Yesterday I met up with a really good friend for lunch. We hadn't seen each other for almost a year so there was plenty to talk about! From the lunch, we went on to Starbucks to have a cup of coffee and she asked me if I could recommend any good books. Which is kind of like asking a chef for a good recipe - it is an open question with thousands of possible, correct answers. So after having raved on about a random assortment of books (such as "Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady" by Florence King), I realised that some of them (such as "Confessions...") might not be readily available at any book shop.
Now, my darling boyfriend is not one who can spend hours in a book shop (or in any shop for that matter...) so I spotted an opportunity and suggested that I could go with her to go with her to Waterstones to pick out books.
Oh the joy of being in a big, lovely shop full of new, delicious books hiding plots and characters behind beautiful covers, just waiting for me to come find them. There were so many books there that I wanted, had to have and which have now been added to my TBR. In the end I restrained myself and bought only two because we are moving to a new flat next week and have enough stuff to move already...
I will do a separate post about what I actually bought but this is what will be coming home with me next time I hit Waterstones:
"The Capital" by John Lanchester
Pepys Road: an ordinary street in the Capital. Each house has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. Today, through each letterbox along this ordinary street drops a card with a simple message: We Want What You Have. At forty, Roger Yount is blessed with an expensively groomed wife, two small sons and a powerful job in the City. An annual bonus of a million might seem excessive, but with second homes and nannies to maintain, he's not sure he can get by without it. Elsewhere in the Capital, Zbigniew has come from Warsaw to indulge the super-rich in their interior decoration whims. Freddy Kano, teenage football sensation, has left a two-room shack in Senegal to follow his dream. Traffic warden Quentina has exchanged the violence of the police in Zimbabwe for the violence of the enraged middle classes. For them all, this city offers the chance of a different kind of life.
"Charlotte Street" by Danny Wallace
It all starts with a girl ...(because yes, there's always a girl...) Jason Priestley (not that one) has just seen her. They shared an incredible, brief, fleeting moment of deep possibility, somewhere halfway down Charlotte Street. And then, just like that, she was gone - accidentally leaving him holding her old-fashioned, disposable camera, chock full of undeveloped photos...And now Jason - ex-teacher, ex-boyfriend, part-time writer and reluctant hero - faces a dilemma. Should he try and track The Girl down? What if she's The One? But that would mean using the only clues he has, which lie untouched in this tatty disposable...It's funny how things can develop...
"The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides
Brown University, 1982. Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English student and incurable romantic, is writing her thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot -- authors of the great marriage plots. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different men, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead, brilliant scientist and charismatic loner, attracts Madeleine with an intensity that she seems powerless to resist. Meanwhile her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus, a theology student searching for some kind of truth in life, is certain of at least one thing -- that he and Madeleine are destined to be together. But as all three leave college, they will have to figure out how they want their own marriage plot to end.