WWWednesdaysReading plans

Reading Horizons: Episode 1

Reading Horizons, 18 April 2018

Currently reading

The Danger Tree by Olivia Manning

The Danger TreeThis is my contribution to the #77club reading week run by Kaggsy and Simon. I managed to get a copy from the library just in time. It’s set in Egypt at a critical moment when the Allied forces are desperately trying to hold back the advancing German forces. Though the war is the background, so far the book is about the response of the Europeans resident in Cairo and their uncertainty about the future. Manning is excellent at evoking the atmosphere of the desert.

Recently Finished

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Ocean at End of the Lane

I was looking for an antidote to  the drama of the world of neurological surgery that I’d been reading about in Do No Harm by Henry Marsh.  Gaiman’s book has been on my shelves since December 2013. I can’t remember why I wanted it since it’s a fantasy kind of story and has three ‘witches’ as characters which is not my usual reading material. But I’m now deeply impressed by Gaiman. It was hard to put this book down at night….

Reading next

The Crystal CaveI’m trying not to plan ahead too much this year but to choose what takes my fancy in the moment. I might return to a book I started just before the Olivia Manning one became available; Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave . It’s another from my shelves that I’ve been meaning to read for some time since I love all the myths around Arthur and Merlin. Or I might pick up one of the Booker prize winners I still have to read. I’m weighing up whether to read How Late it Was How Late by James Kelman (I actually started this last year) or The History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. Both make heavy use of dialect so are not going to be easy reads. Any recommendations??

WWWednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It involves answering 3 questions:

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

18 thoughts on “Reading Horizons: Episode 1

  • I rarely read fantasy, but Gaiman is amazing. I have listened to The Ocean at the End of the Lane and to other books by him. He always narrates his own books, and he is really amazing. As you live in England, you have to listen to Neverwhere, awesome!And oh I even have a video on it!! lol, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc_f3sftfaA&t=119s

  • I remember feeling a lovely, tender quality, (albeit sad?) when I read Gamain’s novel. Some of his books I thoroughly enjoy, such as this; others not so much. Such as The Graveyard Book.

    • I did feel quite sad at the end because the central character seemed to have had a less than happy life as an adult

  • Nope, no recommendations from that lot. I’m not going to play the game, except here. Last read was a YA novel (unusual for me), Charlie Archbold’s Mallee Boys which I read because the publisher who sent it to me (though I hadn’t asked for it) really wanted my feedback. As she’s lovely, I decided to read it. Now I’m reading a very interesting book about a 60-something woman who has just been diagnosed with dementia. Could be grim, and it is in a way, but its focus is elsewhere. Then, next is my reading group book which is something a little different. We are all choosing a book by Helen Garner and are going to share our thoughts. I’m looking forward to that one.

    • There do seem to be quite a few books around from the last few years where the central character has dementia

      • You can tell through literature the concerns of a period, can’t you.

  • My recommendation is ignore the Kelman and the James and go back to the Mary Stewart – it sounds like loads more fun… 😉

  • Currently reading Herzog by Saul Bellow. I usually enjoy him but this one is a bit of a slog. I recently finished Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. She is HOT in the US right now because her current novel, An American Marriage has gotten awards and the Oprah nod. It was good!
    Next I am planning to read Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult for a reading group. I am worried. I don’t enjoy her books.

    • i’ve never been tempted to read a Piccoult, maybe because there was so much fuss about them when they came out. That always seems to turn me off

  • I’m glad you liked Ocean. It wasn’t my cup of tea, personally, but I’ve liked some of his other work more. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

    • it was the first time I’d read anything by him but I would certainly read more now

  • I’ve been meaning to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Thanks for sharing…and enjoy your books!

    • I’ve seen it described variously as a book for child readers but also one that adults could read.

  • Look forward to your thoughts on the Manning! I read the Crystal Cave (and follow ups) back in my teens and loved them. Goodness knows what I’d think of them now, though!

  • You couldn’t get much more different than Henry Marsh and Neil Gaiman! Both great books, though. That was my first book by Gaiman several years ago and I keep meaning to try something else by him.

    • That’s true – they were scary but in different ways!

  • Absolutely adored A Brief History of Seven Killings, but I’d recommend starting it when you have some time (a train journey, perhaps, or a long Sunday?) to get embedded. The dialect isn’t especially hard to understand, but you do have to sink into the rhythms of it. The Mary Stewart looks great, too, though (we’re big fans of her at Heywood Hill)!

    • That’s good advice, thank you Elle. I’ll be taking a holiday in May which usually means I get to read for longer periods than when I’m at home. Seems it would be wise to wait until then for Seven Killings


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