Welcome to the fourth instalment of #Orentober’s End of World Books, where today’s special guest is the talented Louise Voss. As you all should know by now, End of World Books is a fun blog series when I ask people what five books they’d pack in their survival guide if the Four Horsemen turned up. I’ve enjoyed the bookish outrage and squirming, but when poked everyone will choose between their bookish treasures!
Louise has written many incredible thrillers, both in partnership and independently. Her Orenda birthed books include The Old You and The Last Stage, both books that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed. You can check out my review of The Old You here – The Last Stage review can be read later on this month.
So yes, what we are here for is to see what five books Louise has securely packed in her apocalyptic safety rucksack and why! Let’s get on with it.
- Where I’m Calling – The Selected Stories From by Raymond Carver
Shortly before he died, America’s laureate of the dispossessed made his own selection from his short stories, revised the texts and published them in this authorative edition.
The stories in Where I’m Calling From are selected from the full range of the author’s work including Furious Seasons, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, What We Talk about When We Talk about Love, and Cathedral and include all seven stories from his last collection, Elephant.
A collection of the most tautly-crafted, moving, shocking, involving short stories you will ever read, curated by the author himself shortly before his death. Ideal to dip into, with each one so complete that they feel like novels instead of short stories.
2. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird is the bible of writing guides – a wry, honest, down-to-earth book that has never stopped selling since it was first published in the United States in the 1990s. Bestselling novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott distils what she’s learned over years of trial and error. Beautifully written, wise and immensely helpful, this is the book for all serious writers and writers-to-be
My favourite book about the creative writing process (although Stephen King’s On Writing comes a close second), a chatty, informative and helpful guide to getting started and keeping going.
3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .
Working as a lady’s companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .
Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
An absolutely classic, timeless masterclass in mystery writing.
4. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
The first Jackson Brodie novel: literary crime from the prizewinning, number-one bestselling author of Big Sky and Transcription.
Cambridge is sweltering, during an unusually hot summer. To Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, the world consists of one accounting sheet – Lost on the left, Found on the right – and the two never seem to balance.
Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life haunted by a family tragedy, Jackson attempts to unravel three disparate case histories and begins to realise that in spite of apparent diversity, everything is connected…
I love all of Atkinson’s books – she and Margaret Atwood are my all-time favourite authors. I’ve picked Case Histories because it’s the first of the delectable Jackson Brodie mysteries, but really, I could happily have chosen any of them.
5. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood – unbearable betrayals and cruelties – surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for forty years.
With her stunning, effortless prose, Atwood captures the cruelty of little girls, the agonies of childhood and the scars it can leave on us as adults. I first read this book about 30 years ago and it’s probably the only one I’ve read more than twice. Want to read it again now!
So there you have it, the five books that Louise would carry to the end of the world! Don’t you just love book love! I don’t know about you but I’ve been introduced to some new literature and there’s enough time to add them – and Louise’s books (they are a both must reads!), on your Christmas list!
My thanks to Louise for being a willing participant of my blog series, you can follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseVoss1 and Orenda at @OrendaBooks. Make sure you keep up to date with this October book shenanigans using #Orentober!