Lyn Brown

Member of Parliament for West Ham

Summer Reading - August 2014

Summer, so far, is something of a washout for me.  I really hurt my left knee while exercising and can barely walk.  Changing gears in the car is painfully hard.  So it’s as good a time as any for my gearbox to break and need replacing.


With every cloud comes a silver lining.  My indisposition means a very sedentary holiday.  I’ll have two weeks’ quiet bliss, with my husband ministering to my needs, lost in lots of books.

I’ve spent the last few months accumulating my stash of holiday reads.

Regular readers know I’m a major fan of crime fiction, so my summer reading always includes some whodunnits.  This year, I’m taking one highly recommended on Facebook, “I am Pilgrim,” by Terry Hayes, apparently too good to miss.

Other fiction includes, “Harvest,” by Jim Crace; “Stone Bruises,” by Simon Beckett; “Rage Against the Dying,” by Becky Masterman and “The Scent of Death,” by Andrew Taylor.  Another must read is, “The Gift of Rain,” by Tan Twan Eng.  His second novel, “Garden of the Evening Mist,” was my favourite last year.

The centenary of the First World War has prompted me to learn more about its underlying causes.  On my list is, “The Sleepwalkers,” by Christopher Clark.  He argues that no nation sought to wage war.  Rather, they ‘sleepwalked’ into it, because of bellicosity and idiocy.

Another treat is, “Parliament – a Biography,” by Chris Bryant MP.  Apart from being a mate, Chris is very knowledgeable about Parliament’s history.  I’ve already seen the proofs, so I know it’ll be a fun, well–written and informative read.

To demonstrate political balance, I’m taking Rob Wilson’s, “Eye of the Storm,” too.  Rob is Conservative MP for Reading East and writes of MPs, caught amidst a political media hurricane.  After that, I'll move on to my annual Tudor history fix with, “God’s Traitors,” by Jesse Childs.

That's my holiday reading for 2014:  oodles to get through, as usual. 

In previous years, my reading list has motivated readers to send me their own reading lists.  They are always received with great pleasure.

Hope you have had a happy and relaxing summer.

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