One of my Christmas presents from Tom this year was a trip to and overnight stay in London. He arranged it for this half term, knowing that I might need a bit of a pick me up after returning to work last week. As it's also my birthday very soon, I persuaded him that what I wanted most for my birthday was to browse all of my favourite bookshops in London and pick out a few things to read. Giles was with my Mum, and it felt like such a luxury to have the time to properly scan the shelves and choose what struck my fancy the most. Here's what I picked out (links to goodreads):
- The Virago Book of Women Travellers edited by Mary Morris - This is an anthology of travel writing by women throughout the past few centuries, and it looks so interesting. I'm hoping to be inspired to read lots of full length books after getting through this one.
- The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over the World by Tom Feiling - Feiling travelled the cocaine routes of the world and this book is part history and part contemporary review of the status of cocaine. I love a good micro-history.
- Wild Women edited by Sue Thomas - I've been trying to get into short stories lately, so I was excited to find a second hand copy of this anthology of short stories by women, all with a feminist slant. Some of my favourite authors have contributed, and I'm sure I'll find more authors to try.
- Shadows of the Pomengranate Tree by Tariq Ali (Islam Quartet #1) - Another second hand find, and I hadn't heard of this one before. I've never read a novel set during the fall of Granda and Moorish Spain, so it will be interesting to try.
- The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller - I love the Brontes, so this non-fiction account of how they have been viewed and mythologised over time will definitely be read soon.
- Devil on the Cross by Ngugi wa Thiong'o - I've read about this Kenyan author, and finally I've found a copy of the book of his I want to try. He wrote it whilst he was imprisoned, and it's apparently a bitter indictement of corruption.
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami - Purely because I've been getting into Murakami lately.
- A Short History of Polar Exploration by Nick Rennison - I would love to be an explorer, but I'm simply not cut out for it. I will have to content myself with reading about exploration instead.
I'm really excited about all of these books. I feel like my reading tastes are going through a change at the moment, and my shelves don't reflect that. I'm still into my classics, but I'm more and more drawn to books about the world, about travelling and history, and books by authors from different countries, full of different experiences. If you've read any of these titles, I'd love to know what you thought of them.