Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

March Books 2018

I don’t seem to have read as much this month. I abandoned the book “Paul Clifford” after three chapters, life is too short even though the was a dark and stormy night in the opening sentence. Anyway here is what I have read. Please let me know if you  have read any of these and what you thought about them .

Colm Toibin- The Story of the Night-Set in Argentina at the time of the Falklands war , with an English mother and Argentinian father, Richard Carey ‘s life moves from the political to the personal. There’s a lot in this book. The beginning is very much about the political situation which led to the Falklands war. There is a section in Spain where Richard goes with a pupil of his, Jorge , and they meet up with some Chilean exiles. Then back in Argentina a love story unfolds for him. It’s almost like the start of one book and then end with another with the link between the characters. On reflection I would have liked the political side to be more evident in the second part of the book. And goodness knows what happened to the Chileans. I read this book quite slowly and steadily and did enjoy it. I don’t want to give away too much, but here is what Tobias Wolff is quoted saying in the blurb on the back- ” The Story of the Night is a love story of the most serious and difficult kind. Toibin has told it with profound artistry and truth”. Please note, this is not a fluffy romantic novel.

Tracy Chevalier- Falling Angels- As England passes from the Victorian to the Edwardian age, life begins to change for women. The story is told by people from two households, and a boy who works with his father in the local cemetery where the families have neighbouring family plots. An enjoyable read but not a great book.

Ruth Rendell- Dark Corners- her last novel for the world. It was ok. I don’t know if her powers were declining or if my taste has changed. Moral of the story, do not supply medicine to others, even if it is legal.

Anne Enright- The Green Road- Set in Ireland, four adult children gather at Christmas when their Mamma announces she is selling the family home. The plot reminded me of the books by Anne Tyler. The writing is good. Most of the novel sets out the back story of the four siblings and their mother. I found none of the characters at all likeable, I really didn’t care what happened to any of them and the ending was just a stop writing. Disappointing really.

Coming up next  for me

I realise of course thet The Kate Chopin was amongst those that lived in the heap by my bed which I sent to the charity shop unread in January. No wonder it sounded familiar. I started it last night and I am actually enjoying it. Muppet that I am. Least these are all library books and I didn’t buy it.

So have you any good reads for this Easter weekend lined up? Do tell.

Comments on: "March Books 2018" (25)

  1. I really can’t keep up with all your book reading, but I know exactly where to go when I need recommendations 🙂 Haven’t read any you mention.

  2. I definitely want to read that Colm Toibin now – thank you for the recommendation. And I can recommend Sue Gee’s Thin Air which I have just finished. I love her books – read them slowly savouring.

  3. I just finished Bleak House which I loved! I have read about 5 other Dickens novels and liked them, then I started Bleak House a few years ago and hated it and gave up. This time when I started it, I couldn’t imagine why I hated it before! I loved it all the way through. Although I did skim a lot whenever he went on and on about some of his favorite “colorful” characters. His characters never seem to evolve — either they are sooo good even in the face of terrible adversity, or they are sooo self-centered they can’t see the harm they do. But I love how he describes the settings and how they seem to be watchful and influential characters themselves.

    I have also read 4 of the Oxford Medieval Mystery series by Ann Swinfen, with one more on my Kindle. They may not be perfectly historically correct, but what I like about them is that they really are cozy mysteries, nothing too violent. And all the characters are likeable and like each other, which is something you were talking about. I just won’t read about unlike-able characters anymore.

    I hope I haven’t mentioned these books here in your comments before. I didn’t scroll back and look. 🙂

    • I enjoyed Bleak House too and Hard Times. The Dickens I truly struggled with was Little Dorrit, very hard going. You can’t beat a cosy a mystery, an author I had not heard of before. I shall look out for Ann Swinfen in the library. Thank you.

    • @ Textile Ranger: If you haven’t already, try Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ where the change in the central character is at the heart of the book.

  4. I haven’t read any of your books and after your reviews aren’t likely to either. Thanks for that. I agree, life is too short to waste it reading badly written, trite or uninteresting novels! I have to admit to being deep into my first ever fantasy series, The Rose Shield Series by D Wallace Peach. I got to know her through blogging and loved the way she writes so after a year I decided to have a look and downloaded the first book Catling’s Bane … I’m hooked 🙂

  5. I recently read Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Its a bit like Night Circus, but nowhere near as good. Currently reading Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher, which refers to both her ability to shock and the fact that she had electric shock therapy treatment! X

    • I shall have t look out for Stephanie Garber, a name that has cropped up before. I saw that you were reading the Carrie Fisher. I have watched the first Star Wars film, but science fiction is not my bag. You made Ms Fisher sound quite a character.

  6. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    I have read a couple of Colm Toibin’s books but not this one. Have just finished Peaches for Monsieur le Curé by Joanne Harris, which I did enjoy. It is ages since i have read any of her books, but will certainly return to her again. I know what you mean about the likeability of the characters in Green Road, though i did still enjoy the book.

    • I really enjoyed Peaches for Monsieur le Cure, alomst as much as Chocolat. It must be quite hard to write about five not liekable people. I shall look out for more by her.

  7. I enjoyed The Awakening,I’ve not read the other books. x

  8. I’m still reading and enjoying ‘The Sewing Machine’ by Natalie Fergie which Claire sent to me as she so loved it. I then found myself in a waiting room for an hour without a book so downloaded ‘The Night Circus’ on the Kindle App on my phone which I am loving so far. I don’t really like reading two books at one time but needs must.
    ‘The Awakening’ is a book I studied and remember enjoying it and I have read a few Sebastian Faulks’ books which are generally good so you should have an enjoyable month ahead of you in the reading department.

  9. I am finishing a Sarah Sundin, and just got s notice that one of my holds has arrived, so it will be a surprise for this weekend😄.

  10. I bought a Ruth Rendell from a charity shop once. It turned out to be about child abuse and a bit dark so I haven’t touched another one since!! As for what to read next. I have just finished the most recent Fidelma story but was wondering if to reread something on my book shelves. Not sure what though!

    • I don’t blame you for keeping away from upsetting themes. I can’t re-read a book until I have forgotten most of the book. There are a few exceptions to that- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and anything by John Steinbeck, my favourite author by far.

  11. claire93 said:

    I’m feeling a bit too tired to concentrate on reading at bedtime, so . . . I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series, as I already know the plot and don’t have to concentrate ^^ I just find it soothing to turn pages and a read a couple of chapters before I fall asleep.

    • There is a great deal of comfort to be gained from the familiar. I quite understand where you are coming from. Enjoy your books.

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