ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET by Sebastian Faulks Vintage, £8.99
One of the few books I’ve reread. It is the most romantic, heartbreaking story I’ve read. It’s set in the jazz age, about two people who fall in love and, if you are not lying on the ground in a pool of tears by the end, you are made of stone.
A SMALL DEATH IN LISBON by Robert Wilson Out of print
I gobble up thrillers even if they’re rubbish but this is near perfect. It’s set in Lisbon so already we love it and it’s about the death of a young woman. As the investigation progresses, you realise that this one small death is the pinpoint of a range of historical events.
THE NEON RAIN by James Lee Burke Orion, £9.99
The first in a long series set around New Orleans about policeman Dave Robicheaux; an attractive character with a three-legged raccoon. They’re complicated plots but they zip along and Burke writes almost poetically.
THE CONSTANT GARDENER by John Le Carré Sceptre, £8.99
This made an excellent movie though I read it first. It’s set in Africa, about a mild man and his crusading wife, with big business and politicians against them. He’s such a brilliant writer that you relish every word.
BODIES FROM THE BOG by James M. Deem Amazon only
I’m writing a novel at the moment and it includes a look at bog bodies so I’ve been reading about them. This has a lot of photographs so feels not too academic. There are bits of bog bodies in the National Museum in Ireland and one has beautifully preserved nails. I’m fascinated by that.
THE WHITE ROAD by Edmund de Waal Vintage, £9.99
One of the main characters in my book is a ceramicist who ends up in a pottery and feels she has lost her way. This is about De Waal’s pilgrimage to make ceramics. It is a bit technical but he writes beautifully. I love a charity shop and if there’s a nice bit of pottery in there, I’ll find it.