Going off the diet in honour of the wedding

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve ToltzAs someone with a low boredom threshold, an overly busy life, and who travels to work by bus, it has become very necessary over the past few years for me to read fairly short portable books.

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.

10 thoughts on “Going off the diet in honour of the wedding

  1. BookieMonster 18 March 2010 / 2:49 pm

    Oh, I would roundly recommend The Crimson Petal and the White, Wolf Hall, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Shantaram and the fat book to end all fat books – A Suitable Boy.

  2. mj 19 March 2010 / 3:56 pm

    “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.”

    You’ve got me intrigued now … something by Clive James? Bryce Courtney? Argh, I can’t work it out! I’m off now to look at fat books by Australian authors on the shelf!

  3. Helen 19 March 2010 / 7:53 pm

    He, he. I am glad someone is taking up the challenge. In truth it is only slightly chubby, not obese at all, especially if up against “the fat book to end all fat books” as BookieMonster so rightly said. This one is certainly a must-read.

    • mj 23 March 2010 / 9:24 pm

      Okay, I’m almost ready to give up … if it isn’t Tim Winton then can you give me some more hints as I can’t figure out who it could be!

  4. Donna 22 March 2010 / 9:04 am

    Was going to say Colleen McCullough … those First Man in Rome in books are sturdy as.

    Agreed on Crimson Petal and The White, a wonderful book and there is a book of short stories called The Apple that follow on from it.

  5. Helen 24 March 2010 / 6:44 am

    Clue: This book was often put in Young Adult section of libraries and has one of the most unusual narrators ever.

  6. mj 24 March 2010 / 12:31 pm

    Ooh, I know who it is … Marcus Zusak!

    I didn’t even think about “The Book Thief” – it’s a hefty novel indeed. I have a trade paperback copy at home and it is a sizeable addition to the bookshelf.

    Thanks for the extra clue!

  7. Helen 27 March 2010 / 10:31 am

    Well done, MJ. You’re invited to the wedding.

    • mj 29 March 2010 / 11:35 am

      you can eat an extra piece of cake on my behalf if i can’t make it!

  8. Claudine 28 March 2010 / 11:13 am

    Ok just did the quiz from the link on keenanj’s blog on Man Booker prizewinners and scored 0 out of 5, will try to do better next time!

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