April 2013

The past few months I've allowed myself to read whatever the heck I want. It's been a joy. I'm about to launch into a new novel, and have a pile of biographies on my desk. Saul Below. Vladimir Nabokov. Alma Mahler. Alongside that a few histories of the Côte d'Azur, of Hollywood in the 1940s. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson This one was a reread, after loving Life After Life so much I felt like I needed more Atkinson. It's every bit as good as you want it to be.

The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig Zweig is a killer. Such aching pain. Such tragedy. OY OY OY.

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig I wish I had a complete set of every single New York Review reissue. They're so lovely.

Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig This slim little novella devastated me. Broke my heart.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout A great, satisfying read.

The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst It was reading this amazing book that made me understand what my new novel was going to be about.

Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald This book is so lush, and so compelling, and ultimately it kind of falls apart. But I didn't care.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes A serious weeper. And funny, too.

The Riviera Set: From Queen Victoria to Princess Grace by Lita-Rose Betcherman Research.

The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn Reread all of these. They're every bit as good as the first few times I read them.