The idea is to choose ten books from your own bookshelf which you would read if only you weren't already reading so many. Well in fact I can only manage one at a time but the idea is the same. The embarrassing part was that I have so many lying in wait, I didn't even hesitate for a moment until I got to number ten. Equally worrying is just how long I've had some of these.
In no particular order:
- In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar. This was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize, I've heard good things about it, and it was in a 3 for 2 offer in Waterstone's. It says in the blurb on the back that it shares themes with Michael Frayn's Spies which I loved.
- Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothomb. The English translation and I've now decided I don't like books in translation but it's there waiting, it's short, and I was intrigued to read a Susie Orbach review of another of Nothomb's books.
- Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland. Another on 2006 Man Booker shortlist and another in the Waterstone's offer. The story of a 12 year-old boy who can tell if people are lying. He hopes to become famous by writing to the Guinness Book of Records.
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I've heard great things about this book, but it is l-o-n-g and heavy (in physical weight) so has been passed over I'm afraid.
- L'étranger by Albert Camus. In French. I'm hoping it's not too difficult. The plus side is that it's very short indeed so not too daunting.
- Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall. I found this immaculate in a second-hand bookshop so couldn't resist. Synaesthesia fascinates me - seeing colours for words, sounds, emotions. It says in one review that Kitty "suffers" from synaesthesia but I don't (yet) see why it is suffering.
- Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster. It is the fictional diary of an Englishwoman "coping with the tragedies and upheavals of women's lives from WWI to Greenham Common and beyond". I've loved Margaret Forster since I read The Travels of Maudie Tipstaff, recommended to me by my sister, which so reminded both of us of our mother.
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Orange Prize winner 2006. "A dazzling comedy with a cast from both sides of the Atlantic". I'm not usually especially fond of humorous books unless they're very good so we'll see.
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Another huge book. Bill Bryson is definitely good enough to escape my blanket dismissal of funny books!
- Yoruba Girl Dancing by Simi Bedford. Disgraceful really that I haven't read this before. It's very short and it has been waiting here for ages. It tells the story of a Nigerian girl sent to boarding school in England.
So there you have it. I really must get down to it.