Jan 28, 2022
Megan Nolan, Rishi Dastidar, Alison Flood and Guardian reader gladarvor discuss the titles they’ve read over the last month. Join the conversation in the comments
In this new series we’ll be asking authors, Guardian writers and readers to sharewhat they’ve been reading recently. This month, recommendations include a damning biography of Robert Maxwell, a mind-bending mystery novel and a delicious history of spaghetti with tomato sauce. Tell us what you’ve been reading in the comments. Continue reading...
Jun 19, 2021
Blake Morrison on boomers, Chris Power on Gen X, Megan Nolan on millennials and Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé on Gen Z … which books shaped your generation?
It took till the end of the decade for the 60s to arrive in our provincial backwater, but the impact was all the stronger for being delayed. Unlike my parents, who’d survived the war and settled down to build a comfortable life, I yearned for risk, adventure, escape. I had a vision of it already from Mr Toad in The Wind in the Willows – “the open road, the dusty highways … Travel, change, interest, excitement. The whole world before you and a horizon that’s always changing” – but Mr Toad was a comical figure, whereas Sal Paradise, the narrator of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, was cool. Continue reading...
Jan 07, 2021
Comfort reading helped author Megan Nolan make it through 2020, but now it’s time for a return to hard-won rewards
I don’t set myself quantitative reading targets. I read as I live, compulsively and without much planning, which means that I average out at about a hundred books a year, mostly fiction. In terms of sheer mass I do fine, it’s just that I often remember almost nothing about them once I’ve finished. I read a lot, but very poorly. This has never been more evident than in 2020, when my tendency to either read nothing or to binge thoughtlessly was crystallised.
Almost two months went by in which all I could read were tweets, the news and despairing emails from friends. I could not listen to music or watch films with any focus, either. By the time summer came I had begun to read again, in fitful jags and a spirit of mania rather than relaxation or contemplation. I read dozens of thrillers in one particularly stressful week, completing the back catalogues of some fairly prolific authors, and could not have told you much about them by the following morning. Continue reading...