Hello again. So earlier this month I went on a trip to London and I love to see what people like to read on trains. So I documented what they were reading and what they looked like and funnier still I tried to make up their lives. Here goes:
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can’t remember the events that led her here, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and there is blood on Anais’s school uniform. Smart, funny and fierce, Anais is a counter-culture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher in sailor shorts and a pillbox hat. She is also a child who has been let down, or worse, by just about every adult she has ever met. The residents of the Panopticon form intense bonds, heightened by their place on the periphery, and Anais finds herself part of an ad hoc family there. Much more suspicious are the social workers, especially Helen, who is about to leave her job for an elephant sanctuary in India but is determined to force Anais to confront the circumstances of her birth before she goes. Looking up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais knows her fate: she is part of an experiment, she always was, it’s a given, a liberty – a fact. And the experiment is closing in.
The man who was reading this was quite tall, he had long turqiouse hair, he was wearing bell bottoms, a turtleneck jumper and a long black overcoat.
I think he’s a rich man who hates being rich so lives in a flat above a chip shop. He doesn’t work but is an experimental hair dyer whose favourite shade is blood red. He owns a cat with one eye. He’s a bit of a rebel and doesn’t really care what people think. He works in a cafe filled to the brim with books in a side street. He is into astronomy.
The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
The lady was wearing glasses, a rainbow scarf and she had blonde hair. She looked to be about in her forties.
She’s happily married living in her forties. She has two young children, living in a small townhouse on the outskirts of London. Loves to bake read and paint. Loves Chai Tea and croissants. Works in a bakery. Enjoys her wrinkles as she thinks they’re beautiful.
A swim at Two Birds by Flynn O’ Brien
At Swim-Two-Birds presents itself as a first-person story by an unnamed Irish student of literature. The student believes that “one beginning and one ending for a book was a thing I did not agree with”, and he accordingly sets three apparently quite separate stories in motion. The first concerns the Pooka MacPhellimey, “a member of the devil class”.The second is about a young man named John Furriskey, who turns out to be a fictional character created by another of the student’s creations, Dermot Trellis, a cynical writer of Westerns. The third consists of the student’s adaptations of Irish legends, mostly concerning Finn Mac Cool and Mad King Sweeney.
What they looked like:
He was wearing pyjamas, a long black overcoat and a fedora. He had shoulder length scraggly black hair.
He probably has a night job as a security guard somewhere. He lives in a converted warehouse where everything is up cycled and retro. He watches foreign movies and speaks French. He loves black coffee with two sugars, and he probably collects newspapers.
Children of Hurín by J.R.R. Tolkien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of The Children of Hurin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, eagles and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien. There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Turin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves. Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire.
What he looked like:
He was wearing skinny brown chinos and brown shoes. His hair was styled like Danny out of Grease.
He probably works as a curator in an art museum. Lives in a small apartments that looks straight out of an IKEA showroom. He likes indie rock and is a regular movie goer. He probably drinks weird coffees and teas from Starbucks every morning.
Silencer by Andy McNabb
1993: Under deep cover, Nick Stone and a specialist surveillance team have spent weeks in the jungles and city streets of Colombia. Their mission: to locate the boss of the world’s most murderous drugs cartel – and terminate him with extreme prejudice.
Now they can strike. But to get close enough to fire the fatal shot, Nick must reveal his face. It’s a risk he’s willing to take – since only the man who is about to die will see him. Or so he thinks…
2012: Nick is in Moscow; semi-retired; semi-married to Anna; very much the devoted father of their newborn son. But when the boy falls dangerously ill and the doctor who saves him comes under threat, Nick finds himself back in the firing line. To stop his cover being terminally blown, he must follow a trail that begins in Triad-controlled Hong Kong and propels him back into the even more brutal world he thought he’d left behind.
The forces ranged against him have guns, helicopters, private armies and a terrified population in their vice-like grip. Nick Stone has two decades of operational skills that may no longer be deniable – and a fierce desire to protect a woman and a child who now mean more to him than life itself
What he looked like:
He was wearing work clothes, slightly greying brown hair. Early thirties. He had a worn briefcase on his lap and was extremely unshaven and stubbly.
He probably has a boring 9-5 office job as a manager of a small unproductive company. He has a shared apartment with an annoying and loud roommate. He also has a girlfriend who he suspects is cheating on him. Is on his way to a dingy bar.
So there we go, all done. Tell me what you think of readers and their lives on public transport down below in the comment section. Sorry this post was so long 😛 Thanks for reading!