An important part of writing is continuing to read. It helps develop style, gives you something to talk about at the pub, and of course it’s fun — otherwise we wouldn’t want to write, would we?
So, I thought to take a minute to share my current reading list with you:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. One of the reasons I got my Kindle was the wealth of free ebooks from ‘the canon’. Skipping the more traditional literature education — completely — I missed the Russian fiction. This is a lovely book, incredibly written, but I’ve been reading it for a year, in bits and bobs, and I would swear that very little has happened — although it has — and that I’ve read a ream of epaper — even though I haven’t. Maybe it’s something to do with the idea of reading Russian fiction. Anyway, get a copy from Gutenberg and see if you agree. I got my for free from Amazon, but it seems like they want to charge you for ‘delivery’ now. Sad, Bezos, sad.
Eleven Minutes Late: A Train Journey to the Soul of Britain by Matthew Engel. Mr. Engel is a journalist. He loves trains a bit, and so do I. This is his history of and love letter to the British train and rail system. It is lovely, and I have been savouring it for a long time, because I prefer to read it on trains. It is definitely worth a look in.
Kalila and Dimna: Fables of Conflict and Intrigue, Vol. 2: Fables from the Panchatantra, Jatakas, Bidpai, Kalilah and Dimnah and Lights of Canopus by Ramsay Wood. This is Mr. Wood’s second volume of retold tales from the fables of Bidpai. It is accessible, timeless, and lovingly presented. I’ve only had it for a week, but it is the front of my reading list now. Get it before it goes out of print, and check out the first volume: Kalila and Dimna: Fables of Friendship and Betrayal.
Shadows Over Baker Street: New Tales of Terror! edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan. A short story collection that mixes Sherlock with Cthulhu, this is a decent set of one-sitting reads with a couple of absolute gems. I use this as a filler book, for when I’m tired of whatever else I’m reading. Highly recommended, as I burned through half of it in a day, and then realised the great thing about short story collections is that you don’t have to finish them in one movement.
Proven Guilty (Dresden Files 8 ) by Jim Butcher. What can I say about the Dresden Files? They are not the high literature, but are fun, quick, and certainly by book 8 Mr. Butcher’s style is much better. I’m reading on the Kindle, which means when I’m travelling light and don’t want Tolstoy, I’m probably following the exploits of Chicago’s most famous wizard private investigator. Fun, easy, and good if you don’t expect too much.
So, there you have it. What are you reading?