Monday, 1 March 2010

Book Watch – February 2010

I decided to record what books other people were reading on their way to and from work during the month of February. So if you saw a girl staring at you and fumbling around with a pen and notepad, I’m afraid it wasn’t the start of a saucy commuter’s fantasy. I wasn’t going to offer you my number. I’m just interested in what you are reading right now, right this very minute…

Married Lovers – Jackie Collins
One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson
The Brain That Changes Itself - Norman Doidge
Tiny Deaths - Robert Shearman
Humboldt's Gift - Saul Bellow
Company of Liars – Karen Maitland
Torn Apart – James Patterson
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Twenties Girl – Sophie Kinsella
Push - Sapphire
Managing and Learning Textbook

Sons of Dorn - Chris Roberson
It’s Only A Movie - Mark Kermode
High Society – Ben Elton
The Ten Ms of Money – Matthew Ashimolowo

Do more women read books in general I wonder? Most men I saw were plugged into their own private world via ipods, or reading newspapers. Although look at the authors – most are men.

Maybe I should call myself Jim.

As for genres –a bit hard to judge as I haven’t read any of these but there’s chick lit escapism, educational books, ruminations on death, historical fiction, tragic lives, science fiction, and memoir. A mixed bag for our commuters! Wonder what March will bring.

What book are you reading right now?


Donna Hosie said...

I think women are simply more comfortable reading in public. Most men I know do so in the privacy of their own home.

I am currently reading "The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle" which has finally grabbed me after 300+ pages!

Rose said...

What a great idea- I do make a mental note of what books are a rave on the tube- there is always someone reading harry potter or Dan Brown isn't there?

I am reading an Agatha Christie- I constantly mean to start something new but they are such comforting go tos. I have the girl with the dragon tatoo ready though- everyone says it's tough going to start with which I think is what is putting me off.

On men I do think they are more confirmed newspaper readers when travelling- so many women don't seem that interested in the papers on the train. I find it quite hard concentrating on a book on a commuting journey (which I'd define as less than twenty minutes) so I am normally plugged in and desperately trying to make the metro last more than 2 minutes. Am a big ES fan too.

Linda said...


I agree, men definitely prefer to read newspapers on the commute - I think it's because they have a short attention span.

What a range of books on your train, all quite literary too!

I've just finished reading My Cousin Rachel - Daphne Du Maurier - love her writing.


Alexandra Crocodile said...

what an excellent idea! I might copy you and write down what people read here! My guess would be lots and lots of Stieg Larsson, he's very popular here:) Right now I'm reading two books by Alexander McCall Smith; "The world according to Bertie" and "in the company of cheerful ladies". McCall smith is my favourite writer. Also, I'm reading "the body in the library" by Agatha Christie. I suppose that one is more research, trying to see how she writes her books.

Jayne said...

Hi Donna. Three-hundred pages! Gosh... that is a very slow moving grab! I'm not sure I'd have stuck it out, although I have just looked up the book and it seems like the writing would be very beautiful.

Jayne said...

Hi Rose. Yes, saw someone reading a Harry Potter yesterday in fact!

I love Agatha Christie - which one? They are lovely comforting rabbit holes to fall in.

If someone says a book is tough-going I generally steer clear! Such books are like the reading equivalent of eating your greens - presumably good for you, but not exactly fun.

My commute roughly works out as three hours a day - sadly plenty of time to read a paper, catch up on a chapter, and listen to music! If it was twenty minutes I'd plump for music as well (and reading This Life and Nemi in Metro!)

Jayne said...

Hi Linda. I haven't actually read any Daphne Du Maurier yet (although I've seen the film of Rebecca). I'm looking forward to discovering her books!

It's an interersting thing, tallying what people are reading. I am always so pleased when I see someone with a book! Maybe because of my vested interest. ;)

Jayne said...

Hi Alexandra! Oh do - it would be interesting to see what books people are reading over your way, and whether you are right in thinking Stieg Larsson. :)

I actually haven't read any Alexander McCall Smith novels (plans to rectify that soon) but I love Agatha Christie. The Body in the Library is a good one, she really plays on the whodunnit genre in that I think, so it is a good one for your research.