What (else) are you reading?

When I asked my colleagues, “What are you reading?” I should not have been surprised when I was flooded with replies. I posted a selection this morning – here are a few more. As broad a range as before, from staff across the service, and (almost) all available to borrow from Westminster Libraries (click on the links or covers to find out where they are in stock):

The Snowman, by Jo NesboThe Snowman, by Jo Nesbo
A Scandinavian thriller featuring Harry Hole, an existentially troubled detective who uses unorthodox methods and has a failed relationship and a drinking problem, like quite a few fictional and maybe real detectives too. He’s on the trail of a serial killer called The Snowman who has a particularly brutal way of killing and then advertising his/her crimes. It has a lot of red herrings but it’s a real page turner and Nesbo is particularly good at the inner thoughts and back stories of the characters. [Simon]

A history of the world, by Andrew MarrA history of the world, by Andrew Marr
It is an enjoyable but a slow read as there is so much to digest especially in the early chapters as it covers eras that I am/was completely ignorant about.  But it is well worth the effort.

Les filles et leurs mères, by Aldo Naouri
Psychologist and author Aldo Naouri explores the at times surprising violence in mother/daughter relationships.

Anya's Ghost by Vera BrosgolAnya’s Ghost, by Vera Brosgol
This is a graphic novel, very well drawn and with a good storyline. It tells the tale of Anya who ‘stumbles’ upon the ghost of a girl, the mystery behind why she is a ghost, but with a twist to the tale. I’m not really a regular reader of this genre, but if one catches my eye I will give it a go. I enjoyed it and would recommend it as a mild introduction to Graphic Novels – no violence, swearing or sex in it, and suitable for adults or children aged 11+.

The little coffee shop of Kabul, by Deborah RodriguezThe little coffee shop of Kabul,
by Deborah Rodriguez

It is very engaging, if a little bit trite, but it made the tube strike pass a lot more easily I must say.


The Scholar, by Courttia NewlandThe Scholar: A West-Side Story,
by Courttia Newland

Wicked London tale – so far, so good. Really enjoying this book and I’ve only just started it.


Vienna Waltz, by Teresa Grant
It is the first (chronologically at least) of her series involving married spies Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch. It is set during the Congress of Vienna in 1814. She has written several other books about this couple  – the earlier written ones (though set later) call them Charles and Melanie Fraser when she was writing as Tracy Grant. The name changes of both characters and author were due to a change of publisher and editor who thought Teresa more suited to an author of Historical Fiction…  I am enjoying the book very much and will be reading the others.

The Anthologist, by Nicholson BakerThe Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
There are passages where the narrator starts off inspiring you to read some of the poets he’s talking about and then suddenly breaks off to reveal an intimate thought he’s just had, as if he’s thinking aloud. It’s really funny in a very understated way.

The Ring, by Jorge MolistThe Ring, by Jorge Molist
Very slow start. I am reading it because it’s about The Templars and their lost treasure. How three childhood friends go looking for this with the help of one of the friend’s deceased father who left them the clues…

Isaac Newton, by Peter AckroydIsaac Newton, by Peter Ackroyd
I’ve just read this lucid, sprightly biography. I had some bluffer’s knowledge of Newton’s scientific achievements and also knew that he had a house on the site of the Westminster Reference Library but I knew little about the man. Ackroyd records just how extraordinary his intellectual capacity, endeavour and industry was.  He also revealed (to me) some surprising detail: how simple his country background was (his father, Ackroyd suggests, was likely illiterate); how testy and resentful he often was in his dealings with fellow scientists and mathematicians; what fine physical dexterity he had in making models and scientific instruments, and what a huge amount of time and effort he expended on alchemical experiments and biblical exegesis.

The shock of the fall, by Nathan FilerThe Shock of the Fall,
by Nathan Filer

I’ve just finished this (and started Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’). 
I thought The Shock of the Fall beautifully written with some powerful scenes. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so won’t discuss the plot. All I would say is if you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time I think you will like this.


A fest for crows, by George RR MartinA Song of Ice and Fire book 4: a Feast for Crows,
by George R R Martin

I started with “A Game of Thrones” last summer, and it’s kept me pretty well engrossed ever since. It’s a kind of medieval fantasy with astonishing depth and complexity, and some of the most villainous characters and barbarous incidents you could wish for.




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