“What are you reading?”
This is the question I asked my colleagues last week and being library workers they couldn’t wait to share their answers with you! Here’s the first eleven answers – a broad selection of themes and genres, as you might expect – and all available to borrow from Westminster Libraries of course (click on the links or the covers to find out where they’re in stock):
The Betrayal of Trust, by Susan Hill
I’ve just finished this, the latest in her Simon Serrailler series. I’ve come to this series quite late (it was recommended by two friends). I find them absolutely gripping on two fronts: following the crime case (with twists and turns) on one hand, and on the other the storyline of Serrailler’s relationship with his family and friends (emotional twists and turns). Great stuff, can’t wait for the next instalment.
The Mystery of Princess Louise, by Lucinda Hawksley
Fascinating biography of Queen Victoria’s rebellious fourth daughter, full of pleasingly scurrilous speculation about why the royal archives contain so few of her papers.
Could she have had an illegitimate child?
Moon over Soho,
by Ben Aaronovitch
It’s very interesting, often darkly humorous and sometimes a bit scary – and set in the West End.
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
The eponymous thief is a delightfully gutsy little girl, struggling with the realities of growing up in Nazi Germany, sustained by books including “The Gravedigger’s Handbook” (note to self – must read that one next). Death makes a very agreeable narrator, and while I fear impending tragedy, the jokes keep coming.
Walk the Lines, by Mark Mason
Mark has had a fascination with maps since childhood and in this book he recounts his walks above ground of all the Tube lines. Over several months he visits all of the stations – some several times!
A fascinating mix of facts and figures relating to the areas he walks through, people or things he witnesses along the way, as well as information about the lines themselves.
Brilliant for those “I didn’t know that !” moments – and for anyone planning to do a pub quiz!
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I’m re-reading this with our book club. Quite a delightful read, the recently-deceased Marquez being a master story teller.
Let’s explore diabetes with owls, by David Sedaris
One of the funniest books I’ve read recently, this is a collection of essays from the seemingly bottomless pit of David Sedaris’ quirky personal stories. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but if pressed, Understanding understanding owls stands out. David Sedaris is a writer who can weave a story and just riff on everyone and everything. I highly, highly, as highly as anyone can recommend this book, for someone, anyone who needs a good laugh.
Thinking Fast and Slow,
by Daniel Kahneman
A bit like reading a Malcolm Gladwell book but slightly heavier going. So far interesting but not enthralling…
My Dear, I wanted to tell you, by Louisa Young
It has a great storyline and several interesting characters. It is set in World War One in the trenches of France and in London. The author did a lot of research, particularly about facial reconstruction which was pioneered at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup during WW1.
419, by Will Ferguson
Read it on the tube – missed my stop; at dinner – how rude; and until it was finished last night very late.
It’s a great thriller – edge of your seat stuff and so interesting: 419 scams in Nigeria, the tragic consequence in Canada and the nailbiting conclusion in Nigeria. The chapters in Africa are stunningly written – you can smell the gasoline and feel the heat. Highly recommended!
The Days of Anna Madrigal, by Armistead Maupin
I have followed the Tales of the City series since 1987 and am sad that this really is the last episode. At last, Anna Madrigal’s real secret is revealed – and she becomes the toast of Burning Man! Warm, witty and a satisfying end to a much-loved saga.
More glimpses into the reading lives of Westminster library staff to follow soon.