Today Will Be Different is the new novel from Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and when I spotted early copies, it’s safe to say I was pretty unashamed about seeing if I could nab one as I was really keen to read it and share my thoughts with you.
I really enjoyed it, I think even more so than Maria’s previous novel, in part because of the ingenious way that the whole book plays out over the course of one day, albeit with the clever use of flashbacks, as the main character, Eleanor, encounters various objects or thinks about different people, especially her husband and sister.
I’m very pleased that Maria Semple has stopped by to answer my question about her choice to write in that way…
“When I wrote that first page and felt its electricity, that pretty much dictated the form of the novel. It told me I was writing about a woman who was waking up one morning determined to be her best self. And despite Eleanor setting the bar almost comically low for herself, her plans still go awry.”
As well as the fascinating way it’s written, I loved the wit and humour of Today Will Be Different, as well as the way that Semple creates the most extraordinary characters who are also completely human and relatable. I am desperate to watch the animated series the Elanor works on – it sounds like sassy My Little Ponies – and Timby, her son, is delightful. Her relationship with her sister is sometimes tender, sometimes tragic to the point of heartbreaking. There are also some wonderful slapstick moments – especially in a sculpture park – that have to be read to be believed…
Look out on my Twitter for a chance to RT and win a copy of the book, and have you been following the tour so far?
18th August: Nina Stibbe
25th August: Beth Book Blogger
1st Sept: Notes From The Chair
8th Sept: Amy Pirt
15th Sept: Adventures With Words
22nd Sept: Queens Park Books
29th Sept: Alison Percival
6th Oct: Marian Keyes
Eleanor Flood knows she’s a mess. But today will be different. Today she will shower and put on real clothes. She will attend her yoga class after dropping her son, Timby, off at school.
She’ll see an old friend for lunch. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action – life happens. For today is the day Timby has decided to pretend to be ill to weasel his way into his mother’s company.
It’s also the day surgeon Joe has chosen to tell his receptionist – but not Eleanor – that he’s on vacation. And just when it seems that things can’t go more awry, a former colleague produces a relic from the past – a graphic memoir with pages telling of family secrets long buried and a sister to whom Eleanor never speaks.
We’ve been supporters of World Book Night since before Adventures With Words properly kicked off, in 2011, and we’ve been talking to you about it most years since then. You can read all about its origins on the World Book Night website, but it came about in order to promote reading for pleasure for people who don’t read regularly, by reaching out to people in unusual places with a huge team of enthusiastic volunteers ready to give away a range of brilliant titles. This year’s set of books is no exception, and I was thrilled when the team at WBN got in touch to ask if we’d like to share some Q&As from a couple of the authors involved. This evening, Holly Bourne shares some insights into her reading habits, advice on recommendations for reluctant readers, and Shakespearean favourites (remember that anniversary?), as people all around the country prepare to share their love for her fantastically funny and feminist YA novel, Am I Normal Yet?Continue reading “World Book Night 2016: Q&A with Holly Bourne”→
As well as taking the time to chat to us about Railhead and his other work, Philip Reeve has written this fascinating blog post about the Spindlebridge, which forms a key part of the story of his new book. As a science fiction fan from a young age, I found Railhead a wonderful adventure and a very interesting take on space travel, and this article gives a bit more insight, without any spoilers, into the world of Railhead and the amazing way in which the characters travel.
I always think it’s fascinating to get an insight ‘behind the scenes’ into the process which brings a book from a concept to the finished article, ready to be read and enjoyed. House of Windows is Alexia Casale’s second young adult novel, published by Faber, who also published her highly-acclaimed debut The Bone Dragon, and, as I mentioned on the podcast, is the story of Nick, who heads to university at the age of 15. That university is Cambridge and soon he is selected to cox for the college rowing crew, and things take an interesting turn.
Not only was my interest grabbed by those plot points, but Alexia has kindly written a brilliant article which introduces the way in which House of Windows has been shaped by herself as the author but also by the editorial team at Faber, and what that process has been like. It’s illuminating reading for anyone, but especially for any budding writers out there. Continue reading “House of Windows guest post, from Alexia Casale”→
When I received an email recently from Faber, offering me the chance to read True Face by Siobhan Curham, and to host a guest post, I jumped at the chance. The effect of the media on young women (and men), in the twenty-teens, is huge – not only is there a bombardment of images telling you what you should look like and how you should act in TV and magazines, but our total immersion in a world of social media means that your appearance is constantly up for discussion and distribution.
While I – thankfully – didn’t have to cope with the combined effects of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and tumblr aged 12, I definitely felt that pressure myself as a teen, and one of the big things that helped me feel positive and empowered was reading about some fantastic female characters and the amazing things they were able to achieve. I asked Siobhan if she could share some of her recommendations of empowering reads for women and girls, and I’m glad to say she’s obliged. Read on, and discover them for yourself… Kate x
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