World Book Day 2019

It’s World Book Day! In this post we talk about what we’re reading at the moment and what’s on our to-read pile. You might want to add to yours after reading this!

Laura

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen which is actually the book that I mentioned wanting for Christmas on our Christmas books blog post (hurrah to my sister for giving it to me!). It is every bit as funny, light-hearted and enjoyable as I hoped (I’ve just read the complete Narnia collection and desperately needed some light relief!), but also full of astute descriptions of very relatable characters and situations. It’s set in Ireland so I have to keep my phone handy as I read so that I can get translations of some of the Irish English and pronunciations of the foreign names! I have a very nice hardback edition so I am desperately trying to finish it before my next conference trip; that shouldn’t be difficult as it’s so good!

What do you want to read next?

Next on my reading list is The Librarian by Sally Vickers, which was another Christmas present, this time from my mum, who works in a library so the title obviously appealed to her.  I didn’t actually enjoy the last book I read by this author (The Cleaner of Chartres) but the blurb says “The Librarian is a moving testament to the joy of reading and the power of books to change and inspire us all” so it sounds good and I am going to start it with an open mind!

Tommi

What are you reading at the moment?

I am currently reading: Regions of the Heart: The Triumph and Tragedy of Alison Hargreaves by David Rose and Ed Douglas – It’s an interesting biography of a British climber who died climbing K2. She was strongly criticised for climbing risky mountains and leaving her young children at home. I haven’t yet read enough to give an opinion of it. I’m also reading Autarktis by Tommi Liimatta, which seems to be about lives in Northern Finland. I’m finding it a bit too disjointed and feel it’s trying to be too clever if I’m honest, rather than having a smooth narrative. But I’ll struggle on a bit further! Finally, I’m reading The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson which is thoroughly entertaining and informative in equal measures.

What do you want to read next?

On my “guilt pile” of books to read next are: Wise Children by Angela Carter. Having just seen a fantastic stage production at the Bristol Old Vic, I really wanted to read the novel. All the Presidents Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward is also on the list, as is The Battle to Do Good: Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey by Bob Langert. What I would really love to read next is something by Miika Nousiainen. An easy reading, gently amusing Finnish writer whose most recent book Juurihoito had me in stitches. So if Miika is reading this blog I’d really appreciate him finishing off his next novel whatever that might be…

Anna

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell. She is one of my favourite writers, and this is her (highly unconventional) memoir in which each brief chapter centres around a brush with death or disaster. I would highly recommend it, as well as all of her novels.

What do you want to read next?

I always have a huge to-be-read pile but with a trans-Atlantic flight coming up I’ll be able to make a bit of a dent in it. In my hand luggage will be Blood and Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene and Uninhabitable Earth (just to make me feel REALLY bad about being on that plane) and for some light relief the latest Jack Reacher novel.

Rose

What are you reading at the moment?

I am eking out the last few pages of Susan Fletcher’s Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew; I am loving it so much I don’t want it to end! Fletcher recounts Vincent van Gogh’s year in the Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Rémy, where he admitted himself, and was a patient from May 1889-May 1890, painting some of his most loved, intense paintings during that time, through the eyes of Jeanne Trabuc, the Asylum warden’s wife. It’s an absolutely wonderful, moving and lyrical novel.

The heart, she thinks, is the painter. Love, and moments like this, are the art. The Dutchman taught her that.

What do you want to read next?

Next on the list is Kate Atkinson’s Transcription as she is one of my faves; I especially loved her other two novels set around World War II (Life After Life and A God in Ruins) so I’m excited to get stuck into this one.

Elinor

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende which was a Christmas present. Three characters are brought together by a car accident in a snowstorm in Brooklyn and end up embarking on a dangerous journey. The story switches between the current day and each of the character’s pasts and how they came to be in Brooklyn. I was immediately drawn in by the characters’ narratives and am keen to know how the book will end.

What do you want to read next?

I always have a shelf full of books to read, in fact I start to get a bit panicky if I have fewer than ten books lined up! While I also have the book I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell and am looking forward to reading it, I think my next book will be Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. It was recommended by both my mum and mother-in-law so I have high hopes!

Sarah

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. I’ve only just started but I like it so far. I also read the author’s first YA novel, The Hate U Give. The protagonists of both books are young black women in the US and deal with some heavy issues – far removed from anything I’ve ever experienced. Though you can get a similar feeling from TV and films, I love that books make you appreciate different perspectives and experiences in-depth. I hope World Book Day encourages lots of people to get reading!

What do you want to read next?

Next on the list is Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield.

Flo

What are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just started Wise Children by Angela Carter, having seen the same theatre production as Tommi at Bristol Old Vic. It’s the story of twin chorus girls, Dora and Nora Chance, and their strange theatrical family – it’s surreal and full of sets of twins and mistaken identities, just like a Shakespeare play. It’s a bit odd reading the book having already seen the play, as that’s all I can picture (and it seems like the script was very faithful to the original text)!

What do you want to read next?

I’ve actually come to the end of a big backlog of books so I will be making notes from this blog post – I’ve already got my eye on I Am, I Am, I Am!

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