Posted by: gillarbuthnott | January 4, 2012

My Festive Feast of Reading

One of my annual treats is the Christmas reading binge, and 2011 was no exception. I didn’t read as many books as I sometimes do, but that was mainly due to the fact that I began by re-reading the colossal (in every sense) Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle. 1100 pages of mediaeval warfare and Heisenberg’s uncertainty proinciple: bliss!

The other books I’ve read over the holidays have been brought to me courtesy of my new toy: a Kindle. More on the e- reading experience later…

Florence and Giles, by John Harding, is a riff on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, but seen from the point of view of the children. It’s narrrated, in a marvellous and unique voice, by 12 year old Florence, a self-taught bibliophile. I thought it was a terrific read; creepy, cleverly plotted,  ambiguous and unpredictable.

Being a enormous fan of Jane Austen and P D James, I’d been looking forward hugely to Death Comes to Pemberley, but was very disappointed by it. What’s the point of having Elizabeth Bennett as a character if she hardly says anything and when she does, it’s desperately dull? The crime plot wasn’t very good either. A bit of a clunker, I’m afraid, and a waste of all those marvellous characters.

The same cannot be said of Dark Matter by Michelle Paver however, a chilly and terrifying ghost story set on Spitzbergen in 1937. It’s hugely atmospheric, deeply unsettling and the perfect winter read. With all the lights on. And a whisky.



  1. Hi Gill

    We have just added your titles to our range.

    We have just started listing Scottish Kindle titles as well so I hope you can have a look at the titles for your new Kindle toy!

    Best wishes


  2. Hello Angus,
    Thanks for adding my titles to your list. I’ll certainly be doing some Scottish Kindle shopping via your link!

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