Welcome to a new series on the Volume blog, What We're Reading, in which members of the Library team divulge their current reads and what they think of them. This week, it's my turn: Kirsten-Rose Brooks, one of the three library interns, avid reader and aspiring writer.
I’m always partway through at least three different books at any one time, depending on my mood and where I’ll be reading – there are books better suited to train journeys, or snatched moments at lunchtime, or curling up by the fire in the Gladstone Room!
Last week I started Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. Up until now I’ve found it difficult to get into her books (I shamefully abandoned N-W a few pages in), but her debut novel, published in 2000, is compelling. Cleverly drawn characters and lines that made me laugh out loud on the bus, the story rips along, spanning the later lives of Englishman Archie Jones and Bangladeshi Samad Iqbal, and those of their families, from the mid-‘70s onwards.
Losing myself in fantasy has long been my favourite way to spend my downtime. I’d only ever read snippets of the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett’s books before, apart from his exceptional collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, and always been intrigued but never actually picked up a Discworld novel to read properly. I found The Colour of Magic in a second-hand bookshop and from the first few pages, I was hooked! His world is richly coloured and wryly satirical, and he paints his characters with just a few brushstrokes as he sends them off to play. Pairing the Discworld’s first ever tourist and his hundred-legged Luggage with a polite yet cowardly dropout wizard? Genius.
Finally, I’ve just steamed through Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl, from the Peter Francis Collection here at the Library. It’s hilarious, rude, and a book I wish I’d read when I was a teenager, as it’s packed with reassurances, a bolshie heroine, and a sense of “Well, I never did anything quite that cringeworthy, did I?”
Kirsten-Rose Brooks, Library Intern