Thursday, 5 January 2012

Books that are rocking my world

Been given Amazon vouchers for Christmas? Looking to fill up your brand new Kindle with book candy? Here are five books which are rocking my world.

Caitlin Moran-How To Be A Woman

How to be a woman-Sheer brilliance

Words can not convey how much I loved this. Described as modern day Female Eunuch its undoubtedly the most important book on feminism written in a very long time but that makes it sound all kinds of dull and worthy when in fact its absolutely brilliant. 
 From the first chapter which describes the author as a teen masturbating to Jilly Coopers Riders you realise this is a big brave book. As you might expect from Moran if you read her regular column in the Times its laugh out loud funny, full of wee your pants hilarious anecdotes of life growing up in the early nineties as an over weight, over smart brummie.
Whats striking though is how thought provoking and at times sad it is too. Caitlin's observations of how she thinks food is the drug of choice for carers certainly struck home with me and is a really interesting take on why some people forever struggle to be thin. Moran has opinions on everything from vajazzles to Lady Gaga and takes a look at feminism in such a modern entertaining way that its only after you have stopped laughing that you realise by jove, shes hit the nail on the head. There is a reason this has topped the best seller charts and that's because its bloody brilliant. 

Room Emma Donoghue

A book inspired by the Josef Fritzl case might not sound like literary gold but trust me this is fabulous. Its rare to come across a book written totally through a child's eyes and as a writer no easy feat but Donoghue makes it seem effortless. Room is the tale of a kidnapped woman who has had a child by her abductor. The lengths she goes to to give her little boy Jack a sense of normality whilst they remain captive is both powerful and uplifting. Its no surprise this was a finalist for the Booker prize.

Death Of A Polaroid A manics Family Album

Pretty in Pink-Death of a polaroid
When it was announced in 2008 that production of Polaroid film was ceasing it did feel like the end of an era for those of us who had grown up warming photos under our arms pits.The massive popularity of the instagram app which makes digital photos look like Polaroid's shows there is still a real nostalgia for the medium and this book by The Manic Street Preachers bassist and writer Nicky Wire is a real treat. Cataloguing years of the band travelling all over the world, regardless of whether you are a Manics fan if you love reportage and Polaroid photography you will love this book.

The Children's Book A.S Byatt

Dark and haunting A.S Byatt
I love A.S Byatt but her books are not always the easiest to get into.This one however was totally compelling.Set at the turn of the twentieth century the  novel concentrates on the effect that creative parents can have on their children. The books central character olive is  a writer of fairy tales who often neglects her own children in order to write and is both fascinating and maddeningly selfish in equal measures. There is a darkness throughout this book but also a beautifully British resilience.Not an easy read but very rewarding.

Red Carpets and other banana skins Rupert Everett

Rupert you are a very naughty boy
There is nothing more frustrating than picking up an autobiography wanting to read the dirt on the rich and famous only to be faced with a sickly sweet overlong press release. This its fair to say is not one of those. Its hard to imagine how Everett will ever work in Hollywood again and I don't imagine Madonna is returning his calls (he recalls how in moments of stress she sounds like an "old whinny barmaid' ) but for a hugely entertaining no holds barred look at behind the scenes of tinsel town its a must. Everett talks about his affair with Susan Sarandon, being a gay man in Hollywood, egg hunts at Elizabeth Taylor's and is probably funniest about the totally bonkers antics of Sharon Stone. Ms Stone believes you have to "let characters in" when you are acting, almost like a possession as he describes here "She had never looked better, even if she insisted on cutting her own hair with her nail scissors. She was a great beauty and her eyes were hypnotic. I was swept in by their drama, even if I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about" 
Priceless. the perfect anecdote to a bad day and a kiss and tell that certainly delivers.
What are you reading at the moment? Any suggestions for my ever hungry Kindle?

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