I am persevering with my reading posts although they seem to be less popular than any other posts. More than anything, it gives me an opportunity to reflect on my book choices and see how my reading preferences change over time and with the seasons. I read pretty much everything except romance, which I can't stand.
I finished the big fat book that I decided to read in June, 'A Little Life' by Hania Yanagihara pretty quickly. It was a compelling read, challenging, too. I loved it, loved it a lot. If you have time and strong wrists, I really recommend you read it, too. I guess you could read it on your Kindle. Here the blurb (because I am lazy):
When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome - but that will define his life forever.
It is a beautifully written story, and it is a heartbreaking story, too. Occasionally I felt like giving Jude an encouraging slap on the back but felt guilty when I did. He is a broken man, he really is but there is so much love and support in his life that you one hopes it might be enough. Don't be put off by the blurb, the book is not just about the consequences of horrendous childhood abuse, it is also a book of friendship, family and love.
I also finished my April read, 'Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither' by Sara Baume, that I couldn't bare to finish earlier. I am not actually sure I understand the ending but I don't seem to be the only one. If anyone could enlighten me, that would be great. It is a sad story but it is not all doom and gloom. The friendship and love between a dog and a man, both not part of 'normal' society is touching and I enjoyed the book.
Then I powered my way through an urban fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman, 'Neverwhere'. I just love a bit of fantasy and the thought of a city within the city is quite appealing, although I would probably prefer to live in a more gentle place than London Below. Here the first half of the blurb from Neil Gaiman's own website
'Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her--and the life he knows vanishes like smoke. Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won't stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.'I chose the audio version. The story is narrated by Neil Gaiman himself and I enjoyed the timbre of his voice and his accent. I also enjoyed the witty language and the very English humour. I have just downloaded another book by Neil Gaiman, to listen to during my holidays ('American Gods').
The last book I listened to this month was the next translated instalment of a Norwegian crime series, 'Ordeal' by Jørn Lier Horst. I would feel comfortable in William Visting's hands if I was the victim of a crime. He is a reassuringly normal man with a not very exiting private life and a good working relationship with his colleagues, unusual for a fictional detective but just what you would want in an investigator. Although of course the private life of an investigator would be none of my business.
In July I am picking up a book that has been gathering dust under my bed for a while. I started reading it ages ago but forgot all about it. Should hoover more often under my bed :-) Anyway, the book is 'Lady Oracle' by Margaret Atwood, one of my all time favourite authors. I am looking forward to reading it.
I hope you are enjoying your books, too. I like loosing myself in a good story, I'd happily stay up half the night if a book is just right.
Two more days of school. Well, one actually, tomorrow schools are closed because of the EU referendum. I am holding my breath as the outcome may affect me considerably. Have a lovely rest of the week! x