Sunday, 31 March 2013

Books are Amazing... March Edition!


Happy Easter! Welcome to March's edition of my little book club. Books ARE amazing, you know. Today's contributor is my friend, Sarah. Here's her lovely blog, and here are her recommendations. I just received Tuesdays With Morrie in the post from her, I can't wait to start it - I love receiving books by post!


The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
I've read this book twice - it's a quick read so you can feel accomplished ("fuck yeah, I finished a book!") without having to commit too much time to it. The Lover's Dictionary is um, a dictionary defined by the actions of a couple. That doesn't make any sense, does it? Except, it does. Each word is beautiful in it's own right - the story isn't written chronologically but alphabetically from Aberrant to Zenith so you're taken on a meandering path of their relationship. It's very sparsely written and I absolutely adore it.

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
From a tiny book to a seven novel epic - there's something for everyone here! Ha. The Dark Tower series is a departure from what people think of as usual King - i.e IT and The Shining - and is the tale of the last gunslinger, Roland, in a world that has moved on. I've read this series at least three times and it draws me in again and again, but it seems to be some of his least known work and I think that's a shame. It links all of his stories together, there are moments from Salem's Lot, Hearts in Atlantis and so many others woven in. It's beautiful and tragic and enticing - if you're a fan of King & / or the Wild West then at least pick up book one (The Gunslinger) and give it a go.


The Raw Shark Texts - Stephen Hall
This book is kind of bonkers, I'm not going to lie. It's about a shark made of words that hunts and eats people's memories, and a man who's unwittingly become it's prey. Intriguing, right? Another one I've read twice, The Raw Shark Texts is one of those books that'll leave you wondering what the hell just happened after you finish it, but in a way that makes you want to dive straight in again rather than throw the book against the wall.

Rules of Civility - Amor Towles
I adored this book. It's a grand tale from America in the 20s and reminded me a little of Water for Elephants without the circus (which would be a completely different book, right?). It's full of cocktails and evening gowns and falling from the grace of high society and it felt like an education and a riot. If you like escapism then this might be the one for you.


Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom
This is the book I recommend to everyone because I think we all have lessons we could learn and this book contains a lot of them packaged in a non preachy way. It's the story of a man reconnected with his dying college professor, but it's so, so much more. Warning: it's a weepie, so have tissues to hand.

The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
Love books? Then you'll love Jasper Fforde. The Eyre Affair is the first of (so far) seven novels so if you like this one you'll have plenty more to read. It follows the life of Thursday Next, a literary agent in (a fictional version of) Swindon. It's full of funny little asides about books and is just, urgh, awesome. Just bloody read it, okay?

Girlfriend in a Coma - Douglas Coupland
My second favourite Coupland novel (Microserfs is my favourite but it's so old now if you didn't read it 10 years ago you probably won't like it now, sigh) - Girlfriend is a Coma is set in the Canadian 70s and is glorious, if a little wacky. I think the trick to enjoying Coupland is to give yourself to the madness and settle in for the pictures he paints, rather than exclaiming "could that really happen?!" every now and again. If you like this then also read Life After God, which is a series of short stories but feels like a collective novel of thoughtfulness.


Thanks, Sarah! Tune in next month for Alex's recommendations, and, as always, if you want to be a contributor, shoot me an email or a tweet!
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5 comments

  1. I enjoyed The Lover's Dictionary and The Raw Shark Texts but by gum, do I hate Mitch Albom! Life After God is my favourite Douglas Coupland book but it meant more to me at 19 than it does now, sadly. Still lovely, though, especially if you're coming to it for the first time.

    And I can't believe that I STILL haven't read the Dark Tower, especially as I love fantasy and I love Stephen King. What am I doing with my life?

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  2. I love Girlfriend in a Coma but I leant my copy out at uni and never got it back. Coupland is brilliant!

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  3. Love Douglas Coupland... I recently reread Microserfs and loved it even more second time around! xx

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  4. I have never read any of these but I have added them to my Amazin wishlist!

    Maria xxx

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  5. Such a good list that I am happy to have read several of and the others have just made it onto my wishlist. You're very right about Microserfs, you have to have read it at the right time. I have tried to lend it to people recently with joyful recommendations but if you don't read it at exactly the right time....

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