To say that May has been a hectic month would be quite the understatement. Between job applications and interviews, relatives being admitted to hospital, and various other dramas, my reading has unfortunately had to take a back seat.
However, I finished This Family of Things by Alison Jameson this morning. It’s due for UK release on June 8th, and I would seriously advise you to buy it. A full review will follow after it has been published, but what I will say is that it’s a wonderful novel. There are some really dark moments, but has joy and heartbreak in equal measure. A highlight of the month was getting half an hour to read it outside St. Paul’s Cathedral.
So now my task is to complete Cloud Atlas, and the audiobook of Three Daughters of Eve, and get ready to celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter magic in June!
In other news, I love that the weather is so gorgeous at the moment so i’ll be able to enjoy reading outside with a view of our flowers.
Morning, readers! Not sure about you guys, but it is so cold where I am and I’m not liking it. -1° in the middle of April, seriously UK?
Anyway, I really like this book so far, which I’m surprised about considering that the first chapter reminded me a lot of Robinson Crusoe (which I really can’t stand).
Has anyone else read this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
(And yes, I did go for the 3 for 2 deal – The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Stone Gods by Jeannette Winterson were my other choices. I’m a sucker for a book deal, if I’m honest).
Happy 1st April, book lovers! Here’s my #tbr list for this month.
Halfway through ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ now and it is genuinely one of the most powerful books I’ve read. I’m only sorry I’ve not read it sooner!
After that are three books that have been sitting in my room for months untouched because of uni work etc. Really excited for ‘The Paying Guests’ because having read Waters’ other works, I love her plot construction, and I’ve heard great things about this novel too. ‘The Glorious Heresies’ was last year’s Bailey’s Prize Winner and ‘Cloud Atlas’ is one of those books that everyone seems to have read so it seems like I’m missing out.
Hopefully I’ll get to read more but all these seem like hefty reads so we’ll see.
I’m currently reading ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell and it’s so good.
It was recommended by a friend and I was unsure at first (I don’t venture into non-fiction often) but Gladwell is such a great writer and the concept is fascinating. It’s essentially exploring the different circumstances that might benefit (or hinder) an individual’s success, circumstances beyond their innate capabilities.
The way Gladwell frames each ‘case study’ is great, and he shows links between them so clearly. For some reason, I always associate non-fiction with ultra-complex, dense terminology and composition, but I’m flying through this.
There’s a quote from The Times on the blurb that says:
“He is the best kind of writer – the kind who makes you feel like you’re a genius, rather than he’s a genius.” That’s pretty spot on!
*I love my new bookmark. I went to see The Cursed Child on Sunday and it is marvellous!
Honestly, how is it March already? This year needs to slow down! So many books to be read and the days just seem to melt away. This month is a really busy one for me so I’m hoping I get chance to read. I want to finish ‘The Essex Serpent’, and get through The Glorious Heresies (Lisa McInerney), and perhaps a classic for a bit of a change. I’d also love to have finished the Harry Potter series before I go to see The Cursed Child in the middle of the month but it’s not looking likely.
I’m in ‘March’ in The Essex Serpent too (I loved that coincidence of real life and book trajectory matching, hence the picture).
Perry is such a ‘visual’ writer – her metaphors and the descriptions of landscapes are so incredibly vivid. There’s so much ‘movement’ in her plot – at this point of the story, each chapter includes a character taking a long walk and/or having an extended period of contemplation. Perry manages to grasp both the physical and mental movements which is really effective: you feel like you’re literally being carried along.
She has a beautiful writing style that I’m finding really enjoyable and the plot and characters are engaging too.
What is everyone else reading?
Wow. Have not updated this for a long time. With various family issues, breaks away, and a university degree to complete, I’ve only read two, ‘not-university’ books in the last 8 months. It’s been awful not being able to read, especially because every time I go into a book shop, I seem to leave with a couple of books. Those have since accumulated into an ever-growing pile on my bedroom floor, admonishing me for not reading them.
However, now that all of my assignments are submitted (only need to wait for the grades and for graduation now!), I can FINALLY start making my way through them. And I can dedicate proper time to reviewing at last. I am so excited!
My dissertation focused on Daphne du Maurier’s mid-century novels and her portrayal of masculinity, so I’ve been ‘existing’ in the past and with male psyches for far too long. Even though I adore du Maurier’s novels, I was desperate for a change.
I decided to pick up Kate Atkinson’s ‘A God In Ruins’ first. I adored Life After Life (one of the two books mentioned above, and sadly I have not had time to review this…yet), and I’ve been impatiently waiting to read the sequel since my good friend sent it to me in September. I began reading it Wednesday morning (25th January) and am already 300 pages in. It’s a seriously good novel! Atkinson’s use of wry humour is just spot-on. She infuses it into every character, subtly marking all the wonderful, funny parts of life that we often miss when we are ‘in the moment’. I’m also loving how she creates a sense of ‘continuation’: the family evolves, branches out and adapts as time goes on, but various characteristics pass down through the generations, and all the characters are connected by ‘Teddy’, the central ‘thread’ of the novel, if you like. Full review will follow, I promise.
I have also invested in Audible (Amazon) – I thought it would be good to have something to keep me occupied on walks and car journeys other than music. I have tended to avoid e-readers and audio-books but Audible have a great 30-day free trial so I downloaded ‘Swing Time’, by Zadie Smith, with my free book credit. Smith is a fantastic author: she creates such rich, complex, entertaining stories. I’m a few chapters into Swing Time, and it’s good so far. It’s just difficult to get used to listening rather than reading: I keep having to go back 30 seconds because I’ve been distracted.
Thanks for being patient. Reviews will be more regular now I have free time.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Are you all going to get some time to read?