My holiday reading list

My holiday reading list

If there’s a silver lining to these dark days, it’s that we have more time to read. I’ve made my selection and have downloaded the following books onto my Kindle. I’m loaded and ready for some down time in the safety of my home.

If you like to dive headlong into what scares you, this might be the time to read Stephen King’s The Stand. It seems like an appropriate time to read this apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. It remains as riveting — eerily plausible — as when it was first published.  The New York Times  called it  “the book that  has everything. Adventure. Romance. Prophecy. Allegory. Satire. Fantasy. Realism. Apocalypse. Great!”
Renowned, bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk takes us behind the scenes of the writing life, with postcards from decades on the road and incredible examination of the power of fiction and the art of storytelling. Consider This is a spellbinding blend of memoir, insight and generous advice on what makes writing powerful and what makes for powerful writing. Clear-eyed, sensitive, illuminating, and knowledgeable, Consider This is Palahniuk’s love letter to stories and storytellers, booksellers and books themselves. Consider it a classic in the making.
Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, American Dirt is an unforgettable story of a mother and son’s attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. Described as “impossible to put down” and “essential reading”, it is a story that will leave you utterly changed. Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world. Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left. For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running.
Love, death, friendship, compassion and so much wisdom. A woman visits a friend who is dying of cancer. Brilliant and stubborn, her friend makes a momentous request. She wishes to end her life on her own terms – and she wants the narrator’s help. Stricken, she agrees. ‘I promise,’ says the friend, ‘to make it as much fun as possible’. What follows is an extraordinary tale of a friendship put to the greatest test: to witness, unflinching, its end. What Are You Going Through is also a portrait of the way we live now, in a world endlessly troubled by crises, and the dramatically changing nature of human relationships in our time.
Death In Her Hands is a triumphant blend of horror, suspense and pitch-black comedy, from the Booker-shortlisted author, Ottessa Moshfegh. While on her daily walk with her dog in the nearby woods, the protagonist comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with stones.  Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body. Shaky even on her best days, she is also alone, and new to this area, having moved here from her long-time home after the death of her husband, and now deeply alarmed. Her brooding about the note grows quickly into a full-blown obsession, as she explores multiple theories about who Magda was and how she met her fate.
Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, looking more like her aunt, at least so her father thinks. Can it be true? Is she really changing? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is. Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape. In The Lying Life Of Adults, you will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

Stay safe. Stay home and read. And when you do go out, don’t forget to wear a mask. Wishing you an inspired holiday and a blessed 2021.

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