This Christmas I want to read the Neopolitan trilogy by Elena Ferrante (having heard so much about it in the office this year), and if I have any reading time left over, The Chimes by Anna Smaill, and Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter. Then, depending on how much brain power I have left, I will finally get around to reading either Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty or Yes Please by Amy Poehler.
I try to read an old book each summer. Last year, Portrait of a Lady – brilliant, although I'm still mad at Henry James for what he did to Isabel. This year, Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Steve Braunias's The Scene of the Crime is on my list, Steve writes the dreary horror of New Zealand small town drama so well. And My Lunches with Orson by Peter Biskind in which the reader gets to drop in on intimate conversations between Welles and friends.
First on my list is my hero Diana Athill’s new (and probably final) memoir Alive, Alive Oh! Others I’m excited about are Kim Kardashian’s Marriage by Sam Riviere, Dean Young’s Bender, the short stories We Don’t Know What We’re Doing by Thomas Morris, and my two annual treats, Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 and Best American Essays 2015. Also: I’m finally getting around to a cycling memoir called The Escape Artist by Matt Seaton.
My summer reading will involve some rather obscure books on shipbuilding and airframe manufacture in Southampton in the 1920s and 30s. But apart from those I’m keen to read many books from the Costa Prize shortlists especially The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books) and Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss (David Fickling Books). I’ll probably add to that David Almond’s Guardian Prize winning A Song for Ella Grey, as his book Skellig is an all time favourite of mine.
Sport submissions. Proofs of Damien Wilkins’ new novel Dad Art, Claire Orchard’s debut poetry collection Cold Water Cure and Tracey Slaughter’s short stories Deleted Scenes for Lovers. The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams and The Complete Stories: Clarice Lispector. Roberto Calasso’s memoir The Art of the Publisher. Lean meat with minimum connective tissue.