Once upon a time, I used to ingest many, many novels. I was a book geek, a speed-reader who would sooner have forsaken high heels than given up reading.
But at some point in the last few years, it all turned a bit squiffy: daylight hours became crammed with contract and freelance work, and then I went and moved continents which totally messed with my reading schedule. And even though one of the first things I did after arriving in Bristol was to join the local library, my reading has been pretty erratic this past wee while.
However, twenty eleven will be the year I attempt to reclaim the pleasure of being let off the hook of my life for a few hours. I'm going to try and get back into the serious reading groove and to kick it off is the best collection of words my eyes have been treated to for a while: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Well, that's when my eyes weren't leaking: this New York Times bestseller is freaking sad (particularly when you've just said goodbye to a dog).
I won't ruin the plot because I want you all to rush out and buy a copy and make the author mountains of cash, because he sooo deserves it. For those of us who think of the four-legged creatures that walk beside us as friends – or even for those who don't – this simple tale of a family being torn asunder, and just as painfully grafted back together, is told from the perspective of the family dog, Enzo. Reading it is like having the perfect latte after drinking muddy water all your life.
I'm not qualified to advise anyone about anything, but I'd urge you to read this, to laugh, cry and feel thankful – but secretly jealous as hell - that such a good writer walks amongst us.