I hate it when books rush past. Sometimes now it feels like the publishing cycle is so fast that things can come and go in the blink of an eye, then they’re impossible to find again. Which means I do a lot of impulse buying. I know, I know, hypothetically with the internet you can find everything forever, but I almost never remember what caught my eye first time around.
Anyway, here is one you might have missed whooshing past, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s by Ben Hatch, and it’s called Are We Nearly There Yet? 8000 miles in a Vauxhall Astra . At first glance you might think it’s one of those Bill Bryson light comic monologues (no disrespect to Bill Bryson by the way, I think he’s a genius who has taught more people more interesting stuff in a fun way than just about anyone since Richard Attenborough), but it’s not like that at all. It’s about a family who take off to write a guidebook for Fromer’s with their two toddlers. Whilst they do, Ben’s father gets ill (it’s non-fiction), and, due to eight hours in a car together every day for months on end, the whole family learn a lot about each other.
I think why I liked it so very much is that so many books look at bad marriages or relationships; or they focus on finding a person, then ignoring after the happy ever after, whereas this is about a living, loving, occasionally quarrelsome but clearly very happy marriage and it felt curiously life-affirming to read about it. It’s very warts and all, extremely funny, very human and very sad. If you liked One Day (ha, I have yet to meet anyone who did NOT like One Day, or who was just saying they didn’t to show off and be different), or just like good books in general, don’t let this one pass you by. OOH and for disclosure, yes, he is a friend of mine, but he has written loads of books and I have never felt moved to blog about them before :)
Other things on my pile:
A Storm of Swords (Still, Jen? Jings, yes, and I have about three more to go as well. But WHAT a storyteller.)
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England -such a cool idea.
Little House on the Prairie I was reading this on holiday- it was one of those old things people leave behind in slightly shabby holiday cottages like the one we were in- and the baby threw it in the swimming pool. As it rained every single day on holiday I rather grumpily didn’t replace it. But it is even better than I remember and I am going to get a copy and start reading it to the boys asap.