What are the great books about Britain, the books that British people would recommend if you wanted to understand them and their nation better? When I interviewed Alice Albinia earlier in 2012, and we got to talking about what she’d been reading lately, she mentioned that she’d been giving that question a lot of thought—and solicited a lot of input, too.
Some of the books that came up: W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn, Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up! (also known as The Winshaw Legacy in America), David Kynaston’s Austerity Britain and Family Britain, and Norman Davies’ Vanished Kingdoms—that last book isn’t coming out in the U.S. until later this year, and its subtitle has been changed from “The History of Half-Forgotten Europe,” which is how she knew it, to “The Rise and Fall of States and Nations,” which is certainly more concrete but honestly doesn’t sound anywhere near as exciting.
For a change of pace, Albinia also mentioned that she’d liked Nicole Krauss’s Great House.
You could consider this short video clip another sneak preview of Beatrice #2. In addition to talking with Albinia about her debut novel, Leela’s Book, I’ve also got interviews with Nick Dybek and Jodi Picoult, with a total of approximately 10 minutes of video footage from those conversations, too! The enhanced ebook is almost complete, so you should be seeing it before too long… You can keep checking the Beatrice ebook listings, or just subscribe to the mailing list if you want to know as soon as it’s ready…
25 July 2012 | whatcha reading |