Orlando’s Jolabokablog

We’re going to have a bit of a break over Christmas and New Year, so there won’t be quite as much new content on the Autumn Voices website until we get going again in January.

This week though, in the run up to Christmas, we’re honouring the Icelandic phenomenon of Jolabokaflod, triggered by the tradition of book-gifting and reading on Christmas Eve – something we thoroughly approve of and encourage!

Each day this week, we’re bringing you a book recommendation (or two) from the Autumn Voices team members – a Jolabokablog series, if you will!

Orlando Lloyd-Jones, Agony Uncle and General Boss-Cat at Autumn Voices, recommends:

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide (Picador, 2014)

I was tempted to recommend The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, a truly unusual and beguiling novel encompassing all manner of juxtaposed themes and ideas. The feline character of the book, however, isn’t a pleasant chap at all, and despite his obnoxious sarcasm – a trait I usually quietly admire – I find him a worrying representation of my species.

The Guest Cat, however, is an altogether more likeable creature, and this is a truly beautiful (and much shorter) book about possession, the nature of life and what it is to love and lose. I particularly enjoyed the way the domestic routines of the couple in the book are disrupted by the arrival of a cat in their shared space, and how they start to change their views on life, the way they spend their time and the new ways in which they seem to see and interpret the world around them through her presence. 

This is a delightful and philosophical book, and one that makes us think about the joy of having a pet in your world.


Why don’t you tell us all about your favourite festive reading?

Don’t forget about our other book recommendation and ideal Christmas gift this month

Tom Langlands will be joining us in January to talk about the book and taking up photography as a hobby.

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