I’ve had a fabulous start to my reading year! Quality, quirkiness, erudition and utter reading satisfaction have been provided by three very different books. Let me share them with you:
This is Happiness by Niall Williams (left in the image above) is a novel set in an Irish village which is going to be connected to the electricity grid. I found the first chapters a little slow to really get into, but after that I was hooked. The book was so beautifully written, moving and tender, and such an awesome evocation of place.
Still Life by Sarah Winman (centre). I listened to this quirky novel, read by the author herself, and was immersed in Florence, the unusual characters and the humour of the book. I learned a lot about the terrible flood in Florence in 1966 and the role played by students who came from around the world to help in the clean-up.
This Long Pursuit by Richard Holmes (right). Holmes is a superb biographer and his books Footsteps and Sidetracks (both utterly wonderful books) tell of his journeys and researches as a biographer. This book completes his trilogy and examines the history of biography, what a biographer chooses to leave in or out, how biography has changed over the centuries, and it includes his personal reflections on the job of biographer. Absorbing, brilliant, erudite, entertaining – I have no doubt whatsoever that this will be one of my Top Books for 2022. I am in love with Richard Holmes!