I wonder if you can really call yourself a writer if you don't do any writing? Admittedly, most of the time, I'd like to write more than I do, but I think about it a great deal even if the words aren't exactly flowing. Lately, I haven't even been doing that. No, right now, I think I am at best, a reader; a rather slow one, but enthusiastic nevertheless.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
I wanted to dislike this (he seems so white, so American, so male, so unbelievably self-assured of his literary greatness), but I loved it. The Corrections was good, but Freedom was so much better. The female characters felt very true and the relationships brutally real. Yes, Mr Franzen has definitely won me over.
Small Island by Andrea Levy
This has been on my bookshelf for years and I've never quite felt like reading it, partly because I mistakenly thought it was going to be another White Teeth, and as much as I enjoyed that book, I didn't want to read it again. I was so wrong: Small Island is wonderful and fascinating and completely worth reading. The four voices from which the novel is comprised are very distinct in their language and their view of the world, and I found each one captivating.
The World Beneath by Cate Kennedy
I saw Cate Kennedy at a book festival event and thought she seemed like a very wise and perceptive woman, and so I found myself reaching for her novel in the festival bookshop. I was a little wary of the comical slant to start with, but then I realised what she was doing and found myself drawn into the minds of the three characters, a mum and a dad, and their teenage daughter. It still took me six weeks to finish the book, but that was more to do with a newborn baby and my inability to read more than a paragraph at a time!
All That I Am by Anna Funder
It's probably not fair to comment on this because I've only just started it, but I'm finding it a little hard to get into. Maybe it's just me at this moment: we'll see...
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
I am ridiculously excited about this book. In fact, I've been awaiting its release like some kind of crazed Harry Potter fan. I loved Wolf Hall, which I read shortly after son number one was born. Two years on and I've grown another little rascal, while Ms Mantel's been writing a brilliant, brilliant novel, or so I hope...
Apologies for any typos - my brain is kaput.