I thought it was about time to follow up on my reading progress so far, although I probably should have covered some other subject matter in between this and my last post, but there have been many pages turned.
You may remember my comments about wishing to exceed last year’s reading list, and to date, I am pleased with my progress. I therefore thought, rather than ending up with a list of 20 or so books at the end of the year, to break it down and give you a review of my first few titles of the year.
As you know from my last post, I started the year with a book that has been on various bookshelves in various houses I’ve lived in over the past 10 years. I then moved on to Life of Pi, because I want to watch the film in the near future, as I mentioned in a recent post. As suspected, this was a book I very much enjoyed reading and would definitely recommend it. The story was compelling and captures the reader, transporting you into the world of Pi on his lifeboat. I’m very pleased I read the book prior to watching the film (which I am still yet to do!) and would recommend it to anybody. It does, however, have a few gruesome bits in it which I hadn’t expected, so if you don’t like anything squeamish in your reading material, you may prefer to stick to the film where you can cover your eyes.
My third title of the year was The Good Plain Cook by Bethan Roberts; a book I picked up from a library book sale. I liked the look of the story which follows Kitty, a girl who lives with her sister and wants independence so takes a job as a ‘good plain cook’ for an American woman living in a Sussex cottage. The characters were likeable, even if the storyline was a little predictable, although the two girls in the story are a little off-putting. The story is an interesting look at how social differences between classes still had an impact post war and was a nice change of pace from some of my usual reading material.
Following on from The Good Plain Cook, I selected a book I had been intrigued by for a while. Having seen The Savage Garden on shelves in charity shops for months, I kept an eye out for a 50p copy and managed to find one so grabbed it and decided it was time to find out finally what story lay within.
I’ve always been a fan of murder mysteries, and the added element of the historical fiction and myths intrigued me. I will admit though, that the title originally caught my attention from it’s resemblance to one of my favourite bands as a teenager! The storyline was brilliant and I sped through it very quickly, unable to tear myself away. I was surprised that the author was male for the way the story was written if I’m honest, but enjoyed the variation from my usual female lead characters with female authors. I’d definitely recommend The Savage Garden as a summer or holiday book if you’re looking for a good, well paced read.
I decided to have a change of pace following The Savage Garden and moved onto a book about the witch trials by an author, Erika Mailman, who had an ancestor who was cleared for witchcraft twice. Following the story of Gude, a grandmother living with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren during a time of famine in Tierkinddorf, Germany. The story explores accusations of witchcraft against an elderly lady suffering the initial effects of memory loss and leads to her questioning herself as much as the friar conducting the inquisition. An interesting look into what hunger can drive people to, the book certainly doesn’t hold back on some gruesome detail and raises questions for further debate, making it an interesting read for book clubs. The fact that it isn’t pure fiction also adds its own dimension to the experience of reading this book.
Having finished The Witch’s Trinity yesterday, I now have a nice choice to make as to my next piece of reading material. I am reading through Paulo Cohello’s The Pilgrimage, but also like to have a fiction book on the bedside table alongside it. I therefore am considering starting on the latest Dan Brown book I received for Christmas, a Kate Mosse tome long enough to make a hefty paperweight or the final book in my Viking Trilogy. I shall see what takes my fancy this evening, and in a couple of months, hopefully have a few more book recommendations to make. Until then, I’ll keep turning those pages!