The Short Books for a Busy Life episode
Welcome back to Season 3! In this SHORT episode, Andrea and Annabelle go on a quick pit-stop tour of five books you can read in one sitting, or in fits and starts as you go about your daily business in what feels like the busiest month of the year. Expect weird intrigue, an uncomfortable honeymoon, a look at a world without chocolate or cats, and some scathing upper class satire (and that doesn't even include Andrea's bonus celebrity impression).
Books and authors mentioned in this episode:
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
A sensitive and sparsely told story of two newlyweds and the ensuing complications and obstacles that their honeymoon brings to light, is perfect for anyone who wants a complex novel about relationships and intimacy with a fraction of the time usually required to read one.
The Day Cats Disappeared From the World by Genki Kawamura
A book that sold millions of copies in Japan, this is the story of an unnamed narrator who makes a deal with the Devil in exchange for a longer lifespan, but there's an odd catch...and the Devil sports Hawaian print shirts instead of horns.
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
Published in 1945, this is the first in a trilogy about a lady's pursuit of love in an English upper class family. The satire is every bit as biting as you might expect.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
From the author of The Haunting of Hill House comes this tale of two sisters, their eccentric sickly uncle and the gradual unpeeling of why the town hates them, and most importantly, why the rest of their family is dead. It's unsettling, beautifully written and short.
The Digested Read by John Crace
If you haven't got time to read a full length novel, you could just read John Crace's satirical summary of it. Each digested read is 500 words and can be read while you wait for the kettle to boil.
Andrea Gissdal is the Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation. From a voracious and indiscriminate reader as a child, to a part time bookseller as a student, as an adult she has become a literary omnivore but with a preference for fiction. She also dabbles in creative writing, and once scored 82 points in one move in Scrabble. Best day ever.
Annabelle Corton is the English Programme Manager at the Emirates Literature Foundation. She runs the Festival Book Club and has a background in guesting and presenting on talk radio shows about various literary topics. She likes words like ‘equinox’ and ‘vespa’, and loves a good pun. She’ll read anything in reach, but has a fondness for witty tussles of good vs. evil on page and screen, especially vampire fiction where a great deal is at stake. Get it? Stake? ….She’s not sorry.