More staff picks

Further to the last sample of what Westminster Libraries’ staff are currently reading, this lot were so keen to share their books that I’ve had to put together another list. One of them actually read Oliver Twist – in April – as instructed! Exemplary behaviour.

The Titanic Tragedy, by William SeilThe Titanic Tragedy (the further adventures of Sherlock Holmes) by William Seil.
Hardly literature but topical! Holmes and Watson are called out of retirement to act as protection for a government agent carrying top secret papers to America on the ‘Titanic’s maiden voyage. The papers get stolen and there is a list of potential suspects worthy of any Agatha Christie whodunit. I haven’t finished it but I presume Holmes and Watson survive – Watson probably shoots the iceberg with his trusty service revolver!

Dark Matter, by Michelle PaverDark matter, by Michelle Paver
This not the kind of book I usually read. The book is described as a ghost story and can be found in the ‘Horror [HOR]’ section of your local library. However I did enjoy the book. It has the feel of a travel book.

Perfume, by Patrick SuskindPerfume: the story of a murderer, by Patrick Suskind  
I’m reading this amazing book translated from German.  The story is about a most striking monster (Grenouille), an inventive story… a very highly sophisticated tale.  I strongly recommend it.

I Capture the Castle, by Dodie SmithI Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith [re-read]
I love the beginning of ICTC and as a child desperately wanted to be from that family. In a way I was, as I was brought up in genteel poverty in a council flat in Willesden with no hot water (not kidding).

Moonlight mile, by Dennis LehaneMoonlight mile, by Dennis Lehane
Lehane is a really good crime fiction author. This has interesting characters and a good storyline, and best of all I didn’t see the end coming – which may be because I am currently on another planet – but probably because it was really well written.

The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick de Witt
The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWittThis was recommended to me by a library member. It’s an odd title but it is about two brothers with the surname Sisters, who are basically hitmen in the old Wild West. It follows their trail into California during the gold rush, via a few casual murders, on the job of hunting down their next victim. It’s narrated by the less bloodthirsty brother and is blackly humourous, and has the atmosphere of the Coen brothers film of True Grit. An entertaining yarn and I can’t wait to see what happens in the end.

Various pets alive and dead, by Marina LewyckaVarious Pets Alive and Dead, by Marina Lewycka
Having read her some of her previous books, she has become one of my favourite reads. I have only just started this one so cannot comment on it yet, but if her style remains the same, the story will be about relationships, with a touch of comedy and irony.

Voltaire: a life, by Ian DavidsonVoltaire: a life, by Ian Davidson
And what a full and interesting one, as well! One of the men who did most to express and trumpet the ideas that made modern Western Civilisation as we know it. All the while writing poetry, plays, essays and letters (literally thousands of them), falling in and getting out of love (many times), quarrelling with competitors (always), setting law suits, running away from the authorities (not always successfully), courting monarchs, getting courted by them, making money (lots) and expending it (even more), travelling across Europe, fighting illness and depression. But most of all, making friends and keeping them. Not easy.

Oliver Twist, by Charles DickensOliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
OT is a late discovery for me having only got as far as Lionel Bart. I’ve just read the beginning with one of my Share a Book groups (as part of CityRead) – and I am now hooked.


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