My Autumn-Winter 2011 reading list…

Photo: Rymdborje

It’s officially autumn in Stockholm, Sweden though it feels more like winter. In northern Sweden, they’ve already had their first snowfall. I don’t even want to think about snow yet so I figured instead it was time to let you know what I want to read as I prepare to cocoon for the winter… There are a lot of good books out (or soon to be released), making it difficult to pick only a few…

I spent part of Monday evening trawling online bookstores looking for intriguing titles. Here are five books I think I will read as winter chill and darkness settles upon Stockholm:

I love a good ghost story and Justin Cronin’s review Chris Bohjalian’s The Night Strangers (on intrigued me. Set in rural New Hampshire, the novel tells the story of Chip Linton, a pilot suffering from survivor’s guilt, and what happens when he and his family move into a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire. One day they discover a door bolted with 39 locks…why 39 locks? And does it have anything to do with the 39 people who died in the plane crash Chip survived? This could be the perfect creepy story to get me in the mood for Halloween.

I am a sucker for books set in my hometown of Philadelphia and books with recipes incorporated in the plot. Angelina’s Bachelors by Brian O’Reilly (with recipes by his wife, Virginia O’Reilly) satisfies both of my guilty pleasures! The novel is set in South Philly and is described as a Capraesque (even better! I love Frank Capra!) story about a young widow who, following the sudden death of her husband, finds herself cooking for seven unlikely bachelors. According to many reviewers, O’Reilly really captures the vibe of South Philly. I wonder which version of South Philly we get… well, I will just have to order this book and discover it for myself. I have fond memories of times spent in South Philly with my high school and college friends.

Now granted the Silver Spoon is not a book one reads… it’s more a book for drooling. It is the bible of Italian food. Tord and I already have a copy of this amazing cookbook but this new edition has photographs–something our edition doesn’t have–and I do love a bit of food pornography. I can’t help it…especially not when Italian food is involved. So this one is on my list even though what I will probably do is mark recipes and coo at Tord until he fixes them for me, which is one of his favorite things to do at the weekend. And if you want to learn to make proper risotto or cacciatore, then you need this cookbook. And if you don’t want to learn how to cook but you like looking at pretty pictures of yummy food…then you should definitely buy this edition of the Silver Spoon.

I loved Martha Southgate‘s Third Girl From the Left so I was very happy when I heard she had a new novel coming out. Her new book is called The Taste of Salt and tells the story of two generations of an African-American family and how a legacy of addiction affects them. At the centre of the story is Josie, who has chosen to exile herself from her family and finds an escape from it with her profession as a marine biologist. When her mother asks her to come home and pick up her brother from his second stint in rehab, Josie must come to terms with her past and with complexities of her family. I have the feeling this will be one of those books that makes me cry so I will have to prepare myself (and Tord) for bouts of weepiness.

Finally, there’s Ellen Sussman’s French Lessons. I first heard about this book back in July. A clerk at Waterstones in Harrods told me about it but they didn’t have it in stock. I thought about ordering it when I returned to Stockholm but it kept slipping my mind. Now I’ve written it on my list so I have to buy it!

French Lessons is a novel about three Americans and the experiences they have in Paris via their French tutor. It’s also about language, love and how lives intersect in the most unexpected of ways. I was intrigued (still am!) so I think this could be my sit-in-cafés-dreaming-of-a-weekend-trip book for the winter.

So now that you know what I’ll be reading, why don’t you tell me what you’ll be reading this autumn-winter… Drop me a line! Let’s compare notes!

And don’t forget: you can follow my blog if you enjoy reading it. Just click on the “Follow” tab in the lower-right corner of your screen and enter your details. You’ll be notified whenever I update kimtalksbooks–which will be fairly often during the month of November since I’ll be keeping you abreast of my Nanowrimo progress and posting the very rough drafts of my Nano chapters.






3 thoughts on “My Autumn-Winter 2011 reading list…

  1. Kim,
    You have created a lovely page, and the photos in this article are the same. Thanks for subscribing to my main blog, as well. I have been very irregular lately, having focused my writing energies elsewhere for a while. I am gradually migrating my book reviews to the first blog,, in years 2007-2009. Hmmm maybe I’ll create a blog for book reviews only! You are an inspiration.
    Warm regards,

    • Thanks, Ron! When I started this blog, I only saw it as a means of writing my way out of writer’s block. I didn’t think very many people would read it. But now it’s become my favorite distraction and I’ve had over 4000 hits, which I find amazing. I’ve set up a goal now to also use it as a publicity tool for the book I want to self-publish. I don’t know if I will ever make any money from it (and I don’t really care, just want to realize my goal of publishing a novel) but I am having fun and I am doing something I love. 🙂

      Are you coming to today’s Butt-to-Chair? 🙂 It’s good practice for Nanowrimo…;)


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