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I am perched on the horns of a dilemma. Not a terribly big dilemma, and certainly, in the grand scheme of things, an unimportant one. But still… in a few days we’re packing ourselves off to Bulgaria; I’ll be away from my desk, from my Mac, from the WIP – that’s always a bit of a wrench – and I can’t make up my mind about what I’m going to take with me to read. I don’t need to worry about the journey – I usually sleep through most of it. But all those long hours of rich golden light – varied with cracking great thunderstorms that break the deadlock of heat – with what shall I fill them?

These are some of my possible options;

George RR Martin A Game Of Thrones – actually that one’s a given as I’ve already begun it.

Roland Barthes Camera Lucida – I’ve been meaning to read this since March.

Téa Obreht The Tiger’s Wife – it has a Balkan setting appropriate to the holiday, making it a strong contender.

Edmund De Waal The Hare with the Amber Eyes – not sure about this one, although people keep telling me I should. The thing is, I don’t much care for being told that I should do something… hmm.

Alison Weir The Lady In the Tower – good historical biography; I love her writing, and her detailed research really does enable her to reconstruct her subjects’ lives into a lively narrative. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that Alison Weir has subsequently turned her hand to writing historical fiction as well.

DH Lawrence Women In Love – haven’t read this in years. Watching the recent BBC adaptation made me realise how little of it I remember.

Salley Vickers Aphrodite’s Hat – a collection of short stories by a writer whom I greatly admire.

Keith Richards Life – how is he still alive?!

Michael Ward Planet Narnia – another one that I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

Jay Lake Green – I’ve had my eye on this one for a while…

There are other contenders, but these are the ones that spring immediately to mind, and are also in paperback. Perhaps that indicates a subconscious whittling of possibilities into this shortlist. Except that it isn’t a particularly short list. I have until Sunday night to decide. Which would you choose?

In the meantime, the WIP’s First Draft is at last winding towards its ending. I completed the penultimate chapter in the early hours of this morning, when the Principle Heroine took advantage of my weakened state to become an ipso facto fairy godmother. The edit will tell whether she gets to keep that or not. Can I write the last chapter before we leave? Now that’s a challenge!

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