Monday, May 12, 2014

Books by my Bedside

For months I've hardly even picked up a book, never mind read it...couldn't concentrate; too much else going on that took up all my brain space...but just recently, maybe, just maybe, I've begun to find the joy in words again.  I  hope so.  Anyway, the books that have lured me back had to have been pretty special to block out everything else.  I'm a sucker for a brilliant storyline.  Is it just me, or are good stories just hard to find these days?  I need to be completely transported and forget where I am - that's the litmus test of a good book for me.  I rarely just have one book on the go - often I have two or three. So, to my first choice..Louise Doughty's Apple Tree Yard.

 If ever there was a story that would occupy all your thinking room, this is it.  I've read some of her other books, but none drew me in as this did.  Politics, genetics, sex, murder - it has it all.  The characters are completely believable and being set in London, for me anyway, I knew all the places she was talking about.  I read this in one sitting. Or actually, lying down, in bed.  I started it at 7am and finished it by lunch.  Without so much as a tea-break.

Next up is The State We're In by Adele Parks.  I've read quite a few of Parks' books and always enjoyed them.  The plots are weighty enough to be satisfying, but not so demanding that it's exhausting.  Her latest offering follows two characters Dean and Jo as they meet on a plane to New York.  Both are dealing with difficult lives, loves and families.  Jo is in search of her eternal soul-mate and has decided that her ex is really 'the one' and is heading for a showdown as he prepares to marry someone else.  Dean is a defensive, cynical business man and unlikely tho' it seems, they find out that they have more in common than they'd thought.  It's a light read, but perfect for when you don't want to try too hard.

I've been a fan of Chris Evans for a long, long time.  TV shows, radio shows, through the ups (and several downs) of his career and now drive happily to work listening to his latest breakfast show on R2.  So just how did the cheeky chap from a council estate in Warrington become so successful.  If you're curious then his two autobiographies Memoirs of a Fruitcake and It's Not What You Think are a must.  Candid and compelling, he takes you through his early life, his first marriage, through to Billie Piper and his now wife Natasha.  He is honest about his weaknesses and excesses, his successes and his failures.  It's a good insight into a life that is certainly never dull.  As a complete aside, his pub in Chiddingfold, Surrey, called The Mulberry Inn is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area - the best Sunday lunch I've had in an age!

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