This book-reading binge has to stop. Another 10 books so far this month and I’m about to finish no 11! You can check out the list and quick thoughts on them below, but first a little announcement…

Trish and I are heading off to Asia for a quick tour. Our daughter is based in Hong Kong with her fiancée for the foreseeable future, so all the more reason for us to call over and visit.

Of course we love travelling. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to step on a plane and see the world. We’ve been to Asia before. Seven years ago we booked a fantastic trip with the Travel Department to Shanghai and Beijing, then took a five-day cruise to South Korea and Japan. This time we’ll be stopping off for a few days in Dubai, staying a week in Hong Kong, before heading to Vietnam for five nights in an island resort and finishing up in Ho Chi Minh City for a couple of nights.

It all promises to be a fabulous voyage, especially as we never thought we would ever get back to Asia. Life can be full of surprises, so fingers crossed that it will all work out well.

I have the guide books for Hong Kong and Vietnam, ready to be studied and relevant parts highlighted. Our Vietnamese visas arrived last week, so it’s all systems go, so we’re really looking forward to catching up with Sarah Jane.

Now, back to the books! I bought Sara Baume’s ‘A Line Made by Walking’ and turned up at a Q&A in Waterstones’s in Cork so she could sign it. It’s a really enjoyable piece of fiction and well worth a read.

I borrowed Edna O’Brien’s ‘Mrs Reinhardt and Other Stories’ and Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Daddy Love’ from the library. I wasn’t particularly taken with the former to be honest. Oates on the other hand is masterful. I have been so taken by her writing that I dipped into the excellent ‘The Corn Maker and Other Stories’ via ebook downloads – again via the library.

Other books I downloaded and read this month were ‘On Canaan’s Side’ by Sebastian Barry (I love Barry’s writing); ‘Academy Street’ by Mary Costello (one on my wish list and a delight to read); ‘Getting it in the Head’,  a short story collection by Mike McCormack which was also a good read; ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ by Flannery O’Connor (how did I not seek this out years ago?); ‘The Pretender’ by Mary Morrissy (a fine writer who once worked with me in the ‘Examiner’); and ‘Tippi’, a memoir by actress Tippi Hedren that proved less interesting than I had hoped.

I’m currently sifting through Elvis Costello’s autobiography ‘Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink’, which is fascinating and infuriating as he keeps jumping back and forth in his life. It’s also a long book!

After that I’m hitting those travel guide books. That’s a promise. I might even write a blog or two!