I've read two further books from TBR pile, and my mum has borrowed a couple ... does that count?
Anyway, it's down to ten books now. I read Maggie and Me by Damian Barr, which is a funny and moving memoir. It's about the writer's childhood, growing up in Scotland in the 1980s under Thatcherism. It's a very personal, honest and moving account of the author's formative years, and the spectre of Maggie hovers over everything. I finished it last Sunday and the following day Maggie herself died. Can't help but feel her death and the re-awakening of all those strong feelings on all sides is serendipitous indeed for Maggie and Me. One of those things that just happens and that you can't plan for. That aside, Maggie and Me is a great read, a memoir both funny, horrifying and sad. I almost exclusively read fiction (and poetry), but this memoir was gripping from the start and I really enjoyed it. Especially the amusing mention of the incident with the "ill-advised Action Man".
Last night I stayed up until 12.45am (and I'm an 8 hours per night person so it was rather silly of me) to finish One Day by David Nicholls. Oooh. I loved it. You really get to know the characters, Emma and Dexter, inside out and you feel immense sympathy for them. Just like real friends, they annoy the hell out of you too and sometimes you just want to give them a good slap! Dexter is a bit of an arse, Emma is mostly lovely. I love all the late 80s and 90s references, and none of the period details were obtrusive. I get annoyed with novels where the research "shows", but it didn't show once in One Day. If I have a niggle, it's a bit too long for my taste and there were some needless repetitions, but they're small gripes.
Yesterday I received this in the post from Persephone books:
A catalogue, the latest magazine, and a free bookmark. I love Persephone books. I only own two of them, so I feel a shopping spree coming on. I like the fact that the work of forgotten or ignored women writers is being resurrected and made available. The books are beautifully produced, and the magazine and catalogue make delightful reading in themselves. I think I may visit the shop too next time I'm in London...
... which will be at the end of April! I'm going down there to meet my editor and my agent for lunch. I get ridiculously nervous about such occasions, but of course I'm looking forward to it too. I'm still working on the line by line edit of my novel. It's been tricky fitting in the work while the children are on their school holidays, but tomorrow school starts again so I should get it finished this week.
That's it for now. I've heard a rumour that the sun is going to shine very, very soon. We'll see!