Ella's book diary

Reviews, ramblings and my must reads... Please send me your recommendations! ella.walker28@googlemail.com

Philip Pullman is the best

My recent reading list has been a bit of a mixed bag…

First up was the Costa Book Awards winner 2013, The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer. I thought it was absolutely dire. The plot - strung on a clifftop accident and the mental repercussions for the protagonist - just didn’t grip me in the least. Fortunately it was quite short.

Then came the magnificent Americanah by Chiminanda Ngozi Adichie. I adored Half of A Yellow Sun (which I studied at university) and this was quite possibly even better. Rich, hot, intricate and absorbing, it’s transatlantic, beautiful and ridiculously well written. Read it immediately.

My holiday read was the short and snappy True Grit by Charles Portis (no, still haven’t seen the film). It came with a recommendation from Donna Tartt and more famous literary types than is polite to put on the book jacket, but I just wasn’t able to love it. It was witty, pithy and rompish, but I doubt it’ll stay with me…

And I re-read The Humans by Matt Haig because it makes me feel wonderful. Now for The Luminaries…

My publishing boyfriend @samgpriddy put me in his new book! And it is a very good book indeed, promise. Computer Coding for Kids (DK books) is out now!

My publishing boyfriend @samgpriddy put me in his new book! And it is a very good book indeed, promise. Computer Coding for Kids (DK books) is out now!

Excellent point.

Excellent point.

Books on the street in Madrid - so colourful

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

I wish I could do this book - the best I’ve read this year - justice. But I cannot, I’m not sure I can even try. It is possibly even more beautifully crafted and imagined than The Secret History. And that’s saying something. Go read it. It’s so beautiful it hurts.

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

I wish I could do this book - the best I’ve read this year - justice. But I cannot, I’m not sure I can even try. It is possibly even more beautifully crafted and imagined than The Secret History. And that’s saying something. Go read it. It’s so beautiful it hurts.

Stoner - John Williams

My boyfriend works in publishing which means he comes home with free books (amazing, I know). The latest was the much lauded Stoner; the “must read” of 2013, despite first being printed in 1965. 

It broke my heart. William Stoner toils through life, inch by inch trying to live to the best of his ability, fading and reading and doggedly bearing the strain of having married the wrong woman. 

With each page you will become more and more obsessed with making choices and the consequences of every moment, however fragile or inconsequential they might individually seem. 

It is just the story of a man, but it will scrape and worry at your mind until it is lodged there, always.

Stoner - John Williams

My boyfriend works in publishing which means he comes home with free books (amazing, I know). The latest was the much lauded Stoner; the “must read” of 2013, despite first being printed in 1965.

It broke my heart. William Stoner toils through life, inch by inch trying to live to the best of his ability, fading and reading and doggedly bearing the strain of having married the wrong woman.

With each page you will become more and more obsessed with making choices and the consequences of every moment, however fragile or inconsequential they might individually seem.

It is just the story of a man, but it will scrape and worry at your mind until it is lodged there, always.