Three Favourite Books of 2006
1. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson.
2. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson.
3. Human Croquet, Kate Atkinson.
‘MON THE KATE!
If I was Scottish I might say that in 2006 I went pure dead MENTAL for the works of Kate Atkinson. Born in York, the author now resides in Edinburgh but I shan’t be stalking her; I prefer to admire a la distance.
My mother-in-law loaned me Case Histories in January. I had never heard of Kate Atkinson as I am an ignorant clod. In fact when I saw the 3 for 2 Waterstones sticker on the cover I thought it might just be one of those Martyred Woman Sagas so often tucked into the Christmas stockings of mothers-in-law. But nay, not so! I am rubbish at writing about books so I will cut and paste wot the Guardian said:
“Astonishingly complex and moving literary detective story that made me sob but also snort with laughter. It’s the sort of novel you have to start rereading the minute you’ve finished it.”
I didn’t start rereading the minute I finished it, but instead tried to bully everyone I knew to read it immediately. Share my joy, you bastards! The Mothership took up the challenge during her visit and loved it, and Gareth finally submitted last month and was also hooked. He stayed up late reading, which I’d never seen him do with anything else aside from the Viz annual. And he guffawed in all the right places too, which is incredibly satisfying when you’ve forced a book upon someone.
The minute I finished reading, I’d also rushed out and bought all Ms Atkinson’s other books like a trembling fangirl. But I was so worried they wouldn’t be as good that I didn’t pick up Behind The Scenes until November. Ohh lordy. Insert superlatives here. About 75% through I started re-reading chapters so I wouldn’t get to the end too soon. I felt bereft when it was finally over and had to leave those characters behind. I hadn’t felt such an overwhelming urge to cuddle a book and stroke it protectively since Cloudstreet. It instantly zoomed into my All Time Favourites list.
I reluctantly started on Human Croquet a day later, not wanting the bubble to burst. But it was just as absorbing and eloquent; the kind of writing that makes you seethe with jealousy and miss your train stop.
(Speaking of jealousy, Ed got to interview Ms Atkinson recently! And most superbly too.)
I’m finding her third novel Emotionally Weird a little harder to get into, in fact it’s abandoned for now as Gareth got me her newie, One Good Turn, for my Christmas. Woohoo! I did read other books by other writers this year but I can’t remember any of them right now. I’m still shitfaced from my Kate Atkinson bender.