If there’s one thing the Prime Writers like to do, it’s sit down with a good book. (Of course, what we’re supposed to be doing is getting on with writing our own books, but everyone needs a break sometimes.)
One of the best things about being in a writing community is the chance to step away from the computer and gather round the Facebook water cooler for a chat. So, earlier on, I asked what everyone has been reading this summer. Come and eavesdrop on what was said:
Antonia Honeywell: Jane Smiley’s Early Warning – having just finished The Summer of Secrets.
Dominic Utton: James Ellroy’s Perfidia – coming late to it due to our library only having one copy which seems to have been permanently on loan since it came out.
Sarah Jasmon: You’d think they’d notice and break out for another copy, wouldn’t you?
Jane Lythell: The Detective’s Secret by Lesley Thomson. Dark and atmospheric.
Melissa Bailey: A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s a biggie – have a feeling I’ll be reading it next week too!
Fanny Blake: Shattering but worth it.
Jo Bloom: A Little Life is one of the only pieces of new fiction I’ve read in the past few months. It’s an unbelievable book. Totally bleak and totally amazing. I was broken, couldn’t read any other fiction for weeks. But it was worth it! I hope it wins the Booker.
Cari Rosen: I’m reading How To Make A Friend by our very own Fleur Smithwick.
Fanny Blake: What I Talk about when I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami – fascinating .
Fleur Smithwick: The Ship and To Kill a Mockingbird
Kerry Drewery: I’ve just finished Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel which was utterly fantastic. If anyone’s read anything else by her, I’d be interested to hear what they’d recommend I read next!
Alison Layland: Just coming to the end of Wake by Anna Hope (saw her at our bookshop in Oswestry a few months ago) – really enjoying it.
Louise Walters: I’m reading Dear Life by Alice Munro.
Jo Bloom: That’s a wonderful book. She’s one of my favourite writers.
Jo Teckman: After the Storm by Jane Lythell, as I continue the Sisyphean task of trying to get to the bottom of my TPW TBR list. I fear it will prove to be an impossible challenge unless we can all agree to stop writing anything new for a few years.
Graeme Shimmin: I’m about to start re-reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. One of my favourite novels.
Fleur Smithwick: So many wonderful books, so little time…
Christina Banach: I’m reading Deaf Sentence by David Lodge.
Helen McKinven: Dead Babies and Seaside Towns by Alice Jolly.
Christine Breen: Just finished The Lodger by Louisa Treger, which I really enjoyed. Now finishing Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye, and reading The Green Road by Anne Enright and A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.
Claire Fuller: I’m reading Casting Off, the fourth book in Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles. It’s wonderful (as were the others).
Sarah Jasmon: I adore those. When I first read them, it was like a drug, I couldn’t stop. And I tried to read her others but couldn’t do it because I wanted them all to be Cazalets. Now finally working my way through them, and they are wonderful as well. She’s such a good writer! Have you got All Change?
Claire Fuller: Yes, my step-mother-in-law sent me all of them. Howard makes reading so effortless. I am absolutely there with the characters. That’s such an amazing skill.
Jo Bloom: I’ve recently re-read All Change – it’s so effortless. I love her writing. There’s no pretention. And there’s such a big cast of characters and yet they are all so alive
Matthew Blakstad: The last proper book I read was The Three, which is a very smart high concept thriller from one of my stable-mates at Hodder, Sarah Lotz. Before that, Terry Stiastny’s Acts of Omission, which is BRILLIANT!
Sarah Todd Taylor: Frozen Charlotte. It’s creeping the heck out of me!
Jason Hewitt: I’m reading Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. (It’s for a book event, I hasten to add!) I’ve also started (but not got very far through) Sarah Perry’s After Me Comes the Flood, which I’m loving.
Alison Layland: I loved After Me Comes the Flood too.
Sarah Sykes: After attending the crime conference last weekend with Martine Bailey, I thought it was about time I read some Dorothy L Sayers – so I’m reading Gaudy Night. Incredibly snobbish and of its time – but also wonderfully written.
Alison Layland: I remember reading that a long time ago and know what you mean (about both aspects). Wasn’t there a TV series too? *dredges memory*
Sarah Jasmon: I adore Gaudy Night for the background atmosphere, and for the falling in love. Deeply satisfying. There is an AWFUL lot of very boring exposition in between, though. Same with Busman’s Honeymoon. Still love them, mind. I’ve just picked up a bunch of Agatha Christie’s when I went to a secondhand book stall for ‘research’… But before I start them, I’m finishing the beautiful Song of the Sea Maid, by Rebecca Mascull.
And talking of Rebecca Mascull, as I was getting this ready, she sent me along a link to her blog, which today is all about what she’s been reading over the summer! Serendipity. If you’d like to see what she’s been up to, click on the link here.
You can find more information about all of the Prime Writers by following the links on the ‘Writers’ tab at the top of the page. And do tell us what you’re reading, we’d love to hear!