I've been loping through April, happy in the knowledge that I'm on top of the review situation. So it came as a bit of surprise to me when I discovered over the weekend that April was all but over! Cue major panic and hasty writing of reviews. Thankfully, I've maintained my steady pace of four reviews per month, even if it was all a little last minute this month.
So, with the sun beginning to make an appearance in these parts (much to the annoyance of us drizzle-chasers), it seems like we ought to be looking towards some lighter, beach reads. My first effort in this direction is going to be I Am the Secret Footballer, which is the writings of an undercover professional footballer, who has been submitting columns to the Guardian for a while (in fact, I think he wrote for them during 2012 and no longer does so). The identity of the secret footballer has always been a secret, although there has been plenty of online activity from those who would love to uncover the mystery. After a recent interview for the BBC, it would seem the current favourite is Dave Kitson. Whoever it is, I'll dive in and see if this is a serious contender for a light read this summer.
Next up is a book I was supposed to review a while back. Having read Northanger Abbey a couple of months ago, I have been putting together some thoughts on it since then. With May looking a little clearer at present, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to finally put out a review of one of Jane Austen's most intriguing novels.
Another author I've been wanting to try for a while is Neil Gaiman. I occasionally read his blog and know he's been involved in things (notably Doctor Who, Coraline, and Stardust) which surely make him an author a lot of us would enjoy reading. I'm going to give Neverwhere a whirl this month, a book which started life as a television programme, and which seems quirky and very 'London'. Surely a winner then?
Finally, I'm going to pick up Howard Jacobson's collection of essays, Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It. Clearly a title that strikes that sort of dismissively grumpsome tone is bound to strike a chord with me. Added to this, I heard Jacobson talk last year and found him very engaging. Amongst other things, his derisory comments about bloggers and their way of writing about books was of particular interest (and wasn't something I'd wholly disagree with). Coming from someone that was taught at Cambridge by F. R. Leavis, it's hardly surprising to find that his Leavisite sensibilities are somewhat offended by the unashamedly uncritical, but comfortable discussions book lovers often share.