What Library Staff are Reading – December 2013

Nearly there for 2013!

  • I’ve been reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark. A book group read. My choice this time. I started reading it a few weeks ago and hoped to have made the time to read it twice before the meeting which I am supposed to read but I got side-tracked by cricket and Chapter 7 of Bill Bryson’s Down Under which I urge you all to read – it’s the single most funny piece of writing I’ve ever read. And I’m not the only one to snort out loud when reading it!
    I’ve also squeezed in two big books of British History : Crown of Thistles : the fatal inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots by Linda Porter and Tudor : the family story by Leanda de Lisle.
  • Silas Marner: the weaver of Raveloe by George Eliot – I last read this in year 7 or 8 as a school text, and thought I would revisit it and see if it was better the second time around. I did quite enjoyed it this time, but I don’t blame myself for not loving it at that age. I suspect the only thing it has to recommend itself to a young teenager is its brevity.
  • I finally finished reading both volumes of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.  It took me several months, but it was well worth the effort.  I really enjoyed them.
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch.
  • Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunnant.
  • The Water Doctor’s Daughters by Pauline Conolly.
  • Tech Life magazines.
  • Currently reading Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead by Brene Brown.
  • The Lowlands by Jhumpa Lahiri.
  • Marilyn: the passion and the paradox, by Lois Banner – Insightful and addictive reading, with a feminist bent.
  • MM–personal: from the private archive of Marilyn Monroe, by Lois Banner and Mark Anderson – scraps of Marilyn Monroe’s private life, such as personal letters, fan letters and photos.
  • My Story, by Marilyn Monroe – ethereal and simply written, with a melancholy undertone.

Staff were asked a couple of supplementary questions this month:

  1. What was the book that made your year?
  2. What book do you think deserved to do better?

1. The book that made my year: The Son by Philipp Meyer – An absolutely rivetting novel that maps the legacy of violence in Texas through the eyes of the McCullough family, starting with young Eli, kidnapped and brought up by the Comanches.
2. The book that deserves to do well : Schottenfreude : German Words for the Human Condition by Ben Schott – if you have a family member who loves words and loves fun with words, this is a really funny book about German words. Reviewed in Readers in the Mist in October.

  1. The book that made my year was Sarah’s Key Tatania De Rosney.
  2. And the one I thought deserved more acclaim was In falling snow by Mary-Rose MacColl.
  3. And I give a HUGE thumbs down to Henning Mankell’s Daniel …. Not at all a good read!!
  1. The book that made my year: Drawn Together, by Robert and Aline Crumb – a romantic, creative, hilarious, tumultuous and soul-bearing portrait of a marriage.
  2. The book that deserved to do better: Sensitive Creatures by Mandy Ord – a fantastic graphic novel set in Melbourne, beautifully illustrated.
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