Are you ready for another adventure into my reading past? You are?! Then let’s go!
It’s February 2006. The world’s population hits 6.5 billion. Two authors sue the publisher Random House, claiming that Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code is a copyright infringement of their book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (the case was unsuccessful). In the UK album chart, the Arctic Monkeys’ debut is number one for the whole month.
And somewhere a bookworm is going to a further education college…
Chocolat by Joanne Harris (1999): Probably Harris’ most well-known novel, this story is about Vianne Rocher, an unconventional single mother who has a touch of magic about her. She opens a chocolate shop in a French village and makes an enemy of the priest.
The Overman Culture by Edmund Cooper (1971): What I mainly remember about this book is that Queen Victoria was in it, but she might have been a robot. I like vintage sci-fi but this one wasn’t for me.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890): A brilliant, unsettling novel about vanity and art. I recently bought a new edition, so I intend to re-read the book sometime soon. It seems incredible that the critical reception was so poor at the time and that over the decades the book has become more popular and admired.
Spies by Michael Frayn (2002): I had to study this award-winning book. Odd choice, really, but one contemporary novel had to be included in the English Literature syllabus and for some reason it was this one. It’s about memory and war and childhood. I didn’t get on that well with it and ended up retaking the exam.
Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl (1979): This collection of short stories for adults was a mixture of good ones and ‘meh’ ones. Some of them could be categorised as horror. There was a TV series adaptation which had very catchy theme music.
Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess (1999): Based on the Icelandic Volsunga saga, this YA novel follows the violent story of two warring families who control a future London. This was a re-read and I suspect I didn’t like it as much this time around. My literary tastes had changed.
Let’s go back to the future now. I hope you enjoyed the trip.