ClassicsNon fictionWWWednesdays

Best selling novel or a classic? What I’ll read next

Time for another  WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

I’m almost at the end of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.  This was one of the books I received as a present last Christmas having heard about it via one of the national newspapers in the UK. It’s proving as superb as their review indicated. It’s the true story of a couple in their fifties who lose their farm, their home and their business after an investment in a friend’s company went belly up. Then they get told the husband (who labours under the strange name of Moth) has a serious brain disease for which there is no cure. Homeless and penniless they decide to walk the South West Coastal Path – a trail of 630 miles, camping wild as they tramped. It’s a fantastic tale about courage but also makes some insightful comments about the way in which homeless people are viewed in the UK.

I’m also reading Punch, a collection of short stories by Kate North, one of the authors from Wales I’ve highlighted in my Cwtch Corner feature. Kate described the book as “A collection of strange and unsettling stories exploring the unexpected in the everyday.” I’ve read two so far and they are definitely strange – one involves an author who takes a rental cottage in France to complete her latest commission but has to share the premises with a very unfriendly mask. Another is about a man who develops a weird growth on his hand….


What did you recently finish reading?

Mary Barton was the first novel by Elizabeth Gaskell although her authorship was not known at the time of its publication in 1849. It’s set in Manchester and is partly a romance but, far more interesting, is that depicts the problems experienced by the working class in the city and the growth of trade unionism. The final sections do become a little heavy on the message of redemption and the need for increased understanding between workers and employers but otherwise this was a beautifully written and constructed tale.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I don’t have to think too hard about this for once. We have a book club meeting at the weekend and I haven’t yet opened the chosen novel – Kate Atkinson’s Transcription.  My last experience with Atkinson via Life After Life wasn’t a good one so I’m hoping Transcription proves to be more akin to the earlier Atkinson novels that I loved.


After that comes Evelina by Francis Burney which was the novel I ended up with as a result of the last Classics Club spin and which I’m *supposed* to read by end of May. But I won’t feel compelled to read it if I don’t feel in the mood at the time. I keep eyeing all the books I’ve bought in recent weeks and they’re calling to me more than Miss Burney.



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

22 thoughts on “Best selling novel or a classic? What I’ll read next

  • I hope you like Transcription! It’s a more straightforward read than Life After Life and I found the characters and setting interesting. It might not be her best (I loved God in Ruins) but Atkinson is always quite good.

    • I found it disappointing as did all the other members of the book club (we discussed it today).

  • Judy Krueger

    Currently reading Sisters In Law, a biography/history of the two female Supreme Court Justices we have ever had in America. For a reading group.
    Last finished is Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken, also for a reading group.
    Next up: Trying to decide, too many choices, Bowlaway was so good, for me, probably not for everyone, that I want to be sure my next book is at least as good.
    I too await your review of Transcription. I have various reactions to her novels.

    • Oh the stress of trying to decide what book to read next…’d think with a lot of choices it would get easier but actually I think it makes it harder

  • I LOVED the Salt Path. I could not put it down and I often wonder where they are now.

    • They live in Cornwall in a place that was given to them by a benefactor. She is one of the speakers at the Hay Festival this year

  • I enjoyed Transcription but nowhere near as much as Life After Life so I’m not sure what you will make of it. I thought it fell between her earlier work and the Jackson Brodie novels and wasn’t quite certain what sort of book it was trying to be

    • Transcription is very easy to read but I’m half way through and still not sure what point she is trying to make. Maybe it will get clearer.

  • I’m so curious about The Salt Path. I’d read a rave review of it but was afraid it might be an emotionally difficult read. Will be looking forward to your review of it!

    • It’s one that you do engage with just because of the situation in which this couple find themselves. But Raynor Winn is really good at writing about the absurd situations they experience so that lightens it considerably

    • Yep I think that’s probably going to be written on my grave.

  • There are a TON OF WOMEN AT WAR books right now (sorry just referencing the comment above mine here), but I really did enjoy Transcription so I hope you do too! Speaking of women in war books, i’m currently reading The Huntress by Kate Quinn. I’m enjoying it too, not as much as Transcription though.

  • Will be interested in your take on Kate Atkinson’s ‘Transcription’. I’m a fan of her work but perhaps because of a surfeit of women-at-war books, I was a bit jaded when I read it.

    • Luckily I havent had too many women at war books so can come to Transcription fresh as it were. Not sure what to make it of it yet though.


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