A Week in December (Sebastion Faulks)

sebastian faulks

On Monday 8th April this year, a colleague and I went to the British Library to hear Sebastian Faulks in conversation with Steven Gale, which proved to be a fascinating and extremely enjoyable evening, forming part of the Cityread London month-long reading event.  Ostensibly, Faulks was talking about his novel A Week in Decemberwhat inspired him to write it and how he writes…  You can listen to a podcast of the event by following this link.

Faulks told how he wanted to write a contemporary novel set in London, reflecting the make-up of today’s society, which he certainly accomplishes with A Week in December.  He weaves the stories of his protagonists together, we see how their lives are disparate to begin with and intertwined by the end.  The focus is very much on what happens in a modern city from many perspectives: the financial and banking sector; the daily business of a politician and his wife;  the musings of a book critic;   and the lives of a female tube driver and her barrister her when she is faced with a court case concerning a surviving ‘jumper’.

We, together with two hundred fellow readers, sat down in the conference centre at the Library to enjoy about an hour and thirty minutes listening to one of Britain’s best authors talk and answer questions.  His deep and resonant voice was easy to listen to and we got a lot out of the evening. Who can resist, after hearing an author speak, buying one of his books and then have him sign it?  We both did, along with most of the audience, it was a great way to end the evening!

a possible life a week in december


Christmas Reading

We asked our facebook and twitter friends what they’d been reading over the Christmas and New Year breaks and had a very good response!  We told them that we wanted to feature their replies in our blog so here goes…

‘I read an amazing book called Tony and Susan [by Austin Wright] – never seen the act of reading so well described in a novel before’

Fire and Ice by D Stabenow. Also two non-fiction reads – Just My Type [Simon Garfield] and Digital Library Survival Guide [Joseph R Matthews]. Wants to start Wolf Hall [Hilary Mantel] but daunted by length’

State of Wonder by the remarkable author Anne Patchett’

‘PG Wodehouse Code of the Woosters  –  reading out loud to my chap’

‘depressed myself with Of Human Bondage [W. Somerset Maugham] and Love and Mr Lewisham [H G Wells]’

‘Tried to read Tess of the D’Urbervilles [Thomas Hardy] but am struggling…. Haven’t read any classics for a while and reverted to a contemporary novel after about 50 pages.’

‘Caitlin Moran’s ‘How To Be A Woman’. I highly recommend it – very funny and insightful.’

‘I am now reading (and enjoying!) Everything and Nothing by Araminta Hall :o)’

‘I have just started reading “The Help” that I bought my Mum for Christmas only to find she had already read it, so I gave it to myself instead :)’

‘One of the James Herriot books – I think it wasVet in Harness. I’d forgotten how much I love those books!!’

‘Got started on Middlemarch. [George Eliot] Probably won’t finish til sometime after the middle of March.’

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks and a Lenin: A Biography by Robert Service’

‘Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy by John le Carre. And now The Honourable School Boy. Am working my way through his back catalogue. I too recommend A Week in December and How to be a Woman. ‘

‘Hi, reading “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks for school book club reasons. It looked terrible, it is terrible. The only upside is that I’m feeling rough but it is so trite I can still read it with half a brain!’

‘Started Ashes to Ashes by Marcus Berkmann over the holiday, a book about cricket’

‘I’ve been given The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes’

‘Great Expectations. I’m halfway through and have to finish it before I can watch the TV version that was on over Christmas!’

May I have your attention, please? James Corden’s autobiography.’

The man who broke into Auschwitz by Denis Avey.’

‘Cracker jokes, “batteries not included”, Parcel tags. [I’m] well read, me!’

‘Using my E Reader in bed….under the covers with the light on it….while my dear husband SNORED for England…..I finished Just Boris: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity [Sonia Purnell]. Frozen Planet [Alastair Fothergill and Vanessa Berlowitz], coffee table edition, no e reader could do this justice, (I am half way through that). Along with a Boston tourist guide book!’

‘Steve Jobs biography’ [Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson]