Friday Arts Boost

What Are You Reading?

As usual, it’s Wendy – Co-Artistic Director of Red Earth – who does the research on what’s trending in the book world. It’s me that benefits from all that work. I pick up the books she’s ordered and happily read them, even if she hasn’t read them yet.

Last Friday I finished this book…

It’s one of those books that takes you into a world that you can’t quite leave and it won’t leave you. Like all Michael Ondaatje books, the language is so beautiful, careful and spare yet opens up a complex world that he pulls you in to and without knowing it you become immersed.

I don’t know about you but in the heat I’ve been having trouble reading. Concentrating on anything is a real challenge. I’ve had a battle with a brain befuddled by the rising temperatures. Warlight took me to post-second world war London, where life is lived in a kind of literal and emotional twilight that’s so absorbing I forgot about the heat completely.

If you like linear plots, this isn’t the book for you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great story and there is a plot. It just doesn’t follow the usual chronology of many novels. You get fragments of information that gradually complete the story, like the pieces of a puzzle filling in the whole picture.

You find out things alongside the main narrator, an ‘abandoned child’, who’s mother mysteriously disappears, leaving him and his sister in the care of a group of adults with equally mysterious pasts and presents.  Like life, and the narrator, there are things you are left wanting to know that you don’t ever discover.

So, if you can stand the cold of twilight London and Suffolk, after the war, my recommendation for a Friday Arts Boost is to pick up a copy of this book and give some of your weekend over to it.

Our Trustee Kirsty Blyth – Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Development) Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries – always tells you what she’s reading at the bottom of her emails, (She is a librarian after all). She then asks:

“What are you reading?”

Any suggestions? I like it if other people do the research, then I can just pick up the book and enjoy!

Happy cultural weekend.

Amanda (the other Co-Artistic Director, Red Earth Theatre)


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