Opinion was divided at my recent book club over the merits of The Haunting of Hill House. The book, by Shirley Jackson, and written in the 50s, does precisely what it says in the title. An inspiration for Stephen King and others and a big hit at the time, it is well worth a read.
Olivia Fane has been all over the press this week with the paperback publication of The Conversations – 66 Reasons to start talking. Her theory is that it is talking that is the most important thing in a relationship and it is hard to disagree. The subjects range from On Socialism to On running out in a summer storm, naked.
Secret codes, breakneck chases, Religion. – yes, Dan Brown has a new paperback out, Inferno, and it is already the bestselling book of the year. What is his secret? Perhaps it is the hint of intellectual credibility but not enough to get in the way of the page turning. Meanwhile Freddy Forsyth has a new thriller out. The Kill List .It is breathless, formulaic and pretty predictable but I found it hugely entertaining.
Man At the Helm the new novel by Nina Stibbe did not disappoint. I had concerns early in the book that her unique style (showcased in the brilliant memoir Love Nina) was not going to work in this form, but it did. As well as being clever, stylish and funny she can tell a great story.