Sep 02, 2014
On My Amazon Wishlist..
If you’re anything like me, as soon as someone tells me what they’re reading if I’m not already in a bookshop buying it, I’m adding it to my Amazon wishlist.
As you can imagine, it’s become a pretty extensive wishlist so this will be a small selection of my wishlist – I’ll add the rest at a later date.
So for all of you that may be interested in what I’m looking to read next, and for those of you looking for some next-read suggestions, look no further!
Empire of the Sun – JG Ballard
The heartrending story of a British boy’s four year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War.
Based on J. G. Ballard’s own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy’s life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai – a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint.
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
Vida Winter, a famous novelist in England, has evaded journalists’ questions about her past, from simply refusing to answer their inquiries to spinning elaborate tales that they later discover to be false. Her entire life is a secret, and for over fifty years reporters and biographers have tried innumerable methods in an attempt to extract the truth from Winter. With her health quickly fading, Winter enlists Margaret Lea, a bookish amateur biographer, to hear her story and write her biography. With her own family secrets, Lea finds the process of unraveling the past for Winter bringing her to confront her own ghosts.
Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes
In the city that’s become a symbol for the death of the American dream, a nightmare killer is unravelling reality. Detective Gabi Versado has hunted down many monsters during her eight years in Homicide. She’s seen stupidity, corruption and just plain badness. But she’s never seen anything like this. Clayton Broom is a failed artist, and a broken man. Life destroyed his plans, so he’s found new dreams – of flesh and bone made disturbingly, beautifully real. Detroit is the decaying corpse of the American Dream. Motor-city. Murder-city. And home to a killer opening doors into the dark heart of humanity.
A killer who wants to make you whole again…
Blood Meridian – Corman McCarthy
The novel follows an adolescent runaway from home with a disposition for violence, known only as “the kid,” who was born in Tenessee during the famous Leonids meteor shower of 1833. In the late 1840s, he first meets an enormous and completely hairless character, Judge Holden, at a religious revival in Nacogdoches, Texas. There, Holden shows his dark nature by falsely accusing a preacher of raping both a young girl and a goat, inciting those attending the revival to physically attack and kill the preacher.
All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews
You won’t forget Elf and Yoli, two smart and loving sisters. Elfrieda, a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yolandi, divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men as she tries to find true love: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. Yoli is a beguiling mess, wickedly funny even as she stumbles through life struggling to keep her teenage kids and mother happy, her exes from hating her, her sister from killing herself and her own heart from breaking.
Earthly Powers – Anthony Burgess
On his eighty-first birthday, retired gay writer Kenneth Toomey is asked by the Archbishop of Malta to assist in the process of canonisation of Carlo Campanati, the late Pope Gregory XVII and his brother-in-law. Toomey subsequently works on his memoirs, which span the major part of the 20th century.
Shame and the Captives – Thomas Keneally
It is the lives of the farmers, townspeople and soldiers training and working in Australia, for this cataclysmic international event that is taking place at a distance, that we explore. This is not the Western Front but a NSW farming community having to deal with ‘the enemy’. Many of the townspeople and soldiers have husbands, sons, brothers who are away at war, missing, imprisoned, or perhaps dead. The moral quandary they have is deciding how to treat these PoWs in their midst.
Jawbone Lake – Ray Robinson
Ravenstor, the Peak District. The early hours of New Year’s Day. A young woman stands on the shore of a frozen lake and watches a Land Rover crash off a bridge and through the ice. Two hundred miles away, a young man is woken by a devastating telephone call. The accident, and what it brings to the surface, will change both of their lives forever.
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashums. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.
The Healing of Luther Grove – Barry Gornell
Arriving at their idyllic and newly renovated Highland home, worthy of TV’s Grand Designs, wealthy thirty-somethings, John and Laura Payne, hope they are leaving their problems behind in the city. But the couple’s presence disturbs neighbour and local eccentric, Luther Grove, forcing him to confront long buried secrets; secrets that draw him inextricably to Laura and trigger an instant conflict with John.
So Long, See You Tomorrow – William Maxwell
On an Illinois farm in the 1920s, a man is murdered, and in the same moment the tenous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end. In telling their interconnected stories, American Book Award winner William Maxwell delivers a masterfully restrained and magically evocative meditation on the past.
The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac
One of the best and most popular of Kerouac’s autobiographical novels,The Dharma Bums is based on experiences the writer had during the mid-1950s while living in California, after he’d become interested in Buddhism’s spiritual mode of understanding. One of the book’s main characters, Japhy Ryder, is based on the real poet Gary Snyder, who was a close friend and whose interest in Buddhism influenced Kerouac.
If you’ve been inspired to try any of the books I’ve listed above, or have read some of them already, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!