Well I wanted to mark my birthday by doing something interesting. I am already planning several travels through the year, but can’t afford 40 of those… So, books it is. Continue reading why 40 books?
Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James is the closest I could get to an Austen novel for my trip to Bath. I have read all her books decades ago. I wasn’t certain about a sequel, but I thought I’d give it ago, in the interests of this experiment. I was going to see a friend for her own 40th celebrations.
This small book packs a mighty punch as it is the story of one woman’s experiences as part of the Italian resistance during the second world war. She also spent time in a concentration camp. I bought the book on a visit to the National Holocaust Centre, earlier this year.
For the Love of God, Marie! by Jade Sarson is the second brilliant book I got with birthday vouchers from the the lovely Page 45. We follow Marie through from teenage life to adulthood and explore the changing attitudes of society, family and religion to love.
This marks the halfway point! Candide by Voltaire was a suggestion from my sister, and kindly lent to me by a friend. The back cover says “he whisks his young hero and friends through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies and reversals of fortune…. The result is one of the glories of eighteenth-century satire.”
The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz was suggested by my boss as she had read it and enjoyed it. I left it to read as sometimes books about therapy can seem a bit of a busman’s holiday. It interesting to read something so different though – private psychoanalysis is a world away from my daily work in the health service – and be struck by the humanity that is common to all therapy.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe was bought with lovely birthday book tokens. I got it at Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham, and it seemed appropriate when buying books in Nottingham to buy a book about Nottingham. So, there it is. And then when I had to get the train to work it seemed make sense to read it en route.
I picked up Sexing the Cherry in a lovely second hand shop in Belfast, near the university, just before we went to look around the botanical gardens. I am always on the look out for Jeanette Winterson as I feel I need to catch up in my reading of her work.
I started reading Wild Irish Women by Marian Broderick when I wasn’t feeling well as it’s in handy chunks of biography. I bought it while on my second birthday holiday to Northern Ireland. I thought it looked like a fantastic souvenir, nearly as good as the whiskey mementoes I had snaffled the previous day.