Tuesday, 6 May 2014

the year in books 2014 - May

I am linking up with Laura over at Circle of Pines. On her beautiful blog Laura hosts The Year of Books 2014 where bloggers share their reads. I have found some wonderful book suggestions there and I am sure there is a book waiting for you, too.

For April I chose to read "When we were orphans" by Kazuo Ishiguro. I enjoyed this book but there were moments when I was mildly annoyed with the narrator/main character of the novel. The story is set in the first half of the twentieth century in England and in China. Christopher Banks was sent to live in England as a young boy after the disappearance of his parents in Shanghai. He grows up to be a successful detective and solves several crimes but Christopher's real determination is to discover what happened to his parents. He returns to Shanghai and eventually discovers where his parents may have been held. Although many years have passed since their disappearance, Christopher is convinced that they are still there and sets out to find the house in the midst of war torn Shanghai. Christopher is -judging by his own words- a successful detective but lacks clarity of thought when it comes to solving his own parents disappearance. He is remarkably blind to the dangers of war torn Shanghai and the flaws in the evidence he identifies and he returns unsuccessfully from his quest for the truth. Later, he does learn of the fate of his parents. But this is for you to find out!

I have been busy sewing stuff but and didn't spend as much time with my nose in a book but I can listen AND sew and here is what I listened to:

Touchstone" by Laurie R King. Another detective story. It is set a few years after the first World War and follows Harris Stuyvesant on his journey to England to find clues about terrorist incidents in the United States. It is a well thought through story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Laurie R King is an author I really like. My favourite book of hers is "Folly". I have downloaded a second Harris Stuyvesant story, which is set in Paris and I am looking forward to this.

"Blenheim Orchard" by Tim Pears. I have abandoned this book about two thirds in. It is the story of the Pepin family in Cambridge and I found it really tedious and boring. Sheena Pepin, the self centred mother of the family is particularly annoying but Ezra, her husband, is a contestant for most irritating spouse in the world. The children, Blaise, Hector and Louie are ok.

For my earthly book group I am listening to "Cloud Street" by Tim Winton. It is about two Australian working class families living in a big house on Cloud Street, by necessity rather than desire. It spans about 20 years, starting at the end of World War II. It is a great story and I am loving it so far.

I received two books for my Birthday, one of which is my choice for May: "Eleven kinds of loneliness" by Richard Yates. It is a collection of short stories that was recommended by someone else on the Year in Books but I can't remember who (thank you!). I read the first short story and I really liked it.

Before I go: thank you all for your kind Birthday wishes. I had a lovely day -although I have to admit I was rather put out by not being allowed in my "sewing room" (so much better than dining room) and having to take the wee ones to the playground when really all I wanted to do was play with my presents. I will show you them another day. Turns out that all the secrecy was due to a surprise coffee and cake afternoon being organised by my long suffering man and darling daughter. I can't believe I didn't suspect a thing. The burning oil smell must have something to do with the in sticky greasy stuff on the baking tray... must scrub that tomorrow. It was great fun to see friends and eat cake.

Don't forget to let me know if you would like the opportunity to receive one of two peg aprons here. Enjoy your Wednesday wherever you are. Cx


  1. I haven't read any of these books but it's always nice to see what others are reading. I will have to see if I can find any of them in our library. I'm glad you had such a nice birthday!

  2. What a good idea to listen to books... it's something I never think to do. Thanks for some new recommendations

  3. Thank you so much Christina for your crime recommendations I will most definately look into them.
    I love Luke Delaney books they are brilliant.
    Thank you so much for your comment on my blog.

  4. Thanks for dropping by my blog and I am itching to see your peasant blouse and I am really thrilled that it made someone else as happy as me and my girls. Look forward to some pics. Jo x

  5. Ooooh, thank you for the recommendations! I am looking for a new book to read and will have to give one of them a try. I am glad you had a good birthday too. :)

  6. A really good idea to listen to books. I like to have a few podcasts going or some very trashy TV! :-) looking forward to hearing your next months worth of books

  7. I like the sound of 'When We Were Orphans' - loved 'Never Let Me Go' so looking forward to reading another book by Ishiguro. I'm also reading' Eleven Kind of Loneliness'- slowly reading one story at a time so I can savour each one properly.


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