3 Books Weekly #15: Kim Plowright and books about messy emotions
09.00, Friday 10 Jun 2016 Link to this post
The following was first posted on the 3 Books Weekly email newsletter and has since been archived here.
Today we’ve got 3 books picked by Kim Plowright who is incidentally an old friend, but more meaningfully a bringer-to-life of all kinds of awarding-winning things on the internet. Kim is @mildlydiverting on Twitter, and you can find her homepage here.
This is usually the bit where I say you can find these books in the vending machine. HOWEVER, the vending machine [left Hachette this morning] and is now located at Lost My Name – hot tech startup and makers of super personalised kids books. Here’s a pic. It’s in their office and just for staff and guests for the next month or so.
I want to say a huge and public THANKS to Hachette UK and especially George Walkley for making the last month possible. It’s been brilliant to have Machine Supply in your lobby, and to enjoy the feedback from v smart people who love books.
Okay, gotta go, happy Friday all!
#1. Keeper: A Book About Memory, Identity, Isolation, Wordsworth and Cake …, by Andrea Gillies
A powerful, honest memoir of a writer who moved her family to Scotland as their elderly mother developed dementia. It’s not just a tearjerker; it won the Orwell Prize and Wellcome Trust awards for science communication, and tackles the science behind the illness as well as the human story of the loss of self for those with the disease, and those who look after them. More than any self help book or carefully written leaflet, this book helped me understand and prepare for the realities of caring for my father as he slowly died of Alzheimers.
#2. Original Bliss, by A.L. Kennedy
An amazing collection of short stories (and a novella) that deal with the frail, silly, broken ways that people deal with sex. A.L. Kennedy is a wonderful writer - dark, funny, and somehow clear-sighted; writing about difficult, messy emotions with a kind of honest tolerance and affection. And oh, such words. This remains my favourite of her books, probably because it was one of the first I read.
#3. The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell
Like Cloud Atlas, this book dances at the edge of science fiction. A story of a runaway, it slowly opens up an interconnected web of people and powers - and hints that Mitchell’s books might all be part of a bigger universe. I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading fiction in the last few years, but this book completely absorbed me. The last segment has particularly stuck with me, changing the way I imagine the near-term future.