December 2007
...click on the book images to look at the book...


My 3 favorite books of the year? Ok. They didn't come out this year but this is what I am going to recommend...

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SIMON RECOMMENDS:
"Atonement"
by Ian McEwan

It is the most incredible story, wonderful, he has found a different way of story telling almost. The point of view is remarkable, and he does something at the end of that book which I've never ever...I've never seen a writer do before. He does something which at first seems quite disappointing and depressing, then you realize what he's actually doing, and then it's quite uplifting. A very uplifting book. It has wonderful ways of describing how people feel. There's a passage in there where a character goes through the process of writing a letter to somebody, and what McKewan does is he uses the way he feels to just describe the person who is writing it - it is very, very clever. It also has a lovely moral to it as well, the moral standpoint is beautiful, it's not pompous, it doesn't preach, it's very humanistic, and it has compassion. I LOVE books with compassion. McEwan says something amazing in this book, he says there's a point where you realize other people's realities are as real as your own and that's part of your development as a person, to go through this - and some people never do. It's really true - that's my thing about compassion - is that realizing that other people, they are just as important as you are and their lives are just as important. They feel as passionate and they feel as much as you do in THEIR world.

SIMON RECOMMENDS:
"The Uncommon Reader"
by Alan Bennett

John gave me a lovely, tiny little book called "The Uncommon Reader" and it's by Alan Bennett, who's normally associated with written plays. He's a playwright and an actor as well, actually. "The Uncommon Reader" is the Queen - who, of course, is not common because she's the Queen. She's the one person in the world who's not common. So she's the 'Uncommon Reader,' and it's a little fantasy and it's beautiful and very funny and it's worth reading.







   







SIMON RECOMMENDS:
"Mindstar Rising"
by Peter F. Hamilton

I've read an awful lot of Science Fiction this year, I really have. I read "Ender's Game". I read Alister Reynolds, who I like very much - he is called the 'Master of the Space Opera,' whatever that means. I've also read Neil Asher and I just started reading Peter F. Hamilton's "Mindstar Rising - pretty dreadful title but it's very clever. It's about a psychic detective in the not too distant future, post Global Warming where the climate's changed and the polar caps have melted, we have a left wing socialist power. Very political and very good. Really worth reading. Hamilton sets his novels in and around Peterborough, a part of England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire, the lump that sticks out above Norfolk. It's a nice part of England. You don't get many books set there so that's a really good one for you all.

Thanks for all the suggestions for the Reader in 2007 - and the feedback too. Despite my refusal to stay on schedule, I do love doing these.

Til 2008, whooosh! SLB




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