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!
Israeli author David Grossman and his translator Jessica Cohen has won this year’s Man Booker International Prize for his intriguingly named book A Horse Walks Into a Bar. It’s the story of a stand-up comedian and his on-stage break-down, but is, according to reviews, ‘neither remotely funny nor an easy read’. Rather it’s a parable for dysfunctional people and societies. Not sure if it goes into the beach read category, but I will buy it for my holiday anyway.
Beautifully written, shockingly sad and profoundly thought-provoking, Mend the Living made a huge impression on me when I read it last year. This novel on organ donation is a well-deserved winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2017. Highly recommended!
Great choice for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017! Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad was one of my favourite new books last year. An American slave story written with imagination and originality. Read the full review here.