I have read some lovely books recently which I’d like to recommend. I hope you’ll find some of these interesting and read them also.
Jane Sullivan’s Storytime was gorgeous – a reminiscence of childhood reading. In each chapter the author looked back at a book she had loved as a child, trying to remember why she loved it and what it was all about. Then she re-reads the book, sometimes finding the same thrills and joys in reading it, but sometimes disappointed. I had read most of the books she chose and while I did not always agree with her (especially in the chapter on Little Women) she made me think and reflect and the book was a joy.
Then I read A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier (who shot to fame with her The Girl with a Pearl Earring), This was a novel about a single woman living in Winchester between the wars. She gets involved in stitching kneeler cushions for the great cathedral – visitors can still see those cushions there today. I like the way Chevalier mixes well-researched history with a good story.
Constable in Love by Martin Gayford was a book for every art-lover. It tells of John Constable’s long courtship of Maria Bicknell, whose family thought he was too poor to marry her, but it is also a fascinating analysis of how the relationship affected his art. I loved every page of this book and wanted to rush off to the Tate and see all those Constables again!
It’s an extremely rare thing for me to read a book about sport! However, I was intrigued by Fredrik Backmann’s Beartown which was superbly read on audio (Backmann is best known for A Man Called Ove). It’s about a small Swedish community obsessed with ice-hockey, and when a girl is raped by the best player in the team, the ramifications are enormous. It was gripping, depressing and memorable. But don’t hold your breath for another book on sport any time soon!