What are you reading?

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What are you reading?

I love books (well, my Kindle for the most part) and I can't imagine life without at least one book on the go. I like loads of different genres and have a weakness for well-written crime novels. Having just finished re-reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, I'm about to start 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northup's account of how he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. After seeing the film, I was keen to read the book and downloaded it as soon as I got home.

I'm always intrigued by other people's reading choices - what are you reading?

My lovely dad gave me A

For Christmas, my lovely dad gave me A little history of the world by EH Gombrich. It's aimed at everyone aged 10 and older – so is deliciously easy to read – and is helping to plug the (gargantuan) gaps in my knowledge. I now know what a ziggurat is!

I'm also reading The Sleeper, a 'psychological thriller' (so says the blurb) about what happens to a woman who leaves the rat race, debunks to Cornwall and ends up commuting back to the Smoke on the Penzance-Paddington sleeper train. I've fantasised about doing that journey and waking up in London, but after the 'interesting' weather of the past 24 hours (http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/update/2014-02-05/rail-line-damaged-... ) I may never get the chance, Great book though.

PS The Sleeper is written by

PS The Sleeper is written by Emily Barr.

I LOVED A Little History of

I LOVED A Little History of the World! Fab book.

I'm reading a fantasy series - not my usual kind of thing at all but I'm really enjoying it. It's by Robin Hobb and I'm on the third book of the third trilogy (so have been reading these for a while!) The first book in the series is Assassin's Apprentice - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassin's_Apprentice - and I found it gripping from the very beginning, when a small, unnamed child is handed in to (and left at) an army base on the grounds that he is the son of a prominent royal family member. Interesting premise, great characterisations and very poignant in places. Those who have read the third trilogy, which is the second Farseer trilogy, will know how I chose my username :D

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Just finished Barracuda by

Just finished Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas. A fierce book about shame and the slightest possibility of redemption.

The main character, Danny Kelly is a swimmer; swimming gives him an identity and a sense of self - he's going to be the strongest, fastest and best. The mantra is repeated throughout the book - but there's a meltdown and things spiral out of control. The book jumps between different times and places as Dan/Daniel/Danny struggles to put his life back together, to find his place in life and to envision a future for himself.

All the characters, Danny's family, schoolmates, friends and lovers, are brilliantly drawn - but it's the burning shame of the main character that powers the novel.

And for some light relief... I've just started Levels of Life by Julian Barnes - it starts airily enough with a fascinating history of ballooning - but after reading the reviews, I'm pretty sure that it's going to turn into a meditation upon grief and loss.

Desperately sad but curiously

Desperately sad but curiously uplifting at the same time, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is the tale of two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. They fall in love in a very real and unsentimental way, talk openly and honestly about their illness and share their favourite reading material.

A love story like no other, it depicts the triumph of the human spirit over extreme adversity. You can only appreciate how funny, brave and life-affirming this novel is if you read it yourself.

Oh dear, I've just realised I

Oh dear, I've just realised I've recommended another meditation upon grief and loss. Read it and weep.

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