Holiday Book Bonanza ’09:
By Kirsty McHugh, OUP UK
It has become a holiday tradition on the OUPblog to ask our favorite people about their favourite books. This year we asked authors to participate (OUP authors and non-OUP authors). For the next two weeks we will be posting their responses which reflect a wide variety of tastes and interests, in fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Check back daily for new books to add to your 2010 reading lists. If that isn’t enough to keep you busy next year check out all the great books we have discovered during past holiday seasons: 2006, 2007, 2008 (US), and 2008 (UK).
Louise Harwood is the bestselling author of four novels, all published by Pan Macmillan. Her fifth, Kiss Like You Mean It, will be published by Pan in March next year. She lives in North Oxfordshire, with her husband and two children.
I often seem to read a book five, ten, even twenty years after it was published, it’s an endless catch-up! Last year my favourite book was The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. This year I absolutely loved Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel (I’m therfore on course to read this year’s Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall in about 2020). But this year my absolute favourite novel was one first published in 1989, that finally reached my bedside a few months ago. It’s Restoration by Rose Tremain. It’s beautifully written, with a proper plot. It’s bawdy and funny, romantic, deeply sad, wonderfully perceptive, historically fascinating, with a central character – Robert Merivel – full of flaws but utterly endearing and I relished every page of it. It’s set in mid-seventeenth century England, and the great events of the century including the plague and the Great Fire of London are woven into the central story, which is the story of Merivel, who first finds himself at the court of Charles II, only to be cast out when he falls for the King’s mistress, there to begin his wonderful journey of self-discovery…