I think it's been one of the more successful years in terms of book reading although a few days ago I read a feature in the newspaper of reader recommendations, one contributor began "..of the 100 books I've read this year." I spluttered on my coffee and spoit a clean t-shirt. In my estimations that's around 8 and a bit books a month, 1.85 books a week. Blimey. I can imagine one day that would be a rewarding challenge, like L'Etape or the Great North Run. I might not have enough brain to cope though, my head might explode.
So, by far the most rewarding read has been On Fire by Larry Brown which was honest and heartbreaking. I loved the economy of language, a habit probably picked up by the need to work at speed, with precision and empathy. The hardest part of being a firefighter must surely be the conversations you have with victims trapped in cars, keeping them alert and distracted as the team work around them. There are many last breathes and the lies you tell people are a kindness and an unflinching compassion. "We spray the water in a clockwise motion, because that's the way the world spins..." I also didn't know that steam puts fire out, not water. Water stops fire from spreading and cools temperatures so that they don't re-ignite.
I also finished The World Made Straight by Ron Rash which I also really enjoyed and I'm going to look out for the film version and also Serena which is an adaptation of another of his books. I can see the temptation of turning them into film, as they lend themselves so easily but I won't think of them as any more than an aside.
I have a few new books for the next few months.
We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade
Sky's the Limit by Richard Moore
Amulet by Roberto Bolano
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I've been attempting to read a Roberto Bolano novel for years, 2066 is by reputation the one to go for, but I sense I'll need an introduction.
All these books should keep me busy, I have a feeling there are few more which I haven't included and my wish list is growing daily. Again, apologies for the Amazon links and in order to assuage my guilt I'm providing a link to a brilliant October Books in Southampton which you should really visit and support.