Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Reading: the pleasures of the Christmas holiday

"Books to the ceiling,/ Books to the sky,/ My pile of books is a mile high./ How I love them! How I need them!/ I'll have a long beard by the time I read them." Arnold Lobel

Yesterday I staggered back from the library with a selection of books for my holiday reading. Despite us having several floor to ceiling bookcases full of books, I get that fluttering feeling in my tummy that might be the start of a panic attack because I might not have 'the right book' to read when I need it.

So what is the right book? That's the trouble; I never know till I need it. The right book in the middle of a sleepless night may not be the right book for a post dinner browse, glass of wine in hand.

Which means I have to choose a wide selection. I do like to tackle a BIG book, novel or biography at the festive season. One year I did the audio equivalent and listened to Suite Francaise, a wonderful tale of war time France.

Another year it was Mr Norrell and Mr Strange - eccentric and intricate.

This year I hoped to pick up Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. No chance in the library but a must read for me because when I did A level history, Thomas Cromwell was one of my favourite characters in the Tudor story.

Failing that, I've chosen two biographies, one of Voltaire and one about the relationship between Galileo and his daughter. Both big enough subjects to satisfy and learn something new at the same time.

For sheer indulgence, some thrillers including short stories by Peter Lovesey and Charles Dickens.

I'm hoping I've made the right choices but no doubt I shall sneak a look at other people's books... just in case.

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