01 January 2010

Coffee-Stained Pages: an Introduction

One of my goals this year (I would say resolutions, but that sounds so...intimidating) is to read more.  I used to read two or three books a month, and now I'm lucky if I get any time at all to read even a page.  So that's something I'm working on this year.

To help keep me motivated in my reading endeavors, I'm going to keep you updated on my progress.  Every week, I'll write a post about what I'm reading, how it's going, what I think of the book, etc.

The first book I'll be reading is The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize.

Here's Barnes & Noble's synopsis:
A spellbinding novel, at once sweeping and intimate, from the Booker Prize-winning author of Possession, that spans the Victorian era through the World War I years, and centers around a famous children's book author and the passions, betrayals, and secrets that tear apart the people she loves.
When Olive Wellwood's oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum--a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive's magical tales--she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends.
But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house--and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children--conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined.  As these lives--of adults and children alike--unfold, lies are revealed, hearts are broken, and the damaging truth about the Wellwoods slowly emerges.  But their personal struggles, their hidden desires, will soon be eclipsed by far greater forces, as the tides turn across Europe and a golden era comes to an end.
Taking us from the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme, The Children's Book is a deeply affecting story of a singular family, played out against the great, rippling tides of the day.  It is a masterly literary achievement by one of our most essential writers.
I'm not new to Byatt.  I've read Possession, The Matisse Stories, and The Little Black Book of Stories, all of which I enjoyed very much.  Of course, I've heard good things about this novel, as well.

Hubby actually got me a copy of The Children's Book last fall, but I just haven't started it, so I decided it would be perfect to start out my 2010 reading adventures.


  1. Mmmm, books. So many books, so little time! Don't forget to include the books you read to Bean - they count too, you know! ;-)

  2. Oh, I know they do!

    I bought him a fabric version of Seuss's "Circus McGurkis 1, 2, 3!", and he loves it!

  3. I've been wanting to read this for a while--am really into the whole Edwardian era. Thanks for reminding me!


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