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Brazenly stealing a friend’s idea is always acceptable. Besides, I think she may have stolen it herself.

Books Bought

Against Love by Laura Kipnis – The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware (turns out I owned it already) – From Memory To Written Record by MT Clanchy – The Study Of The Bible In The Middle Ages by Beryl Smalley

Books Read

Sovereign by CJ Sansom – Missoula by Jon Krakauer – What’s Happened To Politics by Bob Rae – In The Skin Of A Jihadist by Anna Erelle – The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida – The Shadow Of The Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto – Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – Church Of Marvels by Leslie Parry – The Nest by Kenneth Oppel – Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Obviously the books I bought, and hope to open one day, are more ambitious than the eclectic mix I actually read. And these books were a mix of lucky finds, recommendations, and one or two for work rather than a coherent programme of reading.

I acquire and read so many books for work and for pleasure that, I admit, they can blur together. I pretty much default to three-star rankings. If you manage to get edited and published these days, it’s pretty hard to deliver a truly awful book. Though they do exist and I suffered a couple this month (whose titles I must diplomatically avoid).

But a few books always manage to sucker-punch you, which you remember a few days later. And then talk about. And proceed to force on your friends. The Shadow Of The Crescent Moon is one of these. I’ve described it as “Three hours. Three brothers. Tribal Pakistan.” The story unravels from there, spilling out its secrets before twisting them all back together in unexpected, spellbinding ways. I will re-read it before the end of the year.

Furiously Happy had me furiously laughing. At an airport gate. In front of security. Who let me onto the plane where I’m sure I was of concern to fellow inmates. But who cares? That’s what confined spaces are for, right?

And now the upcoming fall season is upon us, with its trove of excellent advance copies starting to arrive at the office. I can barely stack my to-be-read pile within its allotted shelf space. Only some revived Tetris skills keep it under control.

I may have to gag the next person who comes along bearing a book that I “just HAVE to read!”

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