Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

What I’m Reading


Ms Musings is a style leader, both in terms of shoes and reading, so I’m grabbing her books meme and outing myself as a slavish follower of fashion. I hereby give you:

The Five Books Meme

1. The book I’m currently reading:

a. Paper book

The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides. When I love a book, it’s usually because there’s a sentence that grabs me like a trout on a hook and I know I have to let the author’s mind reel me in. With most books, the hook sentence usually occurs somewhere in the first chapter. With The Marriage Plot it was the very first one: “To start with, look at all the books.” Done! Here’s my lip, please hook it! TMP makes me think of Freedom, but Eugenides is much warmer about his characters than Franzen is. He reveals their flaws and foibles, but with a generosity and warmth that is heartening. Also these are three characters who mediate their love lives through the books they are reading at the time – luckily, since I’m reading and writing crime, I no longer do this, but I do remember having Jean Rhys and Angela Carter days at university. I’m halfway in, but I’m taking it slowly because this is a book that I never want to end.

b. Ebook

I’m also reading Before I Go To Sleep, the runaway crime success of 2011 by SJ Watson. It tells the story of a woman who loses her short-term memory while she sleeps, so every morning her husband, Ben, has to tell her who she is, who he is and remind her of the story of their marriage. In order to keep some sort of order, she keeps a diary that she hides from him (her psychiatrist phones her every morning to tell her where to look for it), and on the front page of the diary are the words ‘Don’t trust Ben.’ I’m heading into the final act, and it’s getting very exciting – when I can wrestle the iPad from the four Angry Birds addicts with whom I live.

2. The last book I finished

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo. I am a desperate and huge Nesbo fan, but this one let me down. I thought it was overly-long, far too gruesome and there were too many plot strands for the tension to remain high. However, I am more than a little in love with Harry Hole, so will continue to read the series. Note to Jo: your audience won’t be bored if something happy happens to Harry.

3. The next book I want to read

Well, it’s hidden in the Christmas drawer, but I doubt I will be able to wait that long: Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending.

4. The last book I bought

I bought Germany’s Top Husband the Steve Jobs biography for his birthday, but I have a growing wish list on The Book Depository that contains these books.

5. The last book someone bought me

Germany’s Top Husband bought me The Marriage Plot. Did I mention that he was top?

What’s on your book list? Feel free to play along.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

10 thoughts on “What I’m Reading

  1. Where do I begin? There are not enough days to savour all the books I want to read.

    OK –

    Caitlin Moran’s book on Being a Woman.
    Most of the books on the Booker shortlist.
    You’ve sold me The Marriage Plot (I loved Middlesex)
    I think I’ve read everything by Rose Tremain but if she has another book lurking I want it, now.
    David Nicholls One Day.

    That’s just for starters . . .

  2. You live with four angry birds addicts? Your husband too has succumbed?!
    I’ve just started the last Christopher Paolini book, The Inheritance, only just published, and the family couldn’t wait till Christmas to get our hands on it. My husband is reading the e-book and I have the paper version – heavy enough to almost convert me to reading on an electronic device!
    Like the sound of both your 1s.

  3. In paper: The Book Thief, The Winter Palace, and Between Shades of Grey.

    Ebook: Half-Blood Blues.

    And your husband is tops, except for mine!

  4. I have just caved and ordered myself The Marriage Plot. It’s got academics! And books! And stuff about relationships! How could I possible be expected to hold out against that? Currently I’m alternating between The Coward’s Tale by Vanessa Gebbie, extraordinary new fiction from Bloomsbury that is brilliant but achingly sad, and Barbara Pym’s Less Than Angels because I needed a lightener. I hope to get to Julian Barnes soon, too!

  5. Mmmm… gimme gimme gimme… You’re the second reliable source to mention the Eugenides to me in as many days, so I am thinking I must be getting hold of a copy, since even if I can’t read it immediately, I’ll feel better just knowing it’s there.

  6. I really want to read The Marriage Plot, Sense of an Ending and Before I Go To Sleep! That’s an excellent list, and it seems Germany’s Top Husband is not resting on his laurels.

  7. I loved reading yours and Ms. Musings posts on this. I could never do it, because I am typically reading so many books at once (right now, I think I’m in the midst of about six books).

  8. The Steve Jobs biography was a real page turner – I highly recommend it! Julie

  9. Will be doing this later in the week. Like reading about what you (and others) are reading.

  10. Don’t wait to read ‘The Sense of an Ending’. It is a superb book, that makes you want to read it again the moment you reach the last page.
    Jean in Zambia put me on to your blog just yesterday and I’m so glad, I’m relatively new to blogging and wondering where I can go from here. Yours gives me food for thought.

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