I have a little hospital stay coming up. If it weren’t for the pain I’m likely going to experience, I’d be bloody excited about the prospect of four days lying in bed with nothing to do but read.
Pain or not, it’s best to be prepared. So I turned to my reading pile to decide what I’ll take along.
As well as the TBR list I published earlier in the week and also the titles I haven’t yet tackled from a list earlier this year (The Snow Child of course, The Freudian Slip by Marion von Adlerstein and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami), I’m also adding these six books –
The Women by T.C. Boyle – Welcome to the troubled, tempestuous world of Frank Lloyd Wright. Scandalous affairs rage behind closed doors, broken hearts are tossed aside, fires rip through the wings of the house and paparazzi lie in wait outside the front door for the latest tragedy in this never-ending saga. This is the home of the great architect of the twentieth century, a man of extremes in both his work and his private life: at once a force of nature and an avalanche of need and emotion that sweeps aside everything in its path. Sharp, savage and subtle in equal measure, The Women plumbs the chaos, horrors and uncontainable passions of a formidable American icon.
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green – My name is BUDO. I have been alive for 5 years. 5 years is a very long time for someone like me to be alive. MAX gave me my name. Max is 8 years old. He is the only human person who can see me. I know what Max knows, and some things he doesn’t. I know that Max is in danger. And I know that I am the only one who can save him.
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon – Art Bechstein steps out of the library into the summer of his graduation year. Not yet ready for respectability, he falls in with the exotic, charming Arthur Lecomte, and ricochets between a homosexual relationship and an intense affair with a strange and beautiful girl called Phlox. Before long, the world of his new friends and the underworld of his father must collide, with consequences that Art cannot control.
One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell – One Fifth Avenue is THE building – the chicest, the hottest, with all the best people. Within its luxuriously thick walls the lives of New York City’s elite play out.
Shall We Dance by Maggie Alderson – Loulou Landers, London’s undisputed Queen of Vintage Fashion, meets man on the eve of her dreaded forty-ninth birthday. He’s kind, he’s sensitive, he’s divinely handsome and he carries a designer suit like George Clooney. Unfortunately, he’s barely half her age, and Loulou’s just not ready to ‘go cougar’. Then there is Loulou’s 21-year-old daughter, Theo, who won’t get a job, won’t move out, wears chainstore fashion, and hasn’t said a civil word to her mother for years. And she is on the verge of her own spectacularly unsuitable affair. So how will Loulou cope with a daughter who’s off the rails, a main who won’t take no for an answer, an ageing process that won’t slow down – not to mention a birthday party in a camping ground? Like she always has – with wit, grit and an exemplary sense of style.
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan– I was to stand trial for my life. I was twenty-two years old. I had been married for ten weeks and a widow for six. In the summer of 1914, the Empress Alexandra, a magnificent ocean liner, suffers a mysterious explosion on its voyage from London to New York City. On board are Henry Winter, a rich banker, and his young new wife, Grace. Somehow, Henry manages to secure a place in a lifeboat for Grace. But the survivors quickly realize it is over capacity and could sink at any moment. For any to live, some must die.As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace watches and waits. She is a woman who has learned the value of patience – her journey to a life of glittering privilege has been far from straightforward. Now, she knows, it is in jeopardy, and her very survival is at stake. Over the course of three perilous weeks, the passengers on the lifeboat plot, scheme, gossip and console one another while sitting inches apart.
Yes, that’s nineteen books in four days. Obviously that’s not going to happen but as I said, best be prepared.