Saturday, 7 June 2014

the year in books 2014 - June

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 great reading suggestions there and I am sure there is a book waiting for you, too.

May has been a busy month and I haven't read much at all. I have to confess that I haven't finished my May book "Eleven kinds of loneliness" by Richard Yates. I am probably about half way through. I am not a big fan of short stories but I am really enjoying Yates' writing. The stories are thought provoking to say the least. All stories are set in a 1950s New York and have  postwar feel to them difficult to understand for someone born in the 1970s. I am not making any sense I don't think. But I can feel a sense of dissatisfaction and unease in most of the stories that is at the same time scary and fascinating. I am very much reminded of another American author, John Cheever, who also writes short stories, of a slightly more sinister nature. I can thoroughly recommend both authors. I might start to like short stories....

I have listened to Mo Hayder's "Poppet". Mo Hayder writes to most scary crime novels ever. Poppet is the 6th book in the Jack Caffery series. Jack is your usual maverick detective with a troubled (very!) past but somehow Mo Hayder manages not to turn him into an overly annoying guy, like so many other middle aged detectives with a troubled past. Another interesting character in the series is Flea Marley, a police diver, equally troubled by the past. I have been wanting to listen to Poppet for ages but the picture on the book cover is so terrifying that I couldn't bring myself to download it onto my ipod. Yes, I am silly, I know. I used to put scary books outside my bedroom at night, with the door closed. Just in case. The second book in the series ("The treatment") is quite possibly the most scary book I have ever read, or at least as scary as Stephen King's "Pet cemetery", which I read when I was far too young to read books like that. I still feel uncomfortable sometimes to look up at my ceiling when I am in bed, wondering what is up there.

I have also listened to the second book in the Harris Stuyvesant series by Laurie R King, "Bones of Paris". I enjoyed this book but not as much as the first book, "Touchstone". The story is set in Paris in the late 1920s and involves disappearing women. The women of the time see to be very liberated and I am thinking of diving into some history books to see if this is purely fictional, or if there is truth to this.


Our June diary is already so full that my next read has to be short and sweet (not sweet as in romance sweet). I chose "The extraordinary life of Frank Derrick, age 81" by J.B. Morrison. It is a bit of a random buy-one-get-one half-price choice but I like the blurb and it is suitably thin. I also hope to finish my May read, one short story at the time. Enjoy your books! Cx

16 comments:

  1. Hi Christina! I love how you admit to feeling scared by some books... I've yet to read anything that makes me feel that way (I suspect I choose the wrong genres for that) but books really do affect the emotions and I've cried at loads of them!
    I hope your new book's a good one and look forward to hearing what you think of it.
    Happy reading!
    Sarah x

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    1. A book that stirs emotions is a good book. Fear however is not an emotion I like much and I am reading much fewer scary books now. x

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  2. The more I read your blog the more I love your honesty! We have all chosen books because they're nice and thin and we can whisk through them quickly, rather than for their literary merit! Looks good anyway.

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    1. I am afraid my reading choices are often on the shallow side but I do try to read something more challenging every now and then. My new read is fun so far, I dipped into it today.

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  3. You are much more courageous than me, Christina. I wouldn't ever read a book that was so scary I had to put it outside my bedroom door at night. The only Stephen King book I've read is his book on writing. I value my sleep too much, and know I would lose quite a bit of it if I read anything else by him. Thanks for that last title. My mom turns 81 next year, which makes it seem timely.

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    1. I am not courageous at all Kristie, just a bit silly. By the time I realise I am scared it is too late to stop the book because I really need to know if all turns out ok. I am enjoying my new read so far, it is quite humorous but also thought provoking.

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  4. I didn't know about any of these books; I love reading these posts because I always get new ideas for my reading list.

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    1. Yes, I have a list as long as our road from all the book posts I have read!

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  5. All new books to me so more for my reading list. I admit to sometimes being attracted to a book because it is short. My book this month is short stories by Alice Munro and although I can recognise they are well written and often thought provoking I am really struggling to like them.

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    1. I am with you there, I struggle to like Alice Munro's writing although a literary friend of mine thinks it is the most beautiful writing ever.

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  6. These sound interesting. Some books are scary or disturbing for me too. Sometimes regret reading books like this as I can't escape the images they create so tend to avoid them. Still disturbed by that Kate Atkinson one where the child is left in a field of wheat when her mother is murdered. Can't remember the name of the book or the plot p, just this image.

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    1. Yes, I remember that image, it was a truly disturbing book. Was it not the first Brodie book? I am not sure actually. I just remember another terribly disturbing book which I have never finished because it was just too much. It was "Haunted" by Chuck Palahniuk.

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  7. I'm struggling to find time for reading at the moment too - well, it's a problem with both time and inclination, I seem to very busy at the moment! This sounds like an interesting selection of books. If you are going to read Stephen Booth, I suggest starting with the first book, Black Dog, and if you like it, reading the rest in order of publication as the stories of Cooper and Fry progress in each book, so I think it's better to follow the character development that way. I am really enjoying those books, especially as they're all local places that feature so they're places I know and have been to. I've been reading James Oswald too, he's more local to you, and those are similar in style and great reads. This is a link to an older post where I started reading Stephen Booth, just in case you are interested (feel free to ignore it if not!) http://roachling.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/readings-of-roachling-july.html

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  8. I'm trying to find some books that are authors I've not read and also now, not crime novels (!) - I can't seem to escape the genre. Your ideas always give me food for thought.

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  9. Hi Christina, thanks for the reviews. I am always on the look out for new books to read. I used to read a lot but I have only just got back into the mindset of reading. On holiday, I started reading The Hunger Games and I am really enjoying it. I have watched the film already, so I didn't think I would enjoy reading it because I know what happens, but I couldn't have been more wrong! I had to laugh when you mentioned Pet Cemetary because I also read that far too young and had so many nightmares about it. I remember being unable to come down the stairs for a long time without thinking that the little boy (Gage I think he was called) was under the stairs! Ha ha. I think I will give Mo Hayder a try. :)

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  10. The Yates short stories sound interesting. I loved Revolutionary Road.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx