My brilliant holiday reading

Cormac O Grada’s [amazon_link id=”0691165351″ target=”_blank” ]Eating People Is Wrong (and other essays on famine) [/amazon_link]proved a good antidote to seasonal over-indulgence. It’s a – perhaps surprisingly – compelling read. I have a proof copy, so will save a review until closer to publication date in April.

[amazon_image id=”0691165351″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Eating People Is Wrong, and Other Essays on Famine, Its Past, and Its Future[/amazon_image]

My other holiday read was Elena Ferrante’s [amazon_link id=”1609450787″ target=”_blank” ]My Brilliant Friend[/amazon_link]. I’d never heard of the author until a newspaper feature on her books appeared a few weeks ago, and happened to pick up a copy because it was on the table at the front of Daunts, one of my favourite bookshops. It’s one of the best novels I’ve read. It’s about the specifics of two girls growing up in a tough, violent working class community in mid-20th century Naples. But also, as with all great novels, about the generalities of human life: friendship between girls (even better than Margaret Atwood’s [amazon_link id=”1853811262″ target=”_blank” ]Cat’s Eye[/amazon_link]); relations between men and women; economic and social forces changing the fabric of life; education as a ladder out of poverty and the resulting deracination. [amazon_link id=”1609450787″ target=”_blank” ]My Brilliant Friend[/amazon_link] is the first of a quartet, and the author has three previous novels, so that’s my fiction for 2015 sorted.

[amazon_image id=”1609450787″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]My Brilliant Friend[/amazon_image]

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