Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reading List

Now I haven't been reading much lately so it's time to get back into it. I have a kindle on my new laptop, so I'm going to read from that, but also got a load of books sitting on shelves waiting to be read. Usually I read fairly lightweight novels such as fantasy and crime fiction genres. I guess this is because the majority of the stuff I read is about chess and is usually pretty technical. However, when I actually do manage to read something with a bit more depth, I usually enjoy it. So this year I'm going to try to balance things out a bit, mixing some nonsense with some genuine literature.

A short while back I read an excellent book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It is one of the best books I've read for ages, and getting close in quality to my all time favourite, "The Remains of the Day" by Ishiguro. In fact 'Harold Fry' was so amazingly good in my opinion, that I couldn't believe it had been beaten to the Man Booker Prize, especially by an historical novel. So I bought that novel, "Bring Up The Bodies" by Hilary Mantel and intend to read it. Actually, it the sequel to "Wolf Hall" which had previously won the Man Booker Prize in 2009 and that is the first book I intend to read.

However, this book sits on my laptop and will be read on the kindle there. I will not always have my laptop with me, so when I'm driving around to and from work I really need to have a book with me. Now I could reread the Harry Potter series, or Tolkien (which I've already done too many times) but I intend to only read books that I have never read before this year. So here are the next 5 books that I've lined up to read:

1. A Street Cat Named Bob - James Bowen (This sounds great, a busker and a stray cat making their way together in London)
2. The Big Over Easy - Jasper Fforde (I've never read Fforde, but have read loads of Robert Rankin and thoroughly enjoy this type of novel comically satirising a genre of writing)
3. Moonlight Mile - Dennis Lehane (Mystic River is one of my favourite crime novels and I never read anything else by Lehane)
4. The Winter Ghosts - Kate Mosse (All her works are excellent weaving modrn and historical stories together based around the south of France)
5. In Pursuit of Glory - biography of Bradley Wiggins (I'm not usually a biography fan, but this one intrigues me. I'm interested to see if there is any mention of the seedier side of cycling)

This combination of fact and fiction should be light enough for when I'm travelling around, and in the meantime I have my kindle with some heavier books. I am always looking out for new fiction to read, so would be obliged by any recommendations. I also intend to read a fair bit of non-fiction this year (other than chess which sometimes comes across as quite fictional in a bizarre way!) especially history which used to be my pet subject when I was younger. On the kindle I currently have:

1. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel (Booker Prize Winner)
2. Bring up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel (Booker Prize Winner, but is it really better than Harold Fry?)
3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin (I've never read this, and recently visited Austin's memorial stone in Winchester Cathedral)
4. The Jerusalem Puzzle - Laurence O'Bryan (Follow up to the Istanbul Puzzle, which I've already read, these are great reads in the Dan Brown style of writing)

Jane Austin's memorial in Winchester Cathedral

I do intend to use the kindle more, and am considering subscribing to History Today or some other history magazine on kindle. Any advice or ideas about reading material would be gladly received. :)

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