It seemed like a good time to ask this again – your library staff and their reading habits have been left uninterrogated for too long. So here is a snapshot of answers to the question – a broad spectrum of themes and genres, as you might expect. Click on the links or the cover images to find out where they’re in stock in Westminster Libraries:
British Library Crime Classics
I’ve been working through the ‘British Library Crime Classics’ series – reissues of long out-of print crime novels from the Golden Age of crime writing 1920s-50s. I have recently read Calamity in Kent by John Rowland and Serpents in Eden: country crimes edited by Martin Edwards (a collection of rural mysteries).
Theft, by Peter Carey
A book about fraudulent art and the love between two brothers who can’t stand themselves, and can’t live without each other. It keeps me chuckling on the train.
Web series, by Mary Balogh
I’m currently re-reading Mary Balogh’s Web series, which covers the lives and loves of two families.
The older brother marries the sister of the other family (The Gilded Web), the twin brother meets and marries the widow of his best friend when that friend is killed and he is injured during the battle of Waterloo (Web of Love). The twin sister marries the brother of the woman that married his older brother (Devil’s Web).
The vegetarian, by Han Kang
It’s weird, beautiful, dark and intense. I can’t compare it to anything I have read in a while.
The girl with all the gifts, by MR Carey
This is a cross between Never let me go and 28 weeks later. A virus has turned the people of Britain and possibly the world into flesh eating zombies…
I don’t usually read sci-fi books but this is classed as fiction and really got me hooked – I love it.
Innocent Eréndira and other stories, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A book of short stories decorated with the vibrant and vivid images that are typical of Marquez’s novels. The book begins with The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother. The ease of reading these tales and the length of each makes this a wonderful collection to read alongside a longer and more difficult book, or to read with someone else.
Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks
This is my current book club read and I am near the end now. If you want a powerful sense of the insanity of WW1 and the way it broke just everything, this is the book for you. I will be cheering myself up with some Terry Pratchett.
The professor, the banker and the suicide king: inside the richest poker game of all time, by Michael Craig
This is a book about an American banker and entrepreneur called Andy Beal, who took it upon himself to challenge the best Texas Hold’em poker players to a series of heads-up/one-one-one matches in Las Vegas in the early 2000s. He ended up losing several millions after initially being ahead. It’s a great read as it gets into the psyche of the professional poker player, and demonstrates just how precarious a living being a professional gambler really is.
The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, by Alex Ross
A very readable history of music from the early 20th century starting with Mahler, Strauss and Wagner, the development of classical music in America, music under Nazism and Communism etc.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
I’m currently reading volume three (there are four volumes in total) of this trilogy. A masterpiece! An epic tale of two women and the powerful nature of their friendship throughout their lifetime. But it’s also the transformative story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country in its violent and intellectual political and historic contest.