Last week was a holiday during which I had intended a reading bonanza. However, the best laid plans and all that …. Decorating aside, I decided to bring this blog up-to-date. I didn’t quite manage it and so I’ve still a number of reviews to write from August! The books were truly excellent, details of which are still vivid in my mind.  Most notably Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War and Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. Also Hjalmar Söderberg’s crime classic Doctor Glas. Fortunately John Self has now written a truly excellent review on TheAsylum and so now  no need for my tuppence worth!

Celebrations for the 200th post shared with a celebration of the greatest novel written here. And with it the semi-official launch of a desert island book series. The reasoning behind this being that I will some time in the future move home. It will be a downsizing and I will have to cut down my library. So let the mental preparations begin….. Not sure if , in reality, I could cut  my 1500+ collection down to just 10, but as an intellectual exercise, I’m quite curious to see the results.

Books 1 and 2 have been named. Look in the special desert island box on the right. —> Today I’m adding Janice Galloway’s Clara  to the list. It’s the finest historical novel I’ve read. Full,  glowing, even gushing, review here. I had a spare copy to giveaway during the Edinburgh Book Festival but it vanished. Thanks to this week’s decorating, it has reappeared from behind the cupboard. So, somewhat belatedly I offer it to the blogosphere. Usual rules. Just leave a comment. Giveaway open to the whole world. Non-UK destinations will receive it via surface mail.

The winner will be announced in next week’s Sunday Salon post i.e 9.11.2008.

EDIT:  More giveaways this week with bookroomreviews organising a book giveaway carnival.  Go check it all out. 

Could I at this juncture ask Michelle from Australia to claim her copy of Charles Cumming’s Typhoon.  I have emailed you several times but maybe my mail got lost in the spam.


Other literary events this week. A midweek trip to the theatre and another to the Goethe Institute in Glasgow to hear Sasa Stanisic reading and discussing his mega-successful “How the Soldier repairs the Gramophone”. Stewart from Booklit has promised a full write-up and as I have time management issues at the moment, I await it impatiently! When I told him of my cunning plan, he suggested I rename myself LazySiddal. Many a true word …..

Amidst all these non-achievements, I did however perform the impossible. A full hour’s browsing in Edinburgh’s Princes’ Street Waterstones and I walked out with nothing, nada, nichts! See I have some willpower! I was sorely tempted by a number of titles on Philip Pullman’s Writer’s Table. It appears that our reading tastes are highly attuned. A quick mental jog through the TBR at home and I counted at least four of his choices gathering dust.   No need to buy the other half-dozen that were added to the wishlist …. not at this juncture anyway.  I was delighted to see Kolymsky Heights in his list.  “The best thriller I’ve ever read”  says Pullman.  “The first thriller I ever read” says Lizzy and the seed that sowed a reading addiction!

And I also managed some reading in the course of which I almost fell out with this year’s Booker judges  …. more on that later this week.