Saturday, 9 July 2016

June's Wrap Up

I thought I hadn't really read that much last month that's why I've been putting off writing a wrap up for June but it turns out I read four books, which seems to be the usual number.

My Salinger Year - Joanna Rakoff
Sometimes there are books which transport you straight into the story. This one book does exactly that - a publishing agency in New York in 1990s, pre-computers (when Fax machines were the height of fashion). This memoir tells the story of Joanna as she works as an assistant answering fan letters for Salinger. This is a great book, and will make you want to work in publishing during the 90s.

Under the Skin - Michel Faber
I watched the film first (when it came out a few years ago) and have wanted to read the book since as I've heard it's completely different - those people are right. This haunting book tells the story of Isserley as she drives round the wilds of the Scottish Highlands looking for hitchhikers.

The Arrivals of Missives - Aliya Whiteley
This is a great short novel, and you can read my review here.

Back to Moscow - Guillermo Erades
Martin comes to Moscow to write his PhD but instead indulges in the city's magic of women, bars and booze. This is a good story about discovery, debauchery and neurotic characters. You can read my review soon.

During June I went to the first Emerald Street Literary Festival in London, and it was a great day even though it rained. I went to some great talks about the Bailey's Prize, creating ideas and listening to Maggie O'Farrell talk about her new book. It was a great day listening to people talk passionately about writing and books. Lisa McInerney said that you need to stop feeling guilty about writing as one thing more miserable than writing is not writing. A good thing to remember when sitting at my desk worrying that I should be washing-up/hoovering/food shopping.

I have been working on shorter pieces of fiction in June rather than my novel. Some of the later chapters and the their first drafts need to be re-written from scratch which can be disheartening but I know that at least I have the bare bones of the plot for the chapter, and I know the general direction I need to head. At least there are words on the page.

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