Thursday, 1 September 2016

August reading


August hasn't been my most successful reading month this year - if success is measured by number of books read, or the enjoyment gained from reading a good book.

I read 'Aareschwimmen' by Tony Dreher. I was attracted to this book purely because of the cover photo. I also wanted to read in my native tongue, German, just that once. This was a crime-spy-conspiracy type of novel with ordinary people being on the loosing side and the big conspiratorial governments and agencies on the winning side. The book starts with Mike witnessing the finding of a body on the banks of the river Aare. Being a small town reporter, he sees this as an opportunity to move up the small town reporter career ladder and starts investigating. Alas, in the process of investigating the body find (which has been wiped under the carpet by the powers to be), he looses his job, his credibility and very nearly his life. He makes friends with a couple of CIA agents, makes enemies from within the Swiss political elite and gets to the bottom of the story, which he is unable to share... Those drawn to conspiracy theories will love this book! Me, not so much but it was enjoyable enough.

I also finished a short story collection by Margaret Atwood, 'Stone Mattress'. I enjoyed some of the stories but not all. Some of the stories revisit characters from other books Margaret Atwood has written. Some are a bit creepy, some a bit boring. My favourite was probable 'The freeze-dried bridegroom'. I am not a big reader of short stories, it often takes me a while to get into a story and with short stories, this may well be when I reach the last page...

A book that I have finished a while ago but forgot to mention previously is 'The sudden appearance of Hope' by Claire North. I like this author, she has written 'The first fifteen lives of Harry August', which I really enjoyed. This is the story of Hope Arden, a woman that no one remembers. She is beautiful, witty, clever and resourceful. Hope is slowly forgotten from the age of 16: a father forgetting to drive her to school, a mother setting the table for three not four, a friend who looks through her and sees a stranger.... Most people forget all about Hope within half an hour of parting ways. With no family or friends,  Hope leaves home and builds a life around her forgetablilty. It is an exiting, dangerous and lonely life. Very lonely. This is her story.

I  am listening to a book I am in two minds about. It is 'Wicked girls' by Alex Marwood. I'll give you to Goodreads blurb:
"One fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time and by the end of the day are charged with murder.
Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day when they were just children. But with new lives – and families – to protect, will they really be able to keep their secret hidden?"
It is not an easy listen, on the one hand, I am horrified by the events in the girls past, on the other hand, I really like the women they have become (after serving a very long time in prison). I am thinking I mustn't like the women because of the horrendous crime they have committed as young girls but at the same time I can't help liking them. The past is slowly revealed as the book progresses and it may well be that things are not as they seem to be. Anyway, it is slow going and I can only really cope with a few minutes of the book at the time.

The photo above shows the book I have on the go, 'Slade House' by David Mitchell. I really hope I will enjoy it. Mitchell is a great writer but I don't always like his stories.

What are you reading at the moment?

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! xx

16 comments:

  1. You always read such an interesting and diverse range of books. I like the sound of "Wicked Girls" but I'm not a fan of David Mitchell's writing. I'm reading a murder mystery set in Cambridge but with a magical/ surreal twist called The Beauty of Murder. I can't put it down!

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  2. Wicked Girls sounds like something I would like. I'm finding the past few months have been a dry spell with good books to read too. Still reading, but not loving much.

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  3. I've just finished The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hossini. It's a lovely moving story, I couldn't put it down till the last page. I love this author. Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye is another of my summer readings and I really enjoyed it. Isabel Allende's The Japanese Lover won't disappoint you, she is one of the best writers ever and one of my choices for this summer. Lovely summer! Irune

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  4. I'm a big Louise Penny fan, and her latest book, A Great Reckoning, was just released two days ago. I'm happily returning to the the small Quebec community of Three Pines and getting reacquainted with the characters.

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  5. I too like The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August so her new one sounds like something I'd like.
    I just finished The Unseen World Liz Moore and loved it. It's about a girl raised by her father and when he develops Alzheimer she finds out he's not who she thought he was.

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  6. These books all sound good to me. Wicked Girls, especially. I love books like that, where people are tied together by some awful thing in the past. I'm not really reading anything at the moment, believe it or not. That is not a good thing at all. I plan to go to the library next week, so hopefully I'll turn up something good. :)

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  7. Despite not reading much in August you seem to have got through a lot more than me! I'm enjoying gone girl at the moment. Just at the midway point and wondering wether Amy will be found. Rather depressing descriptions of post recession Misissippi states. B x

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  8. A few days ago I finished "Seaside Harmony" by Patti Berg, and have started the next in the series, "Sunflower Summer" by Pam Hanson and Barbara Andrews. The stories are set on Nantucket Island. Three retired sisters consider buying and running a bed and breakfast. In the process, a mysterious disappearance of a former resident is investigated, secret rooms are rumored to exist and relationships between folks and God are explored. I'm enjoying the series so far. xx

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  9. An interesting selection. I did have a peruse on Amazon but am thinking more and more about a kindle. x

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  10. Love these book posts (though more titles for the TBR pile is probably the last thing I need!). I've just finished 'Black Eyed Susans', a well written thriller and cracking read which I highly recommend. Just started 'The Trouble With Goats And Sheep'. Our narrator is 10 year old Grace. And neighbour, Mrs. Creasy, has disappeared.....

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  11. I am rubbish at reading and I teach GCSE English!!! It is true, I used to read so much before I had children then I lost the motivation when I could hardly follow the plot of my own toddler/baby filled life never mind a fictional one as well and that is when my down time became filled with crafting skills from the past as my relaxation. Maybe one day... Hope you are well and not in kitchen hell too much.
    Ps. That wool was perfect and I am nearing the end of the project. Jo x

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  12. Hi Christina, there is a voucher on 'So Zo what do you know?' blog for £10 off myfabrics but you have to spend some too, it may not be the right time to be spending on fabric while you work on your kitchen but I saw it and thought I would drop you a line. Jo x

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  13. I've not had a great month for reading either but I'm feeling a little more back on track now we're into September and hopefully it'll be a better month!

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  14. Thank you for the reviews. I have had a good month for reading I think. 'We are all completely beside ourselves' being my favourite which is odd as I started it ages ago then put it down as I got distracted. This time I loved it! strange but then we are changing all the time. I will do a post on the rest of the books I read later. Can you recommend a really good one to listen to? This is something I fancy doing but never get around to. xxx

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  15. Hey Christina,
    I'm currently reading Ladder Of Years by Anne Tyler. I am actually in love with it. I've read an inordinate amount this summer. It's been bliss!
    Leanne xx

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  16. I think the only way I can read with any appetite is on holiday. I read book after book while we were away, but since I've got home a book I'd previously been enjoying has been dragging on. I am impressed by not just how much you read, but the range too. xx

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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