I’ve been tagged by both @anothergoldfish and @tillymintboutique (thank-you both!) to reveal the tomes that I’ve currently devouring, so off we go!

There’s rather a lot happening for me bookwise at the moment. Current periodicals include a mixture of books from Christmas’ past, pass-it-on recommendations from friends, and library loans. This week was library visit week, always a pleasure, I’m just like the proverbial child in a sweet shop once I’m over the threshold!

First up, Kitchen by Saint Nigella. They say that you should never meet your heroes, well I bought this one for a book signing in Manchester last year, suffice to say that real-Iife version Nigella did not live up to the tv persona (but, then what did I expect?). It’s a real heavyweight this one so I’ve tended to pick it up as and when inspiration is called for. I love the sentiment behind this compendium, home is where the heart is, and for me, like Nigella, that’s never more so than in the traditional rhythms of the kitchen. Recipe highlights so far include: Sunshine soup on p78 and Everyday Brownies on p216. This one comes highly recommended!

One Day by David Nicholls, now this is one book I’ve struggled with so far. After the film, proclaimations on the book jacket that it is a ‘modern classic’, and almost EVERYONE I know loving the book (this one has been passed on by a friend), I have successfully picked up the paperback at least 3 times and not got past the first chapter. However, I’m now on p154 of 435, so this time I think I may just crack it! Must admit I’m warming to the characters much more this time round, so here’s hoping!

Risotto with Nettles by Anna Del Conte, I came across this Italian food writer via Nigella Lawson, and I have to say I have not been disappointed. Beautifully written, it is full of both the taste and talk of food, and fond memories of a lifetime of eating (in Italy and England), and is also peppered with delicious recipes along the way. One that’s back on the stack for an overdue re-visit!

Can’t Stand Up for Sitting Down by Jo Brand, this one’s a recent library loan yet to be started. The recent documentary ‘Jo Brand on kissing’ on BBC4 reminded me just how much I like her. She seems to have mellowed a little over time, and (some!) of her ultra-feminist corners seem to have been rubbed off. This book details how Jo started out in stand up, and what she had to go through in order to become the success that she is today. This one is somewhat topical with the current debate on the lack of female comedians on TV. Looking forward to this one.

Burned by Thomas Enger, I’ve never been one for crime thrillers, but must admit that I’ve been really enjoying (if that’s the right word?) the ‘Nordic noir’ genre books that I’ve had on loan lately. Burned promises to ‘plummet the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewer the corridors of dirty politics and nail the fast-moving world of 24-hour news’. All this plus a string of extremely brutal murders. This crime debut, is the first volume in a series of six books featuring the crime reporter, Henning Juul. Each book contains a complete crime story, but an overall mystery runs through the books: who killed Henning Juul’s six-year-old son? One book per year is planned for publication over the next six years. This promises much, possibly a mix of the wonderful recent BBC4 serialisations of Forbrydelsen (the Killing) and the political thriller Borgen?

The Dog who came in from the Cold by Alexander McCall Smith, yet to start reading this library loan, but hopes are high. I love, love, love the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by the same author. There is something about the evocative Botswanan setting, and the slow pace of stories unfolding that I find such a draw. That and the emphasis put on ‘traditionally built’ ladies (for that read large) being the African ideal! I could do well there.

Missing from the pic is A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia, for fans of Japanese culture from Anime to Zen, it’s a hip, smart and concise guide to the land that is their source, and a lively digest of the society and culture of Japan. This one tends to follow me around the house at the moment as research is being undertaken for our impending trip!

Whenever I go away I always like to take some reading material based wherever I am travelling to, I think it really helps me to understand and identify with the country and the continent. So, I’ve already started trawling Amazon Kindle for likely literary candidates to accompany us on our Japanese adventure.

And so, the book marathon continues…

Happy reading!

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