‘Motherwell’ is a memoir by journalist Deborah Orr about growing up in the former steelworking town and the strained relationship she had with her mother. The reviews have been wonderful, especially from the great (and underrated) novelist Andrew O’Hagan, which bodes well.
‘The Rapture’ by Claire McGlasson is a book I’ve fingered numerous times and finally bought in the Waterstone’s sale. A fiction, it is based upon the true life religious cult – the Panacea Society – which existed in Bedford, England in the early 20th century.
This week’s charity shop finds: Joanna Walsh is a writer whose name seems to crop up in many reviews of other people’s work, but someone I’ve never read, so I’ve been lucky to find a copy of her first novel, ‘Break.up’ from last year.
‘After the end of a love affair conducted largely online, the narrator of Break.up travels across Europe navigating the complexities of modern love. As she makes her pilgrimage through offline space – on railways, on buses, on planes and, above all, on foot – she crosses the borders of not only space but genre, ranging widely into eclectic essays on music, boredom, shame , photography, marriage and art.’
It sounds a tadge ‘experimental’ which usually means I am going to either love it or hate it with a passion. No middle ground.
Next up is ‘Chinatown’ by Michael Eaton, one of the British Film Institute’s marvellous BFI Film Classics range. These books are small, perfectly formed monologues on classic films, with a sister range covering modern classics. They have published some wonderful film writing – Mark Kermode’s ‘The Exorcist’, ‘The Birds’ by Camille Paglia and ‘The Thing’ by Anne Billson to name just three. They are fairly expensive to buy new, so if I see one in a charity shop I’ll always buy it – whether I’ve actually seen the film in question or not!
And finally, another beautiful addition to my Puffin books collection: ‘The Wanderings of Mumfie’ by Katharine Tozer, from 1955. This is an especially lovely book, containing coloured illustrations which I think was a first for Puffin Books? (You can visit my Puffin blog here )