20 Books of Summer (except that it’s Winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. By Cathy’s own admission, she doesn’t have a great track record with her own challenge… But I do! As I’ve done in previous years, I’m using this challenge to read from my to-be-read stack (with a particular focus on hard copies). The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd. Continue reading

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The American Lover by Rose Tremain

I have two summer holiday traditions when it comes to reading – tackling one really big book (because if I get engrossed I can block out the day for reading), and a short story collection or two (because I can read and doze and not lose track of where I’m at). Which is why I selected The American Lover by Rose Tremain.

I think of Tremain as a short-story-master and this collection didn’t disappoint. The theme of loneliness, or rather loners, runs through the collection. There’s regrets, ‘could-have-beens’, unfulfilled wishes and compromises – all written about in Tremain’s precise style.

Four stories stood out – Continue reading

Reading the Stella Prize Shortlist – A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Harrower

a-few-days-in-the-country-and-other-stories-elizabeth-harrower

I’m back in familiar-short-story-territory with Elizabeth Harrower’s A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories. And that territory is uneven. Some of the stories in this collection shone but others, not so much. There are twelve stories, predominantly exploring the different roles of women – in friendship, as mothers and daughters, and as wives. Continue reading

Swimming… Deserves a good book

That’s one of my favourite songs, predominantly because it’s about one of my favourite things – swimming.

I could have made a list of ten words that instantly make me pick up a book (this week’s Top Ten topic, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish) but it seemed like I was repeating what I’d done here. So instead I thought of the one single word that is a sure-fire winner for me. No prizes for guessing what that word is…. But if you haven’t, you ought to go back to the start of this post). Continue reading