I’ve lost count. I’ve been hitting the library – reading in and out of order, and reading a lot on the side too. Gosh I like reading.
Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis
Fantastic. Rough and jarring and tense. Amazing character descriptions, caricatures really. It seems all funny and exaggerated and then you realise the truly grim undertones.
Roxy’s Story by V.C. Andrews
I had a good idea what this would be like. This is a lady who wrote a long series of books about some siblings living in an attic and touching each other. Roxy’s Story is about a 15/16-year-old (inconsistencies) who leaves home and is discovered/rescued/press-ganged into servitude as a high class escort. Oh, the clothes! The holidays! The luxury! It’s a cliché from start to finish and I can’t even be bothered to go into a rant about how these kinds of books make young girls think they’d quite like to be prostitutes instead of getting GCSEs.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Awful things happen and are delivered in flat misery, which I like in a book. The whole thing is written in the voice of a poor, uneducated woman in 1930s Georgia, through her letters to God and (after losing her religion/starting to find herself) her sister. People are violent and mean to each other, there are betrayals and affairs, prison, birth, marriage, death, and the sewing of lots of pairs of trousers in many colours.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Everyone (women) was going on about this book a while ago, which always makes me suspicious because I think that most females read fluff. By most females I mean the females who aren’t like me. There’s loads of them. I have to say, I enjoyed it. The pages turned quickly and there were some twisty bits. But it was fluff, good and proper. I think girls like it because they identify with the female protagonist, which is worrying as it turns out she’s a sociopathic murderer.
Left Bank by Kate Muir
More fluff! I was seduced by its promise of “an invitation to Paris” but under the constant stream of name-drops, it was just run-of-the-mill chick lit. Typical slightly-alternative-but-very-beautiful, spunky, intelligent, adorably awkward and vulnerable heroine. Ugh, how I hate her but I can appreciate how much people want and need to write her. I’ve struggled with it myself – one of the main reasons I don’t write fiction.
Love In a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
Perfect, of course. After the delicious wonderfulness of The Pursuit of Love, the discovery that this was actually a side-along story was so comforting.
The Blessing by Nancy Mitford
At first I found new characters a bit sad but I did really enjoy this story too, which is about a posh English girl going to live in Paris with her French husband, and dealing with the realisation (bless her) that French gentlemen don’t consider marrying as the end of previous love affairs.