What books will you be borrowing this Christmas?

In Book Review on November 30, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Erica Wagner wrote in the Times that 2011 was a great year for books. We have got to agree with her. Borrow some of these recommended reads from us for the ultimate relaxation over the holiday period.

Erica’s best reads of 2011 include:

Julian Barnes, Sense of an ending

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. They all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age and he is finding that memory is imperfect.

Stephen Kelman, Pigeon English

With equal fascination for the local gang – the Dell Farm Crew – and the pigeon who visits his balcony, 11-year-old Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England. But when a boy is knifed to death and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own.

Jane Harris, Gillespie and I

As she sits in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance, nearly four decades previously, with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame she maintains he deserved

Colin Thubron, To a mountain in tibet

In this book, Colin Thubron travels to Tibet, and takes the pilgrimage route to Kailas, the most sacred of the world’s mountains, holy to one fifth of the Earth’s people, but rarely visited by westerners.

Jeanette Winterson, Why be happy when you could be normal

This book is the story of a lifes work to find happiness. It is the story of how the painful past Jeanette Winterson thought she had written over and repainted returned to haunt her later life, and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother.

Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot

 In the spring of her final year, Madeleine Hanna has enrolled in a semiotics course ‘to see what all the fuss is about’. She falls in love with Leonard Morten – charismatic loner and college Darwinist – who introduces her to the ecstasies of immediate experience. Then Mitchell Grammaticus resurfaces, and wants her to be his wife.

David Baddiel, The death of Eli Gold

As Eli Gold, a famous writer lies dying in a hospital in New York, his family gather around his bed. His first wife Violet is too old to travel from London but Harvey, their son makes the journey. Also there is Colette, an eight-year old daughter by his present (fifth) wife, struggling to make sense of the fact her father is about to leave her.

Tea Obreht, The Tigers Wife

Remembering stories her grandfather told her, Natalia becomes convinced he spent his last days searching for ‘the deathless man’, a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As she struggles to understand why her grandfather would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the story of the tiger’s wife. 

AS Byatt Ragnarok

Recently evacuated to the British countryside and with World War II raging around her, one young girl is struggling to make sense of her life. Then she is given a book of ancient Norse legends and her inner and outer worlds are transformed.

Be a bit savvy this Christmas and borrow these from us; that way you won’t feel guilty adding more gifts to your Christmas list!

  1. I have been waiting for christmas so that I can read ‘Blood Red Road’ by Moira Young, realised earlier this year! its going to be a very merry Christmas for me!!

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