his lovely blue eyes ….
  • Pulphead John Jeremiah Sullivan : much lauded American essayist; I wanted to find out what the fuss was about
  • How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive Christopher Boucher: there’s crazy, & then there’s this writer. I read the first 50 pages, and thoroughly bemused, put it back on the pile; I need to dive into his special brand of lunacy again, and swim bravely for the shore
  • Saraswati Park Anjali Joseph; an Indian novel, a debut; I love Indian novels, for the colour, the characters, the foreignness
  • Game Control – Lionel Shriver: can’t wait to see what this powerful novelist does with modern Africa
  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies – Alexander McCall Smith: I always enjoy his books on Africa; he’s an instant tonic
  • The Savage Detectives Roberto  Bolano: I keep reading rave reviews about this Mexican writer and want to give him a try
  • Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Amy Chua: the famous/infamous Chinese/American mum with the Boot Camp approach to child rearing. Again – I’m curious
  • Alan Sugar What you see is what you get: Rough diamond industrialist, British peer, cracker of whips on the British version of The Apprentice: I was mightily diverted by him on TV and interested to learn what makes him tick

Now if only I had more time to read, I could get stuck into some of these prospective treats.  Watch this space.


Filed under BOOK REVIEWS


  1. I got a load of books, more than ten, for my 60th birthday. They are all crying out to be read but, like you, I’m short of time. When you have a solution to that problem, let me know. It’s not just the making time but overcoming the guilt: reading is an indulgence ergo, I ought to be doing chores, contacting friends, taking exercise. Advice awaited.


    • I disagree with you : reading is not an indulgence, it is a necessity – brain & soul food. Perhaps you need to shift your definitions? this done, reading will again be enjoyable! I do a lot of my reading very early in the mornings – Chocolat is an early riser and a persistent alarm clock substitute One of my contacts on GOODREADS leads a busy life (as you do) and she listens to a lot of audiobooks, one solution to the time demon.


  2. With so much moving around, Kindles became a blessing for us. We went through our huge bookcases and gave away a lot of books.

    Then we stopped by a small bookstore and browsed. Which, of course, is never *really* just browsing. Then we found some books at a library sale. Another bookstore…

    And we got right back up to the weight in books we had given away fairly quickly.

    It’s an addiction. Truly. I’m surprised Betty Ford Clinic doesn’t have a program for it.


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