Wednesday, 9 March 2016

March reading


My book piles are collecting dust.. I have been too busy with work, family and crafty adventures to read much or even listen to. 

I have finally finished 'History of the Rain' by Niall Williams. I have abandoned this book a couple of times because I found it difficult to concentrate. The typescript was quite small and I am trying not to use reading glasses. Maybe I should give in. Anyway, I decided to download the audio version of the book. It was so worth it! The narrator is Jennifer McGrath, a perfect choice for the Ruth, who is telling her own story and that of her family. Ruth is not well, she is suffering from an unspecified blood disorder, preventing her from leading a normal life. Here the Goodreads blurb (it captures the book better than I could): 
"We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story.... Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father, Virgil - via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the 3,958 books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room."
I was totally immersed in this book, I didn't want it to end. Ruth (Niall Williams) has a beautiful way with words. The narrator made the story come alive, her accent is beautiful. I don't know if it is that of County Clare but in any case, it is a most beautiful Irish accent, one of my favourite accents of the English language, in my top ten of accents in second place right after the accent of the Scottish Highlands.

Funny sometimes, audio is far superior, other times the written word is. There is no rule to it, it is just so.

I have also read 'The Girl in the Red Coat' by Kate Hamer. This book is about the disappearance of eight year old Carmel. She was abducted by what turns out a devoted/fanatic Christian who sees in Carmel something special. She is taken to the US where they live like itinerants, eventually finding their way into a Christian community engaged in faith healing. Meanwhile Carmels mother is is paralysed by feelings of guilt, loss and anger. The story is told by Carmel and her mother alternatively. The book is described as a page turner but I had to read it in smaller instalments. I was overcome by the enormity of what happened to this family, torn apart by divorce first, then by the disappearance of the only daughter. I feel haunted by Carmel's abductor, so much evil in the name of faith.

I have started reading 'A Year of Marvellous Ways' by Sarah Winman. I really enjoyed her first novel, 'When God was a Rabbit', which was the main reason for picking this second novel. So far I am loving it. 

Finally I have dowloaded the Italian audio version of 'Pippi Longstocking' by Astrid Lindgren. I am determined to brush up on my Italian, which quite frankly is a bit rusty. I don't really have anyone to talk to. I am very familiar with Pippi Longstocking, which helps, even if I stumble over an expression I don't understand I can still follow. So far so fun! Astrid Lindgren is one of my all time favourite children's authors. I am not sure if children now still enjoy her story telling? 

So, what are you reading or listening to? I don't often get to go to the library to browse, or a bookshop and any suggestions are appreciated. Have a lovely Wednesday. x

17 comments:

  1. Pippi Longstocking was favorite read of mine, I so wanted to be her when growing up, I remember they tried to televise it but it was a poor take off of a fabulous children's book

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  2. I've just read The Room. couldn't put it down. almost forgot to cook dinner......

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  3. I've been a follower of your lovely blog for some time now, but this is my first comment. I'm reading The Sacrifice by J.C. Oates and I think it's one of the best books I've read lately. Thanks a lot for your posts
    Irune

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  4. Hey Christina,
    I've heard good things about The Red Coat, but am not buying/borrowing/downloading ANYTHING until I have finished my own backlog. I've read the other three on your pile, and loved them all, but perhaps Marvellous Ways was my favourite.
    Leanne xx

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  5. I see you have Sarah Waters 'Paying Guest' on your pile. Do read it it is a very intriguing book! Love pippa Longstocking though in Italian that would be a no no! I will look up your other choices ..oh so many books to read just as well I'm retired lol!

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  6. I am ashamed to say that life has just taken over and I have succumbed to sitting in front of the TV to relax rather than reading which is what I would normally do.

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  7. I've just started my 5th book already this month, The Peregrine by J A Baker! I've spent a lot of time every evening reading! I have A Year of Marvellous Ways on my April reads pile and am looking forward to it.

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  8. I don't seem to be reading much at the moment but I have made a note of your recommendations.

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  9. Other than a crochet book & some craft magazines I'm afraid I haven't read anything for ages. I just seem to add titles to my lists, almost always after reading your blog. I am almost persuaded to by a kindle for the audio function xx

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  10. Ha these are some great recommendations - I love the title A Year of Marvellous Ways... Looking at the pile of books beside my bed, they are mostly self help - The Art of Tidying (would rather read about it than do it!) and JJVirgins Diet book (would rather read about it than do it too!!!) and the final work related one The Happiest Refugee. I could do with one "making time for reading!!
    You enjoy all yours Christina.
    Wren x

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  11. I've heard some good reviews of The Red Coat, it's one I might put on my reading list, though there's lots on there waiting for my attention already. I'm reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes at the moment, I'm only a couple of chapters in but it's grabbed my attention already so I hope it keeps my interest the whole way through.

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  12. I'm trying some Alice Munro short stories at the moment, but to be honest not really enjoying them. I always find short stories a bit disturbing. Might spend some time on non-fiction next - cookery books from the library and writing books and maybe an allotment book. I'm dipping in and out of Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" about her year of eating local and home grown food which is excellent. CJ xx

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  13. Happy reading! I am struggling with an Agatha Christie right now. I wouldn't recommend it! xx

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  14. It seems everywhere I go lately I am hearing of the wonders of audible books. I really need to give one a try and listening to an Irish accent sounds lovely too :-)

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  15. Hello, I will make a note of your recommendations for the next time I order from the library. I have just started The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini because so many people have said it is amazing. Also I am plodding along with A Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt which is a children's book that my son never read but I was intrigued by the author so I thought I would give it a go. I'm 150 pages in and still not wowed but I will carry on! I'll let you know the final decision on both. xx

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  16. I'm reading the autobiographical When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr (Mog creator) which is aimed at children but it's just about all my brain can take in at the moment. I'm enjoying it very much. The Girl in the Red Coat sounds disturbing. So much evil in the name of religion. xx

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  17. I was bought The Year of Marvellous Ways as a birthday present, it sounds promising!!

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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