I’ll be honest, being 8 months pregnant I’m slightly adrift with my reading right now. Usually, I pick up a book and stay with it devotedly til the very last page. But currently I’m cheating with a variety of books due to my ever-decreasing concentration span. I’m determined not to lose touch with books just because I’m having a baby; reading keeps me sane and gives me head space which, third time round, I know is crucial, but I’ve also got to accept that my reading time will be more limited than it has been.
For the last few weeks I’ve flitted between full length fiction, non-fiction, YA and short stories. If my attention span is short, or I only have a small window of time, I reach for a book of short stories. If I want to lie on the sofa and relax for an hour and really get into a book I’ll choose YA (I’ve been known to finish one in two hours) and if I’m reading at night I choose something weightier. Here’s what I’m dipping in and out of right now:
with my morning coffee… the celebrity short story collection
Who doesn’t love Tom Hanks? This funny, touching, wise and surprising collection of 17 short stories is just like a box of chocolates… yep, you never know what you’re going to get! (sorry) His prose was, at times, a bit too all-American ‘yowzer’ ‘howdy-doody’ for me, but I enjoyed the crossover of characters. Oh, and playing ‘spot the inspiration from his film career’ (me – Saving Private Ryan, Apollo and City of Lights – you?)
2. curling up on the couch… the YA novel everyone has been waiting for
I was one of the millions of readers who fell in love with John Green’s exquisitely beautiful teen love masterpiece. Told with the same inimitable humour and insight, this is Aza Holmes’ story of her search for local billionaire Russell Pickett alongside her ‘quirky’ best friend and troubled love interest. Perhaps there have been too many similar books in John’s style in the intervening years but for me, well-written as it is, his YA cliches shone more than the story itself.
3. on my bedside table… the cult classic:
Unbelievably, I’ve never read the inimitable Carrie Fisher’s cult debut novel so I was thrilled to receive this commemorative reprint from Simon & Schuster and quickly became hooked on her wry and honest writing style in this famously ‘fictional’ account of life as a drug addict in Hollywood.