BOOKMARK January 2020 Book recommendations

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A very Happy New Year to you all. After the busy few weeks of Christmas and New Year, personally speaking, I am now quite content to cosy up in front of the fire and immerse myself in a book or two and Gail’s selection for the month of January is just the incentive I need! Happy reading!

All books are available from Waterstones in Perth and Adventure Into Books in Blairgowrie.

The Doll Factory
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
(Picador, 2019)

This debut novel, set in 1851 with a backdrop of the Great Exhibition, has a cast of unforgettable characters who tell a gripping story of the darker side of Victorian London. Its main character, Iris, becomes involved with the pre-Raphaelite movement and Macneal’s ability to weave fact and fiction gives her readers a satisfying journey into the past while throwing light on the present.

The Man Who Saw Everything
The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
(Hamish Hamilton, 2019)

An intriguing story from a writer who is surprisingly overlooked. One man, two time zones and two car accidents, Saul’s story provides an unusual take on the ideas of responsibility within society. A fascinating read.

Seashaken Houses
Seashaken Houses by Tom Nancollas
(Penguin, 2018)

This fascinating book about eight of Britain’s most famous lighthouses is one of the most interesting non-fiction books I’ve read recently. Nancollas takes us from Eddystone to Fastnet, via the Bell Rock, Wolf Rock and four more. Lyrically written, with a strong narrative flow, this book reveals so much not just about the importance of the lighthouses but the bravery of the men who constructed them.

Being Alive
Being Alive by Neil Astley
(Bloodaxe, 2004)

This is not a new book (published in 2004) but it is one of the best anthologies available. If you’re new to reading poetry, or simply want a book to dip into, this is a perfect choice as Astley’s choice is a perfect blend of the familiar and the surprising.

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