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Kate Davies' Book Selection for May 2024

This month’s 
on the 18th has a 
Desert Island Theme
which of course got me thinking about what I would take

Skipping quickly past the BOOKMARK Book of the Year winners, Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre, Mayor of Casterbridge etc (new and older classics that never tire), and the possibly useful Robinson Crusoe, I thought it might be an opportunity to read some of the other works written by authors I’ve enjoyed. I know many people resolutely devour all books by an author when they’ve found a writer they like, but I rarely do. 

So on that premise, I reckon I’ll take the newly published Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan, and just in time for the shipwreck, is the latest book from Muriel Barbery: One Hour of Fervour.  

In April the bookshop Book Blether met to chat about Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes, which we enjoyed for its repositioning of the classical story of Medusa, the contemporary connotations, and the author’s wit. What else to read from this author? Just out in paperback is Devine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth, which looks great and I would read with relish (they are a vengeful, spiteful and capricious lot). But with space limited in my imaginary castaway luggage, I’m going to take A Thousand Ships  - an epic, well-told, to keep me entertained.

A couple of other newly published books to round us off (though I’m starting up a petition for a monthly book subscription choice to be delivered to my Desert Island in a suitable-sized bottle). First is The Bee Sting by Paul Murray, Winner of the Nero Book Award for Fiction 2023 and, finally, the heart-stopping No One Saw a Thing by Andrea Mara.

We may enjoy a quiet moment on a desert island after that! Unfortunately, selecting books for a desert island has also got me thinking about what books there might be with a ‘dessert’ theme? – clearly time for a slice of cake and cup of tea! 


PS: The Adventure into Books Book Blether group meets on the first Wednesday of each month. On 1st May, we’re chatting about The Wager by David Grann (ISBN: 9781471183706, paperback, Simon & Schuster, 2024) – as I write, I’m three-quarters of the way through this stunningly good book. Hugely appropriate for a Desert Island theme (though think more, barren, freezing, earthquake-prone, storm ridden misery than sunny Caribbean), this book raises many questions about duty, honour, endeavour, colonialism and the human condition. Then on 5th June we have a theme evening, where we’ll be blethering about books we associate with summer: come along and share our optimism that summer will remember to arrive soon.

PPS: On 19th June (at 7pm), Pauline Tait is helping us to celebrate Independent Bookshop Week, with a talk about her latest Skye-set book Anna’s Promise, a story of hidden pasts and uncomfortable truths. Let us know if you would like to come along.

For full synopsis of Kate's selection, please click here