You might remember I set myself a challenge to read 50 books this year along with a variety of other things I wanted to do to try and find myself a bit after the last few years. So far, I’ve read 13 books and I’m keeping a track on the Goodreads challenge widget. I’m keeping the target loose (anything finished even if not started this year, anything listened to, anything reread that I have read before) so that I actually read in a way I will enjoy, rather than feeling I ‘have’ to read something. I love to listen to books in the evening while I craft now, it appeals to the multi-tasker in me. There is probably a whole other blog post in whether that counts as reading 🙂
I’ve re-listened to most of the Tiffany Aching stories now having fallen back in love with Pratchett thanks to them this time last year. I do love a book for children which can appeal to adults too; in fact, sometimes I think any book that can’t be accessed by people of lots of different ages is just generally lacking something. That’s not a statement I’ve given a lot of time to thinking through, btw, but I think the gentle beauty of a well written child-orientated book beats almost everything else. Tiffany is the most amazing character, who suits the narrative style of Pratchett’s books (and the reading voice of Stephen Briggs) perfectly. She’s sassy, fallible, self aware and interesting and her fantastical exploits are astonishingly believable. The groth of the character as she matures through the books is absolutely perfect and as for the Feegles… well. I miss them rattling around in my head every time I stop listening to them.
My friend Rachael Lucas served up a piece of delicious chick lit last year which has shot her to fame and all of us who keep saying we will write a book into mortified humility. She only went and actually did it. She wrote a book, published it and has got a book deal. The blooming cheek of it. Sealed with a Kiss is in the best tradition of easy reads and lovely for it. I’m so glad to have read it properly now that I can actually focus on a book for more than 5 minutes.
If you’ve not read the Rivers of London books I highly recommend them. A wizard who is a policeman written very much for adults and all set in the real world with a wonderful dose of the history and mythology of London thrown in for good measure. Clever, refreshing, funny, a bit naughty and fun to read; I just adore books that make you check google to see if a place is real – and love it any more when you discover it very much almost is 😀
The Summer Queen is a staple author favourite, all about Aelinor of Aquitaine (or Elaenor, Elinor or similar). Much better than another recent similar book I read; Elizabeth Chadwick always does her characters well.
I enjoyed The Midnight Rose, one of a number of ‘look back through family history through dual story lines’ type of book I’ve read recently. It follows the fortunes of a family in an English country home and a young Indian girl as their lives collide and separate. I don’t actually cry very often at the end of books, but I did at this one. Lovely read, kept me up till far too late at night. Similarly Wildflower Hill is built on a similar plot and tells the story of an English girl and the family she came from in Tasmania and Australia.It was delicate and delicious and I really enjoyed it – and cried too, yes.
Finishing off for now with Of Mice and Men, which I reread to support Fran who is doing it for English GCSE. I did it for GCSE too and it struck me, as it so often does, what a disservice we do to literature of great quality when we frogmarch children through it and make them revise it and note take and dissect. My memory of that book is a long, agonising, traumatic read full of essays and dull lessons. In fact, it is a brutal, touching (SHORT) book of breathtaking simplicity and, more than anything else, pictures. I’m glad to have reread it.