I have no cake to offer you today I'm afraid, but the kettle's on, there's a box of Prince Charles' finest shortbread, and the sun has come out, so since the last one was a lot of fun let's have another chat about what we're reading and any other bookish topics we might care to raise.
I have too many books on the go just now, the result of reviewing and writing commitments and general greed, but I'm thoroughly enjoying every one, even though a couple are not getting much attention while I concentrate on the pressing ones. Bring up the Bodies is everything you'd expect from Hilary Mantel after Wolf Hall,while John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk is intriguing and impressive and delicious so far; Clare Clark's Beautiful Lies continues to enthrall (I mentioned it the other day), and the passage I quoted from Georgina Harding's Orange Prize shortlisted Painter of Silence gives you an idea of the beautifully still, measured nature of that novel, so I'm spoilt for choice as regards fine writing just now. (Edited to add: just finished Painter of Silence - no wonder it was a strong contender for the prize - and am now on to Edward St. Aubyn's At Last in its stead.)
In other news, I see Bloomsbury have ordered a 35,000 copy reprint of The Song of Achilles, testament to the strength of the book and the interest generated by its win, and I'm so pleased to see it get the readership and recognition it deserves.
Though prophecies of doom seem to abound in the publishing and bookselling world, it's always heartening to see optimistic initiatives within the industry such as the new imprint launched by Headline, Tinder Press. This will publish 10-12 literary fiction titles per year, "books that inspire a passionate response and will stand the test of time," and which will have high production values (something a lot of us were saying we wanted) and be ones to treasure. Their list for Spring 2013 includes Maggie O'Farrell's next novel and Peggy Riley's Amity and Sorrow.
What else? Edinburgh has a new bookshop, it seems (I'm late discovering this)! Looking Glass Books is at Quartermile, the site of the old Royal Infirmary, nicely close to the excellent Peter's Yard, so I shall have to pay them a visit soon.
That's enough from me - how about you? What are you reading? More than one book at a time? What do you have lined up next? Any thoughts or observations on bookish topics while I make a fresh pot of tea?