Saturday, 30 June 2012

New arrivals

I'm excited about the new arrivals on my doormat this week.  First to arrive was The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall. Here's a bit of the blurb:
Jackie and a group of fellow rebel women have escaped the Authority's repressive regime, forming a militia in the far north of Cumbria. Sister, brought to breaking point by the restrictions imposed on her own life, decides to join them. Though her journey is frightening and dangerous, she believes her struggle will soon be over.  But Jackie's single-minded vision for the army means that Sister must decided all over again what freedom is, and whether she is willing to fight for it.
I was inspired by James Naughtie's discussion with Sarah Hall in Radio 4's Bookclub archive. Sarah Hall's collection of short stories The Beautiful Indifference impressed me with its descriptive prose, so I think this will be a good read.

Next through the letter box was the collection of essays Stop What You're Doing and Read This. I missed this on Radio 4's Book of the Week back in January. I'm looking forward to dipping in to the essays by Mark Haddon, Jeanette Winterson and others.

Still to arrive are Peter Ackroyd's book London Under and Italian Neighbours by Tim Parks.  The latter is an attempt to rekindle interest in my Italian course which is being sadly neglected with all this reading.

I'm off now to finish Before I Go To Sleep. The housework and Italian verb conjugations will just have to wait a little bit longer.

7 comments:

  1. Has Sarah Hall written anything else, apart from the short stories? The name is ringing bells with me but I can't remember why?

    I'm sure you'll love 'Stop What You're Doing...' It's been one of my favourite 'sit and come again' books this year.

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  2. From what I can gather, Alex, she is quite a versatile writer. I've also got my eye on 'The Electric Michelangelo' which opens in Morecambe, just up the road from me. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize back in 2004.

    I read Mark Haddon's essay this morning and founding myself nodding vigorously. But then, he is rather preaching to the converted.

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    1. That's it. It was 'The Electric Michelangelo' I had in mind. I didn't read it myself, but I do remember some of the library group being enthusiastic about it.

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  3. I so love new books arriving - nothing more guaranteed to perk up a day! I own the essay collection you are reading and will be interested to hear what you think of it. Also the Sarah Hall, someone I've never read but who makes me curious.

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    1. I began 'The Carhullan Army' last night. So far so good. I'll keep you posted...

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  4. Karen, London Under is brilliant. Not as dense as his books about London and the Thames, but utterly gripping. I read Stop What You're Doing and Read This, but haven't written about yet - I seem to have a backlog! I really enjoyed it: interesting to see other people's views on the importance of books, and how they came to love them. On a similar theme, have you read Ex Libris, by Anne Fadiman? Lots of very enjoyable and beautifully written essays about books, reading, writing, pen and ink. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  5. Christine, thank you for commenting. I haven't read 'Ex Libris', but it sounds like just my kind of thing. Definitely a case of too many books and not enough time!

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