Wednesday, 27 March 2013

March reads

1. If I ever want to read something completely undemanding but entertaining, I reach for the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Dead To The World is my favourite for a myriad of reasons, most of which, admittedly, related to the fact that the character of Eric (the hot, blonde vampire played by Alexander Skarsgard in True Blood, the TV series based on these novels) has a central role in the storyline.  I read it from cover-to-cover, curled up in front of the fire, on a cold Sunday recently.  Bliss!

2. I loved John Green's most recent novel, The Fault In Our Stars, so when a friend from my craft & book groups recommended Looking For Alaska I was keen to read it.  I have to admit, it didn't capture my heart.  Telling the story of Miles Halter's first year at boarding school, I found that the main characters - particularly the Alaska of the title - were not hugely sympathetic.  I never felt like I really knew them or was rooting for them.

3. A bit of a cheat, putting this book in, as I've only just started reading it.  But I'm alread hooked and, judging by how quickly I read all of McDermid's edge-of-the-seat thrillers, I will have devoured The Vanishing Point well before the end of the month.

4. Our latest book group choice was Before I Go To Sleep; very much the kind of novel I read in large quantities and then feel mildly guilty about. A thrilling page turner about a woman who has such severe amnesia that she forgets everything as she sleeps each night, the plot hinges upon the question: who - if anyone - can she trust?  Ironically, it's an ultimately forgetable but nevertheless compelling novel:  I read it in one sitting but can now barely remember whether I even liked it all that much. 

5. Both volumes of Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries are as lovely to read at as a 'real' book. Beautiful production values combined with wonderful photography, reliably delicious recipes and enjoyable anecdotes makes this a fantastic read.  I've been working my way through the January & February recipes in this second volume, trying to cook something new every week; I especially loved the chickpea and tomato stew, to which I added some chunks of chorizo.

6. What Matters In Jane Austen? was an utter pleasure.  A collection of essays on questions ranging from 'Is there any sex in Jane Austen?' to 'Why is it risky to go to the seaside?'  If, like me, you are an Austen geek, then this book will definitely be one to savour.  It made me want to go back and reread my favourite of her novels, Persuasion and Pride & Prejudice.


  1. I just bought a box of about 7 or 8 Sookie Stackhouse books. I hope they are as good as you say! X

    1. They are definitely not great literature, but I do love them! They suffer slightly from the law of diminishing returns, but the first 5 or so are brilliant.