Hello! What are you reading?

hello-what-are-you-readingIn this new blog series, I ask my friends and family to talk a little about their current reads. I figured it would make a change to look at the reading habits of people who read a lot but don’t blog about it usually.

This week we’re hearing from Amy, who I’ve known forever. Well, okay, not quite forever, but since we were 11 so a pretty darned long time. I have many a memory of fun and adventure (and of consoling heartache) shared with her. We don’t see much of each other in person these days, pretty much since we went to different unis, but we’ve always stayed in touch, sending each other long rambling e-mails and even on occasion real actual letters! Amy is a bundle of creativity and always has been. Let’s see what she’s been reading…


illusionistsNow I have a toddler, my only focused reading time is on public transport on the way to and from work and also on my luxurious hour-long lunch break. I have currently just started The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas – partly because I loved her other book The Kashmir Shawl and partly because reading the synopsis it sounded like the kind of era and theme I enjoy.

It’s about the world of performers and cabaret, of magicians in a time when magic still astonished the public. All the famous illusions like cutting a woman in half, doves appearing out of a top hat still wowed music halls full of people in 1885.

So far I am enjoying the feel of the dirty streets, the poverty and mistrustfulness of the characters living in late Victorian London in parallel with the wonder the main characters manage to create with their magic and illusions. Only two chapters in and Devil Trix, a sleight-of-hand magician, has joined Carlo the Performing Midget as a team to create props and boxes and develop an act that will get them in the door at a new cabaret hall that is opening. Both have come from backgrounds that left them as outcasts struggling to raise a shilling or two here and there in pubs and shows. It is still early in the novel but it feels like big fame is coming their way.

I have a couple of books lined up to read next (good old Tesco bestsellers list 2 for £7!) – Fishbowl: What the Goldfish Saw as He Fell from the 27th Floor by Bradley Somer and The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. So that’s some observational modern humour and then a novel of legend and adventure. Watch this space!


Huge thanks Amy for sharing with us.