During NaBloPoMo, I was lured to write about laundry and the weather, but managed to avoid the siren call. Now, as the year draws to an end, I am equally tempted to write a Pooterish post. I want, I really really want to write about – nay, list – the books on my To Be Read pile. This Christmas week is a frantic time for me, with my and Daisy’s birthdays to celebrate before we can even get started on the Christmas festivities. What my TBR pile represents is a quieter time, when meals need not be perfectly celebratory, when sourcing lemongrass for my trifle is no longer top of my list of urgent things to achieve. My TBR pile represents three weeks of school holidays, where we are no longer rushing out every morning on the school run, no longer rushing home to eat a perfectly healthy hot lunch, and then rushing out again for extra-mural activities. My TBR pile symbolises lie-ins, lazy afternoons, reading in the bath, my husband off work and taking part in family activities. Fewer responsibilities; more leisure. And some escape into fabulous dream lands.
Here it is, in no particular order:
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert – inspired by Litlove‘s French literature posts.
The March by EL Doctorow – I gave this to my husband for his birthday, he loved it and now it’s my turn. I was a big Doctorow fan as a student, so am looking forward to immersing myself in his prose again.
Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich – a work colleague always used to recommend Evanovich to me, but I ignored him. Ms Make Tea has said her earlier books were better, but I’m giving this a go anyway.
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood – my favourite author, and according to The Independent, it’s “Half-Dorothy Parker, half-Desperate Housewives”, so it’s got to be good.
In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar – a present from a friend whose literary tastes I admire. I’ve started it, but am looking forward to digging in.
1000 Places To See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz – a birthday present from my dear Argentinian friend. This is to provide solace to this traveller who is not going anywhere this Christmas. In my mind though, I’m going global. A good one to dip into while sampling the Christmas chocolates.
Talk Talk by TC Boyle. A birthday present from my husband. This may have to be first!
Panic by Jeff Abbott. Stolen off my husband’s bedside table. I know nothing about it, but it sounds like a good thriller.
The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany. A birthday present from the dear Emma C. The dustjacket says it “caused an immediate scandal due to its sexual frankness when first published in Egypt”. Sounds good to me. I can do with a bit of sexual frankness on my holidays.
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. The last of my haul from our visit to England in September.
The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. A birthday present from my mother-in-law, who knows me well, and always gives me books. I loved The Other Boleyn Girl, so it will be interesting to see how this one compares.
Northeast Italy: Touring in Wine Country by Maureen Ashley. More travel lust. This was a birthday present from the ever-thoughtful V. It came accompanied by two exquisite bottles of Italian wine (and chocolate, and a lovely glass cheese platter – gosh, my friends know me well). To be honest, it was also a belated birthday present for himself, so I’ve got to share it.
There are two others, which are really Christmas presents, so I shouldn’t know about them. I chose them, will wrap them and then give them to my family to give to me. They are:
Cook With Jamie by Jamie Oliver. I’ve been loving Kathryn’s blog about working through Jamie’s latest cookbook and I am dying to get my hands on it. I hope to be inspired to experiment on my victims at home.
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. I can’t let 2006 go by without reading this year’s Booker Prize winner.
Phew, that felt quite good. I can wholly recommend a little Pootering every now and then. Rachel Cooke, eat your heart out!