Thursday, 23 March 2006

Booking through Thursday: New Authors

Booking Through Thursday's questions for this week were suggested by Christine.
  1. How do you decide to read a book by an author you haven't read before?

    I have a mountainous list of authors I 'should read' which I carry in my head all the time, so when I'm coming up to the end of a book I mentally leaf through it and pick out the book which most appeals to me at the time. Often I find a particular author or book has already risen to the top of the pile by a chain of associations, or because a friend has recently spoken highly of it. Sometimes it's the cover! My favourite bookshop has a fantastic selection of fiction in its dingy basement and I have rarely been disappointed by something I've picked up on a whim there. My friend Anna taught me to choose books by publisher, and I've spent many a happy afternoon leafing through old dark green Virago tomes looking for treasure in her company, and I am really excited at the possibility of reading more and more books from Persephone. At the moment I am trying to read my way through the unread books that I already own, and next on my list is 'Sleeping Fires' by George Gissing. It fulfils almost all of the above criteria: I bought it at Henry Pordes with Anna after listening to friends rave about 'The Odd Women' they were studying for the 'London in Literature' course, and it has a beautiful cover.

  2. What sort of recommendations count most highly in making that decision?

    Suggestions by friends! No question. When my friend Paul lent me a copy of 'Jacob's Room' when I was seventeen he changed my reading landscape forever, and I am inexpressibly grateful to Steph for stopping openmouthed in front of Waterstone's when I commented that I'd never read any Philip Pullman, and turning me round and marching me inside to buy the whole 'Amber Spyglass' trilogy at once.


Marie said...

I love the Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials triology. Now you made me want to go back and reread them. :)

Ashley said...

I read His Dark Materials once, and have listened to it twice on audio. I am never, ever tired of it.

Have you tacked Jonathan Strange yet?