I’m lining up two books to begin my summer holiday reading this year.
Since seeing Edmund de Waal on The Book Show I’ve been looking forward to reading his family history told through 264 objects, The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance. We follow these tiny wood and ivory carvings, called ‘netsuke’, on their journey from Odessa to Tokyo by way of fin de siecle Paris and occupied Vienna. A rich source of inspiration if ever there was.
The other title I’m keen to dive into is Peter Carey’s latest novel, The Chemistry of Tears, just out this week. The premise sounds fascinating: an automaton, a man and a woman who can never meet, and a secret love story. In London 2010, Catherine Gehrig deals with the death of her married lover by throwing herself into work on a special project. She discovers handwritten notebooks from the 19th century man who commissioned the automata she has been asked to bring back to life. Do either of these make your shortlist too?