Mickey Donnelly is about to go up to secondary school. He’s a bright boy living in Belfast during the Troubles. Paul McVeigh constructs a voice for Mickey that is really quite extraordinary. I laughed with him, I ached with him and I cheered for him. It felt as though I was standing right next to him. It’s been some time since I’ve felt such an emotional link with a protagonist. And just when I thought I’d figured out where the plot was going, it went somewhere so much better, with layers of subtle and complex humanity pouring out of the final chapters. A cracking read. Highly recommended.
Do these posts represent an eclectic list? A strange mixture of fiction and non-fiction, older books and current ones, literary fiction and genre fiction? Good; that’s exactly what it should look like.
Why? Because as an editor I try to read a wide range of books, including some to which I don’t feel naturally drawn (and it’s so interesting how many of those I enjoy!).
I read for pleasure, of course; I was a reader long before I became an editor. But I also choose my books with this in mind: I am a better editor for a wider range of clients if I have a wider reading spectrum.
So, I’d like to share my thoughts on what I’m reading, but in brief. Hence short & sweet book reviews. There are lots of good-quality, lengthier book reviews out there (The Guardian reviews are especially good), but it’s not always easy to find the time to plough through them all. I hope my lightly annotated reading list will give you some ideas for your own list!