I’ll be taking Light, by M John Harrison, which I’m about one third of the way through. I don’t usually read space opera SF, but anything Harrison writes is worth reading. His stories in The Ice Monkey haunt me still, as do scenes from his extraordinary The Course of the Heart and the atmosphere of Climbers, which persists like a hill fog.
Viktor Krankl’s “From Death Camp to Existentialism”. Only joking – probably some Mr Gum, ostensibly for the kids.
I will definitely be taking Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor. I’ve started reading it twice recently, both times in the morning commuter rush, but it’s too poetic and beautifully written for those journeys to do it full justice. It’s the fictionalised love story of JM Synge and Molly Allgood, and from the 20 pages I have read, it looks like being the equal of any of his previous books. And that’s saying something.
Tom Lynham How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran I heard Caitlin on Radio 4 talking so adroitly about this book, then many friends started recommending it. I flicked through in Foyles and it fell open at this quote: ‘To be frank childbirth gives women a gigantic set of balls. The high you get as you realise it’s all over, and that you didn’t actually die, can last you the rest of your life. Off their faces with euphoria, and bucked by how brave they were, new mothers finally tell the in-laws to back off, dye their hair red, get driving lessons, go self-employed, learn to use a drill, experiment with Thai condiments, make cheerful jokes about incontinence, and stop being scared of the dark.’