If I had to choose just three books (excluding the ones I’ve already ploughed through) to try in 2011, I’d pick these:
The Book of Human Skin, by Michelle Lovric. The title intrigues me and the cover art reminded me of Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle, which I loved. Lovric’s story is set in Venice and concerns some very vivid characters, including a collector of flesh, so it’s not for the faint-hearted, but should be a good read.
My Life in a Column, by Tracey Emin. This is a collection of Emin’s columsn for the Independent newspaper between 2005-2009. Apparently it’s not just art that’s discussed, but Tracey’s everyday moments and views on the world around her. She’s such a Marmite (love/hate) figure in our society, but one who has a lot to give, and it would be interesting to learn more about her as a person.
Pure, by Andrew Miller. Dealing with the problem of an overflowing cemetery in sunny pre-revolutionary France (and remember, hot weather and dead bodies would not be a pleasant combination), Miller’s narrative follows the young Jean-Baptiste Baratte. We see him destroying the graves on the orders of the king, in an attempt to modernise and improve the area. This should be an unusual and thought-provoking read. Having seen the French Revolution play Danton’s Death at the National Theatre last year, I’d like to learn more about the period.
What’s in your reading wish list for this year? Feel free to share.