How Hard Can It Be? By Allison Pearson
Kate Reddy is back – teetering on the brink of menopause and marriage breakdown. Just as annoying as she ever was. This time it’s worse because Kate is getting on a bit yet still hasn’t cottoned on to the fact that her children, husband and sister need to pick up some of the load. The thing is, so much of the stuff she’s grappling with is painfully true. Read it and weep – I did.
The Alchemist – By Paulo Coelho
I had hoped to love this, but I didn’t. A bit like oysters. I get that if you follow your dream and listen to your heart it’ll all turn out OK in the end. Otherwise, not much more to add. I’d like to see it turned into musical theatre.
The Outrun – By Amy Liptrot
Alcoholic Amy tells the story of her journey to sobriety and return her childhood home in Orkney. I loved it. She explores her own experience with candour and clarity and not even a hint of self-pity or preachiness. I learned so much from this book.
Our Man in Havana – By Graham Greene
Proper funny, especially if you’ve ever had anything to do with any branch of government. Newly recruited Secret Service man is afraid to disappoint, so fabricates his reports with hilarious consequences.
How Not To Be A Boy – By Robert Webb
Webb has got it worked out – the ‘trick’ that causes so much misery to men and women. It’s about the daft things we expect of boys and men. Through the story of his life so far, Webb explains the stonking great problem of patriarchy. It’s a pity a woman didn’t say it first – oh, wait a minute…
Heart of Darkness – By Joseph Conrad
The audiobook read by Kenneth Branagh creates a fabulously moody atmosphere, as thick as the fog around the boat. But, then again, KB could read the Ts&Cs of the latest iOS and it’d be worth listening to.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irvine
I wish I had an Owen Meany in my life – but I suppose that’s the point. Whether you take this as a great American coming-of-age story or a long hard look at religion, it’ll probably work for you.
4321 by Paul Auster
Phew, that was a big effort. Sweeping and clever – if a bit confusing. In a sliding-doors style, four versions of the same person’s life are played out. Problem is, after 866 pages I’m too tired to think about the important points that were undoubtedly there.