Happy New Year everybody! I’m a little late with this but better late than never. Since the new year is a time for looking forward but also taking stock of the past year I thought I’d share with you my year of reading. This has nothing to do with food but since this is a food blog I put some gluten free banana millet muffins in the picture to make us all feel comfortable. Recipe here. (They are really good by the way). Regulars may know I have a big commute to my day job. I honestly don’t think I would keep my sanity half so well on this commute if it wasn’t for the joy of reading a good book on the train. Reading transports you away from the train delays, the dubious smelling person you are sitting next to, the man coughing up phlegm behind, the tall woman resting her newspaper on your head (I’m short and this actually happened). I don’t keep track of what I’ve read but I wish I had. I know I average about one book a week. I’m guessing maybe 45 in a year. The reason for this review is purely self indulgent. In about a month my job relocates (even further away) and I will have to drive to work instead of getting the train. No more stories to transport me into another world as I sit staring at the bumper of the car in front of me. Books will have to become my occasional friends rather than my constant companions. Books, I will miss you...unless anyone fancies sitting in my car and reading to me...
If I had to choose a top five:
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: If you read one book on writing this should be it. I’ve seen it recommended on quite a few different blogs. It is instantly readable and it tells the truth about writing, warts and all. I devoured it in one sitting and found it so inspiring.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt: Beautifully written, a chilling mystery set in an elite New England college. So good I made my husband read it too so we could discuss. He devoured it as speedily as I did.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: The story of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemmingway’s first wife. Set in the glamour of Jazz age Paris among artists and writers. I love everything about this era.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: A chilling and twisted tale of twin sisters and a mysterious house. This prompted an American lady sitting next to me on the train to start up a discussion about how great this book is.
The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy: I’ve read quite a few Kennedy books this year. His writing is always instantly gripping and this is probably the most well known and best of his novels. Set in post war Manhattan during the time of McCarthyism this is a thrilling tale of love and betrayal. If you are reading this Mr Kennedy, please get your book covers re-designed. They look like Mills and Boon.