Early January saw me feasting on Stories, an anthology edited by Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio. The anthology was a Library Book Sale buy, for a mere ZAR10.00 and what value I found for my ten Rand’s purchase! The book is old and worn, published in 2003, and clearly much read, and I’m sure enjoyed, by many others. And now entertaining me.
I’m delighted to have been introduced to the spy novels featuring the awful Jackson Lamb – surely one of the world’s most horrible bosses ! But highly readable and vastly entertaining. I’ll be looking out for more Mick Herron novels.

On the non Fiction side I read a deeply moving, beautifully written memoir by Australian actress and writer, Ruth Cracknell. It’s a sensitively written, thoughtful account of a forty-one year love story and its difficult ending.

At long last I’m getting to grips with my Kindle. Apart from the relief of expanded print size, there are the downloadable Samples, so useful, when you’re undecided whether you should buy an e-book. So I’ve included a Samples section in the monthly Reading Roundup.

January is the month when we are exhorted to clear up our lives and – shudder – our bookshelves. British writer Deborah Levy feels strongly about this and writes how : Marie Kondo can’t have my bookshelves
I have reached a stage where many of my books no longer speak to me, but I won’t be persuaded to part with Jack Kerouac or Colette  ..    an article in The Guardian.
Did you chuck or cherish your books in January? I didn’t Kondo my bookshelves, but I did chuck out some. I realise that if an unread book has been languishing on my shelf for years, then I’m probably never going to get around to it. Big moment of truth!

Stories – All New Tales – Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. An anthology of imaginative fiction by some of the world’s best known authors. The whole shebang from horror to humour and pretty much everything in between. Recommended.

Spook Street – Mick Herron. Stylish, very English spy story set in modern London. Funny and gripping. Reviewed on this blog: https://thebooksmithblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/spook-street-mick-herron/

The Word is Murder – Anthony Horowitz. Terrific crime novel, written by acclaimed Brit writer. Highly Recommended. . Reviewed on this blog: https://thebooksmithblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/the-word-is-murder-anthony-horowitz/
The World my Wilderness – Rose McCauley. Re-issued by Virago Classics; great writing and characterisation. Shows the effects of WWII on one young girl. Worth reading. Lighter than it might sound. Recommended.


The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics – Vickie de Beer & Kath Megaw. The focus is on feeding a Type 1 Diabetic child. Clearly presented easily accessible layout. Informative, practical and useful.

Journey From Venice – Ruth Cracknell. Memoir. A long awaited pre-retirement holiday in Venice turns into a travellers’ nightmare. Achingly personal yet restrained. Recommended.

The Library Book – Susan Orlean. NF. She’s one of my favourite writers. And I love books about Books & Reading. So – a big fat Yes, to buy later in the year.
The Lonely City – Olivia Laing. Moody. Introspective, arty – a Maybe.
Blackfish City – Sam Miller. SF. Fantastic world-building, but no thanks.

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