On top of her favourite reads, Kerry keeps a Big Fat Geek Spreadsheet of all the books she reads each month, complete with a 5 star system (5 being best, 0 being pants). She thought she’d share it with you because you can never have too many lists. Warning: there might be a few spoilers here.
1. Giving up the Ghost: A memoir, Hilary Mantel
For those of you that follow my Books Read page, you will know how much I love Hilary Mantel’s writing. ‘Ilary, as her family called her, is an odd fish and this is no ordinary memoir. True, she does cover her life, but not in strict linear form. Her early life was far from usual though. Her mother lived in a menage a trois with husband and lover Jack until the husband, ‘Ilary’s father, melts out of the picture and we are left with Jack, her stepfather, as head of the household. They move 8 miles away into Cheshire to escape the scandal but gossip soon follows them. Mantel marries young, divorces and then remarries the same man some years later. Having lived in Africa and the Middle East, she is far more widely travelled than I expected. She goes into length about her illness, not in a self-pitying way but she is highly critical of the doctors and psychiatrists who continued to misdiagnose her symptoms for many years. She talks, among other things, of her childlessness, her fluctuating weight due to the pills she’s given, and at the end of the book I feel I have come face to face with a remarkably smart woman. I doubt she’d be instantly likeable but with a brain like hers I would love to get to know her more.