Like Fell by Jenn Ashworth, this novel is set on the Lancashire coast, less than an hour from my home. There’s a brooding sense of menace from the outset and there’s little to redeem the unending bleakness and isolation of an area seemingly forgotten by the world. Says the protagonist, ‘I often thought there was too much time there. That the place was sick with it. Haunted by it. Time didn’t leak away as it should. There was nowhere for it to go and no modernity to hurry it along.’ The horrors that unfold in the darkness and decay of the Loney have stayed with me in the days since I closed the book for the last time. Chilling.
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!