A bumper harvest this week, my birthday coinciding with publishers gearing up for Christmas is always bad for the bank balance!
Firstly, the autumn’s big hitters: Ali Smith and Margaret Atwood. I am pant-wettingly excited about ‘Autumn’, but to be honest I’ve never read any Margaret Atwood. (Actually, I did once start ‘Alias Grace’ but abandoned it after a couple of chapters). This Atwood is the latest in the ‘Hogarth Shakespeare’ series which sees authors re-write Shakespeare’s plays as novels, this time ‘The Tempest’. Isn’t it a glorious cover?
Then, just in time for Halloween, is Michelle Paver’s ‘Thin Air’. I loved her last ghost story – ‘Dark Matter’ – with its shades of MR James. And after the disappointment of Susan Hill’s latest ghostly offering, ‘The Travelling Bag’ (more on this soon), I hope this comes up trumps.
Douglas Coupland always entertains, so his huge collection of essays and stories should help while away the dark nights.
Finally, Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘The Blush’, a charity shop find and a collection of some of her short stories. I always pick up an Elizabeth Taylor whenever I find one in its original Virago cover. I loved ‘Angel’ and hope to find another to match it. (I understand ‘A View of the Harbour’ is particularly good.)
I was going to end by hoping that there aren’t many more essentials in the autumn publishers lists, but I noticed Alan Bennett’s new – and huge – collection of diaries and a gorgeous tome in which David Hockney talks about ‘A History of Pictures’. Oh well, almost Christmas…