What better way to spend a dark October evening than reading a spine-chilling ghost story? Or even reading one aloud to your family? Many of them are short so you don’t need to scare yourself for days on end. We have selected our favourites and, if you want to freak out your children too, we have some for them as well…
The Guardian has made a comprehensive and very useful list of 100 books that have shaped our modern world. Now this might sound unbearably dry to some of you (as it did to me) and there are few beach reads here but the way this list is divided into sub-lists ensures that there’s something for everyone. Have a browse and be inspired. Thank you The Guardian!
Great pick this year by the Nobel committee. Author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro wins the highest accolade of all, and, unlike last year’s winner Bob Dylan, is excited about it! ‘Flabbergastingly flattering’ was his comment to the press. Of his eight novels, The Remains of the Day, which has become a modern classic, is probably the most enduring. Never Let Me Go, also made a profound impression on me when I read it years ago. I was less keen on his latest novel The Buried Giant, which came out in 2015 and is reviewed here. I would start with Remains of the Day if I were new to Ishiguro. And there are always the filmed versions of that and Never Let Me Go, both worth your while.
I’m of the conviction that life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy. I read many books for this blog, for example, which I end up ditching after 80 or so pages. I try to give all books a fair chance and read at least 50 pages, preferably a bit more, before I put the book, guilt free, to the side. It has happened to me that a book all of a sudden picks up after a while and turns out to be excellent. I don’t want to miss those.
I have to confess. Shakespeare scares the hell out of me. Plain and simple. I sit through Shakespeare plays with my British-educated friends watching them nod and smile, while I struggle to understand even half of what’s being said. But hasn’t she studied English Literature, you might be thinking? Indeed, I have, but only in my later degrees at which point I could choose other kinds of courses. Which I happily did. The only piece of Shakespeare I’ve ever read (parts of) was King Lear as an undergraduate student in America.
Time to fix that.
Today the Man Booker Prize announced their always much anticipated long-list for 2017. A win or a short-listing normally makes a huge difference to sales so publishers get quite excited about this prize. Readers should also pay attention, although I don’t think they always get it right.
We’ve all got it by now, the email from school asking you to make sure your children ‘keep up the reading over the summer’. But which books to buy? Despair not! Here are some of our best children’s books selected by our in-house expert, children’s bookseller Kirstin.
At the top of our list of recommended summer reading is Morten Strøksnes’ non-fiction book Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean. Here Strøksnes talks about his book, whale hunting and the shark of his dreams.
In 2012, London-based writer Ann Morgan set out to read a book from every country in the world in a year. Pretty ambitious when you know there are 196 of them. She asked people to send her recommendations and the list she compiled is an extraordinary overview of literature from around the world.
I might be sad, but I find myself getting really excited by The Academy of British Cover Design (ABCD) short-list of book covers for their annual prize. The beauty and ingenuity of these covers is astounding and book covers seems to get better and better every year. Have a look!