favourite work cafe, a purposeful stroll amongst dawdling tourists, 10 minutes spent browsing through books.
Speaking of books, Mr and Mrs M Senior very kindly gave me a book token as part of my Christmas present. It might sound silly, but it really is such a brilliant gift. I read like there's no tomorrow. I marvelled at the number of people reading books or Kindles on my commute home the other day, instead of being plugged into their percussion providing iPods. I'm not ready to be converted to an electronica-bookummy-thing. I like to crease the corner of the page I'm reading. To bend the spine. I like the smell of a new book, and that of an old. I like to have my nose buried in a book. I wonder how long it will be before those words are no longer uttered.
Here's my round up of books for 2011. The ones I would recommend are highlighted in bold.
Fashion Babylon - Imogen Edwards-Jones
Family Album - Penelope Lively
Going Loco - Lynn Truss
The Flight of the Falcon - Daphne du Maurier
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender [BC]
The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obreht [BC]
Pearl of China - Anchee Min
Tiger Hills - Sarita Mandanna
The Swallow and The Hummingbird - Santa Montefiore
The Virgin's Lover - Philippa Gregory
The Room - Emma Donoghue [BC]
How to be a woman - Caitlin Moran [BC]
The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters
The Behaviour of Moths - Poppy Adams
The Winter Ghosts - Kate Mosse
The Last Empress - Anchee Min
Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother - Xinran [BC]
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters [BC]
The Rose Labyrinth - Titania Hardie
The French Gardener - Santa Montefiore
Love Letters - Katie Fforde
Two lipsticks and a lover - Helena Frith-Powell
The Dud Avocado - Elaine Dundy
One Day - David Nicholls [BC]
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark [BC]
The Shack - William P Young [BC]
Everyone Worth Knowing - Lauren Weisberger
The Future Homemakers of America - Laurie Graham
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes [BC]
An Equal Music - Vikram Seth
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
My books for 2012 are starting to pile up. I don't know how the judges of the Booker or Costa book prize do it. They must do nothing but eat, read and sleep.
Sounds like heaven.