The history of Laura’s reading habits, from her first literary love to her current obsession and future book plans.
Past: The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera.
Reading this as a twentysomething I remember thinking, “Wow. My relationships are not unique.” I still remember the scene where a couple are swimming on a hot summer’s day and start racing impromptu to an island. Half-way there, the guy realises he’s losing badly and that he’ll always be lagging behind her metaphorically – the dynamics have been set in stone. I wonder what it would be like to re-read it now.
Present: Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds (Jonathan Cape)
This is the most powerful piece of writing I’ve encountered in decades – so much so that I keep reading and re-reading it even though I’m a poetry philistine. A friend stayed up all night with it so I’m not alone. The raw emotion of break up transcends every known cliché thanks to her generosity of spirit and the awe-inspiring choreography of her language.
A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins (Penguin)
Besides having the coolest accordion-fold jacket, this story of a recently divorced guy with a big brain, limited social skills and loads of time for introspection is funny, surprisingly deep and beautifully written. I’ve only just begun it, but mental casting for the movie is well underway – directed by Jason Reitman, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Jennifer Lawrence?
Future: A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee (Corsair UK, released June 6)
A dear friend from college (who will be reading in the Dalkey Book Festival this June), Dee has a way with words that makes even the inscrutable Jonathan Franzen wax lyrical. The plot looks intriguing, too – a woman fresh from an apocolyptic divorce goes back to work and finds she has a knack for large-scale crisis management. Bound to be a thought-provoking take on home vs professional life skills and modern values.
Laura George is Editorial Director of Image Publications. Despite what looks like a pre-occupation with fiction that revolves around relationships, she’s actually drawn to non-fiction just as much. And not just cookery books. She keeps track of them all on pinterest because she has no memory. Follow her @lgeorge353.