‘a delightful amateur sleuth novel with a well balanced mix of domestic and academic life and a strong sense of place.’ [Stage Fright]


Book-lovers! Serial monogamy or a more free-wheeling approach?

513S9PZLNOL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Are you a serial monogamist or do you like to have several books on the go at the same time? For myself, I am rarely reading just one book. Sometimes I must admit that I spread myself too thin. Here’s a snapshot of what I am reading at the moment.

I am approaching the halfway mark of Niall Williams’ novel, History of the Rain (2014). I have a deadline for this one as we’ll be discussing it at my book group next week.

I am also a few chapters into Elizabeth Hawes’ Fashion is Spinach: How to Beat the Fashion Racket (1938), a fascinating and amusing account of the author’s adventures in the fashion business in the 1920s and 1930s. Moira at wrote about this on her wonderful blog: I often read books she has reviewed.

51wCxRurT3L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_These are both London Library books. I didn’t want to take them with me when I was away for a couple of days earlier in the week, so I took a break from them and read Ellie Griffiths’ new novel, The Woman in Blue on my e-reader. Arriving home tired, I didn’t want to read anything the least little bit demanding: Agatha Christie’s Towards Zero was perfect.

There is also usually something on my e-reader that I keep for when I can’t sleep or wake up early. At present it is Ethel Lina White’s The Man Who Loved Lions.

Also by my bedside is a brand-new book, just out, Lab Girl: A Story of Trees, Science and Love by Hope Jahren. I’m 100 pages in and have had a bit of a break, but I do intend to finish it.

So that’s the state of play at the moment and I’d love to know how others organise their reading.


  1. Martin Edwards
    July 10, 2016

    Whilst (or because) my reading is not terribly organised, I usually find I have several books on the go at any one time.

    • Christine Poulson
      July 11, 2016

      This can be rather confusing with crime novels and I do tend to read those one at a time.

  2. Sue Hepworth
    July 15, 2016

    I am shocked by your philandering, Chrissie. I couldn’t possibly have as many books on the go as you do. It sounds like the literary equivalent of channel-hopping, which I abhor. I like one book to immerse myself in, and if it doesn’t absorb me enough to be devoted to it until I have finished it, then I regard it as a disappointing read, and often give up. I do have one other book on the bedside table for when I can’t sleep, and it’s either a well-loved novel, or a book of short pieces, e.g. by Garrison Keillor, or Alice Thomas Ellis’s columns, or a poetry anthology such as Lifesaving Poems, ed by Anthony Wilson.

    • Christine Poulson
      July 15, 2016

      I guessed that might be the case, Sue! I do tend to have at least two on the go: something ‘serious’ and something not so serious, though if I am enjoying something I will often drop everything and read that.


Leave a Reply