We have books in nearly every room of the house. These are some shelves in our bedroom. I often read in bed before falling asleep. It's one of life's greatest pleasures, isn't it? There are lots of novels on these shelves. At one time I used to read novels almost to the exclusion of everything else. Now I still read fiction, but less so, and mixed in with biography, travel, history, natural history, religion, spirituality, philosophy and popular science. And of course poetry I've always read a great deal of.
Here you will find books by some of my favourite novelists: Balzac, Dostoyevsky, George Eliot, Scott Fitzgerald, Flaubert, Hardy, DH Lawrence, Thomas Mann, John Cowper Powys, Steinbeck, Stendhal, Tolstoy and Patrick White. There's a novel about Welsh hill farmers called On The Black Hill by the exquisitely gifted travel writer Bruce Chatwin. There are two books, Vertigo and Austerlitz, by the joyously uncategorisable WG Sebald, genre-busting works which are part fiction, part memoir, part history, part autobiography, part travelogue. There's a collection of short stories called Under The Dam by David Constantine, who is also a wonderful poet and was one of my old German lecturers at university. There's a selection of short stories by that master of the form, Guy de Maupassant. There's Philip Pullman's terrific children's trilogy His Dark Materials - these are definitely books for adults too! And there's Thomas Mann's classic novella Death In Venice, a book I reread time and again.
This is the final post in my series The Books In My Life.