Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Summer reading...

Nothing to report really. We're all lying around feeling stunned. Mostly from the intense heat, but also from the complete break from routine. No more need to get up - dressed-breakfast-teeth-hair and-out-the-door by five to nine. Phew!
Instead we're in vests and pants all day, eating biscuits. But it's taking us a while to get unwind and get used to it - the boys keep looking at me as if to say, "Isn't there something we should be doing?"
"Nope, just stay in your pants and pass me another biscuit."

Shady spots in the garden
The garden is full of butterflies and big fat bees. The freezer is full of ice-cream and the fridge is packed with lemons, cold chicken and salad. (To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all those lemons, but there's nothing more summery than a lemon, is there?)
My feet are bare, my phone is switched off, my wristwatch is...actually I've no idea where my watch is - I 'll go and look for it later on. You get the idea.
I haven't done any writing for almost a week, so I'm beginning to feel (ever-so-slightly) twitchy about it. But I know not to expect to get much done in the holidays. Instead, my plan is to tackle my towering To-Be-Read pile. After all, reading is much easier than writing  -  I can dip in and out of a book; I can read in the garden, the bath or my bed; I can even carry a book with me while I'm making drinks and snacks for the boys. And - hopefully - I'll have a sense of accomplishment when I've finished.
That is my plan.
My TBR pile is a pretty weird assortment. As a writer, I should probably say 'eclectic' or 'diverse'...but 'weird assortment' definitely describes it best.
Hmm, think this one was recommended by someone writing in the comments section of the Guardian. I was reading an article about books set in pre-Revolutionary France - since I'm planning a historical thread for my next book - and someone mentioned that this was a great YA/children's book on the subject. I enjoyed Leon Garfield's book 'Smith', so I've decided to give this one a try too.

Christina Courtenay's publishers sent me a free - FREE! - kindle upon which I shall be reading many of these books. I am therefore duty-bound to read ALL her books for evermore. Luckily, She is a fun writer who comes up with something different each book - exotic or historical settings, quarrelsome ghosts and even deadly ninja heroines. This is her first YA story.  

Another book set around the French Revolution and since it's by La Grande Daphne I have to read it. C'est research! 

Similarly, if it's by Neil Gaiman, I have to read it. And the reviews I've seen for this one have been spectacular.
LOVE Eva Ibbotson. I've just bought 'The Abominables' to read to my seven-year-old and found myself reaching for this one too. It's set in Vienna - with crumbling castles, pastries and coffee, dancing horses and famous jewels. Research, I tell you - research!
This one was recommended ages ago by a bubbly German friend. I think I've been putting it off because she said when I'd finished it I could keep it. So I had no deadline. And I suppose I assumed she couldn't have liked it all that much if she was happy to give it away. But again, the reviews are awesome. So maybe Germanic generosity extends much further than my own (which goes I-like-it-so-I-keep-it-grrr!)

Recommended - in fact, pressed upon me - by a YA writer friend, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy Miss Peregrine. More great reviews too. This is one of those books that makes me afraid it'll be so good I'll lose all confidence in my own writing and take myself down to the bottom of the garden to eat worms.

CJ Sansom is Actual Agent's favourite writer. Actual Agent knows so much about writing that I can't help feeling any book recommended by her must be The-Perfect-Story. However 'Winter in Madrid' looks far bleaker than the stories I usually choose for myself. And there are falangists in it. I mean, surely The-Perfect-Story would never have falangists in it. I can't see that there is a place for falangists anywhere...

Lawks! Unless I'm hugely-embarrassingly-wrong, this is a story about the world being attacked by jam. It's been recommended by my twenty-year-old brother who is far too clever for his own good. (Hello Charlie!) So I'm afraid this story will be something of a smartarse. But I'm just as likely to be completely wrong and love it. (Jam, though...seriously?) Husband picked it up and said it was published by the people responsible for Star Wars, Batman, Buffy and Sin City among others, so if he's interested, I'm definitely going to read it first. (Assuming I can get past the jam thing. Yep, actual jam - apparently.)

 This one's been recommended many times by my sister who knows everything (Hi Al!). And again, more ecstatic reviews all over the internet. Oh God, so many books and only six weeks holiday to read them in!
On my marks, get set, go...

So much sun...

1 comment:

  1. Happy reading Helen! Enjoy the summer fun with the boys.