My reading tastes are varied and random. Cook books and books about food will always feature on my bookshelf. My nightstand is usually occupied by fiction, autobiographies and memoires. There is always a selection of self help type books to hand. I am an equal opportunities book lover.
The recent stormy weather in Ireland meant I got through some bonus reading. Plus these Autumn nights have me inevitably taking to the bed early with a good book in tow. And so it is, I have an abundance of book recommendations to share with you. So instead of what I used to do, one book recommendation a month; now I've decided to inundate you with lots of book recommendations in what I hope will be a monthly blog post of all my favourite reads. A list for you to dip in and out of and perhaps choose a book to suit your own reading preferences. First up, are my October book recommendations.
For October, I've read six books; four fiction and two non-fiction. Two of the fiction books, I wasn't so mad about so best to say nothing about those. The other two I very much enjoyed and so they feature in this month's post. The two non-fiction books were of the food variety and let's start with those.
The Modern Cook's Year, by Anna Jones
This is the most beautifully designed cook book I own and paging through it will only bring pleasure. This book is about eating food when it is at its best and eating with the seasons. It celebrates putting vegetables at the centre of our tables, but should not be mistaken as a book only for vegetarians. Anyone who loves food will love this book. I have made ten different dishes from the book so far. Each of them has been delicious and worked as per the recipe and the method. I feel that this 100% success rate from a random sample of ten recipes is plenty for me to recommend this book to you.
The Gannet's Gastronomic Miscellany by Killian Fox
Do you wonder where the burger came from? Or wonder what was on Michelangelo's shopping list? If you want to read about the wackiest food inventions or unusual coffee concoctions, this book is the book for you. Killian Fox is the editor and co-founder of The Gannet, an online magazine that explores people's lives through the food they cook and eat and this is his first book to be published. It is entertaining, informative, educational and funny all wrapped up in one very easy to read, almost pocket sized book. If there was ever a stocking filler for fans of food, this is it. Prepare to be overloaded with lots of random food facts.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
I have been following the author of this book on Twitter for some time and that's how I first heard of his latest novel and the first of his novels that I have read, How to Stop Time. It's been on my list to read since its publication, and starting it earlier this month, I enjoyed it from the very first chapter. The narrator of the novel is over four hundred years old. For every 13 or 14 human years, he ages one year. This doesn't bring him pleasure and freedom. Rather he is removed from the rest of humanity, lonely, too scared to become close to anyone and suffering from constant headaches. The narrator is an outsider in the world he lives in and what struck me most about the book was the sense of loneliness experienced by the narrator. Despite the seriousness of the narrator's emotional condition, this book is enjoyable to read and without giving anything away the ending is more than satisfying. This is the type of book to keep you up until the early hours of the morning or distract you from your work on a wet afternoon! I hear that there is a big screen adaptation of this book starring Benedict Cumberbatch already in development and, don't you just love when you have read the book before the movie comes out.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
This is the type of book you start when you have a few spare minutes and emerge hours later not quite knowing what time of the day you have. Exit West is a brief novel about conflict and displacement from the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist. A young couple from an unnamed city meet at an evening class. Saeed works in an ad agency and lives with his parents. Nadia, works in insurance and lives alone estranged from her family. Exit West starts as a love story. From the start of the novel there is a inevitability that this unnamed city will fall to conflict. It is already home to refugees from the surrounding areas and militants are creating unrest. As militants over take the city and summary executions become common place, Saeed and Nadia seek escape. This is a story of modern refugeedom. Saeed and Nadia first escape to the Greek island of Mykonas, then to London and ultimately to San Francisco. The novel does not describe the couple's journey from place to place. Instead the characters movement through time and distance is described as walking through a doorway. This is a book that you will read in a matter of days, it's short and easy to read.
Are any of you reading something you can't put down?! Please do let me know, I'm in need of some recommendations.