Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Comfort and Joy: What I Want, What I Read, What I Eat

Having finally recovered from the recovery period of recovering from finishing work, I thought a bookish Christmas post was in order.

What I Read:
Since finally finished the last hard slog of work, my time has mostly been spent eating panettone, drinking mulled wine and reading my Christmas books in a painfully hot bath every night. I read the same three books every Christmas, plus a few alternates as back-up which change annually, and this gives me the same lovely feeling as repeats of the Christmas episodes of Only Fools and Horses, Porridge and The Royle Family (done, done and done). Certain films, television shows and books are a must every year, and rather than getting bored of them I enjoy them more and more each year as the tradition gets stronger.

The three I always read are 'The Hogfather' by Terry Pratchett, 'Hercule Poirot's Christmas' by Agatha Christie and 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens - in that order, ending with the Dickens on Christmas eve in bed (always following the last and favourite Christmas film - White Christmas). I find that 'The Hofather' gets me into the Christmas spirit the quickest as it is so funny, and the Dickens is the most traditional, so leaves me with the warmest feeling on Christmas morning. I adore the festive period, but get very stressed around Christmas as I am not hugely social and worry a lot about everything coming together, so I feel that these routines and traditions keep me grounded and happy, and remind me of how lovely Christmas should really be (first world problems - I am so highly strung!)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Author Spotlight: Scarlett Thomas

One of my all time, top 5, favourite authors is Scarlett Thomas. You may not have heard of her, or you may be rolling your eyes at this assumption (she is that kind of author - loved or unheard of), but really most people I mention her to are completely nonplussed. Thomas is however not a niche or unknown author, and has released a fair number of amazing (or at least original and interesting) books, particularly considering how few non-obsessive binge readers (laymen/noobs/normos) have actually heard of her.

We, as a reader collective, don't really know much about Thomas due to her unfair lack of fame as an author, and, as with actors, I think this is for the best. What we do know is that she teachers Creative Writing at the University of Kent, was releasing a good book a year and now releases a fantastic book once every 3-5 years, and prizes authenticity and originality as an author - what else would I need to know?

As with my Haruki Murakami author spotlight, I will wax lyrical/rant and rave about the author's books in chronological order, in the hope that someone will love them as much as me.