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?
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.
Little Tales of Misogyny by Patricia Highsmith was picked up in a second hand book shop somewhere. It was on my suggestions list. It’s been a brilliant book for the tram journey into the city as they are mostly very short stories and it’s very portable. Also it gets your brain working for whatever else you’re about to do.
Emma by Alexander McCall Smith was a gift from my sister who thought it amusing to give me a book with the same name, and that’s based on one of my preferred Austen novels. As well as retelling this story has moved the action (is that the right word?!) to Norfolk. So three good reasons to read it.