My selection for the long days ahead
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Here We Are by Graham Swift
Magician Ronnie, his assistant Evie, and the interference of others overshadows the successes at an end-of-the-pier theatre in Brighton, 1959 creating an obsession, an understanding and magic.
The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili. It’s a novel of the highest order, a masterpiece
‘A harrowing, heartening and utterly engrossing epic novel … astonishing … A subtle and compelling translation by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin (on the heels of a Georgian version earlier this year) should make this as great a literary phenomenon in English as it has been in German.’
Maya Jaggi, The Guardian
Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi,
Who Am I by Lenny Henry,
The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman,
The Offing by Benjamin Myers (now in paperback). Set in the North East of England in the first summer after the Second World. Robert Appleyard stumbles upon Dulcie and her faithful dog Butler in her ramshackle dwelling, then there’s Romy. I was drawn to reading this novel because I know the area fairly well, my father was a miner’s son from Willington a pit village in Co Durham. The Magic Place by Chris Wormell – Clementine lives with her Aunt Vermilia and Uncle Rufus, who are terrifying, especially Aunt Vermilia whose ranges are destructive and deaf defying. How can Clementine escape, and then there’s her best friend, Gilbert, a very clever cat…..
I’m currently reading A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs (proof copy). I’ve just finished A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry, (the sequel to Days Without End) and have also recently read This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay and Grown Ups by Marian Keyes – one of my favourite contemporary authors, whose warmth and wit come through in every chapter. I love The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy …. just gorgeous “A wonderful window into the human heart”.
Alun Ephraim (studying for a PhD at Bangor University)
Currently reading The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili
Recently read Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman (translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler), Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin (translated by Lisa C Hayden), and A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul.
Gwen Hunter I’ve just listened to Not a Diet Book: Lose Fat. Gain Confidence. Transform Your Life By James Smith
The staight talking PT will give you new perspectives not only on diet & exercise but, will give you the kick up the rear to reassess all aspectsof your life. Full of useful, useable information and dispelling the some of the myths in the fitness industry. A great, eye opening listen/read.
Some of Gwen’s favourite reads: Reaper Man, Nightwatch, The Wee Free Men all by Terry Pratchett, The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake, The Scottish World by Billy Kay, Cops and Robbers by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
Natasha Savage (currently studying for an MA at Bangor University)
Recently read Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan and The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst Dairy Of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythell and The History Of Bees by Maja Lunde. Both amazing. I’ve recently enjoyed re-reading The Dark Tower:The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King and Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling.
….and a few more of Our Favourite Books
Ros Ephraim The Dutch House by Ann Patchett,and Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann, Lori and Max by Catherine O’Flynn, Lanny by Max Porter, The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan, Desiree by Anne Marie Selinko, Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer, Blood Ties by Ben Crane, The Hidden Horticultralists by Fiona Davison, Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, The Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver, The Familiars by Stacey Halls, The The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, Something of His Art by Horatio Clare, The Long Take by Robin Robertson, I Am Dynamite by Sue Prideaux, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, The Box of Delights by John Masefield, The Lion, thee Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis, Craeft by Dr Alex Langlands, Winter by Ali Smith, 1947 by Elisabeth Asbrink, Exit West by Mohsin Hami, The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer, The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro; winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature, The Life of Rebecca Jones by Angharad Price, Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk by Kathleen Rooney, Client Earth by James Thornton and Martin Goodman, The Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore, Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, Persuasion by Jane Austen, January Man by Christopher Somerville, Where Poppies Blow by John Lewis Stempel, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.
Hilary Jones How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn, any of the Merrily Watkins title by Phil Rickman; The Trumpet Major by Thomas Hardy; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough; On The Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
Heather Millar The Night Circus by by Erin Morgenstern, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, How they Met by David Levithan
Natasha Savage Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Return of The King by JRR Tolkien, Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.
‘Books are the carriers of civilisation. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.’
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)