Traditionally, spring is a time for cleaning house: purging your tiny apartment of superfluous items, like that houndstooth headband from The Gap that you were never able to pull off, or the old issues of The New Yorker that have been accumulating dust on your windowsill. With that in mind, I wanted to ask readers which books they would like to get rid of this Spring: books that have languished on their shelves, books which they would probably never actually read.
Instead, I ended up increasing my own to-read pile. Ever since the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the office has been buzzing about a backlist classic, Under the Volcano, which takes place in 1938 Mexico. (We're not the only ones--check out the first question in a topical quiz from The Guardian.) In Under the Volcano, Geoffrey Firmin, a former British Consul, has come to Quauhnahuac in search of salvation and tequila, drinking himself past consciousness. His wife, Yvonne, arrives in Mexico to save their failing marriage, and over the course of one surreal day, the Day of the Dead, their lives are forever altered. "You're going to want some tequila and salt to go with that book," Diane of HarperAcademic told me this morning. Not a bad way to pass the time waiting for your flight in Heathrow, I think. Have you read Under the Volcano? Seen the movie? If you want to read along with me, and are one of the first 5 to comment, I'll mail you a book!