Also it’s ideal to choose one that is light enough not to cause too much pain in the evening when I fall asleep mid-sentence and it falls on my nose. Yet I also demand my reads to be unpredictable and intriguing, so while Mills and Boons are the perfect size for me their content sadly is not. Lean protein is the thing.
My heart sank when I saw the size of A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz on the holds shelf, after my sister heartily recommended it, claiming she was going to marry its author. I texted her along the lines of “What are you thinking? I can’t read a book that big these days!” But she, with possibly a smaller attention span than even me, insisted. And if Steve was going to become my brother-in-law, I felt I should flex my muscle if I could find it, read on my side and undertake the journey.
And what a ride it is! A great intriguing unpredictable story, no wonder it was short-listed for the Man Brooker Prize 2008, and no wonder Philip blogged enthusiastically about it. This is the kind of book that makes you wonder how the author could possible top it. Go Steve, and stay in Australia where you are safe from ever having to meet my crazy sister.
With my new-found strength in book reading, and the realisation that I can cope with reading a fat book in bed at night, as long as its nutritious, and put a light one in my handbag for the bus trip, I have a more balanced diet.
So which fat books do you think are worth the risk? I recommended the very weighty tome The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber to a friend recently, and it has been great fun hearing her describe how she manages to read it in bed without damaging herself.
PS I got back at my sister by recommending to her the book by the man I am going to marry. Any guesses? Clue: the book is a fat one and is by another Australian. I think there will be a double wedding. Just as soon as I’ve finished Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and my muscles are in top shape.