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.
June has definitely been a better month for reading than May. Because I knew June would be quite busy, I chose "The extraordinary life of Frank Derrick, age 81" by J.B. Morrison. It was a bit of a random buy-one-get-one half-price choice but I liked the blurb and it is suitably thin. The book describes the life of Frank, who is run over by a milk float on the first page of the book. After a short stay at hospital, Frank returns home with his arm in a stookie*. His home help, Kelly, brings a bit of frisson and excitement into Frank's life, reminding him that there is more to life than just sit at home doing nothing much at all. The book was a quick read and not one that I would pick up for a second time. It was just too predictable and a little boring. The issue of loneliness in old age however is not one that I would dismiss lightly and is certainly something I would like to explore further.
Other reads in June:
"The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot. This book was fascinating and I enjoyed every page of it, even the references in the back (some of which I will explore). It is a work of non-fiction and describes the life of Henrietta Lacks and her family. Henrietta died of cervical cancer in the 1950s. During her treatment, cancerous tissue was removed from her cervix and cultivated in vitro. The cells continue to grow in many laboratories around the world and have been crucial for many scientific breakthroughs, for example the development of the first polio vaccine. The book raises many problematic issues, medical care for the poor in the United States, ethical research practice, and informed consent are amongst them. As a trained scientist, these issues are close to my heart and I found this book one of the best reads I have picked up this year.
For my earthly book group, I read "Life between oceans" by M.L. Stedman. This was an easy but by no means a light read. The main characters are Tom and Isabel Sherborne, light keepers on Janus Rock, an isolated spot of the coast of Western Australia. After two miscarriages and one stillbirth, a boat with a dead man and a baby is washed up on their rock. Against Tom's better judgement, they claim the baby as their own..... I don't want to give any more away but will leave you with this sentence from the blurb: "
And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss." It is not a book I would have chosen but I did enjoy it and it left me with plenty to think about.
On my ipod I had "The luminous life of Lily Aphrodite" by Beatrice Colin. It was a recommendation by a blogger linked up with Laura but I can't remember who. Thank you, it was a good read. Here the description on the back of the book (because I am a bit lazy today): "This novel tells the story of the orphaned daughter of a cabaret dancer and her rise from poverty and anonymity to film stardom, all set against the rise and fall of Berlin, the background of WWI, the debauchery of the Weimar era, the run-up to WWII, and the innovations in art and industry that accompanied it all." What I enjoyed about his novel is that it describes the life in Berlin during WW1 and in the run-up to WW2. It is not a perspective that was covered in my history lessons and I found it very interesting to read about the hardship of life in Germany during this time.
I am also reading "The tipping point (how little things can make a difference)" by Malcolm Gladwell. It is interesting enough but not very gripping. I have not finished yet but I am left unsatisfied by Gladwell's theories, which are explained in a rather longwinded way. I think the book could be summarised in about 10 pages without loosing content. This seems to be the case for many of the popular science books I have read in the past but maybe I am experiencing the scientist effect here and other readers without rigorous scientific training may experience such books differently.
For July, I haven't made up my mind yet. The two books at the top of my pile are:
I am fairly confident that I'll have plenty of time to read during our holiday in Cornwall. I just can't wait!
Have lovely day where ever you are. Cx
* P.S. For those readers not familiar with the Scottish vernacular: a stookie is a plaster cast. I couldn't help using this word because for some reason, I just love this word :)