Hurrah for the escapism provided by books. I needed it this month, and have read a lot, even by my normal reading standard.
Markus Zusak The Book Thief– set in Munich in the second world war Liesel, a daughter of communist parents whose father has been taken away is sent to live with foster parents whom she comes to adore. In time they also take in and hide Max who is the son of a Jewish friend. Liesel is the book thief rescuing and appropriating books she finds. It is a simply magnificent novel, what a read to start the year, certainly setting the bar high for everything else I read in 2019. Straight onto my Top 100 list and a strong contender for one of my top five for 2019.
Adam Kay- This is Going to Hurt-Funny, but not as funny as the hype on the book makes out, nor as funny as the author thinks he is. The reminiscences of a junior doctor specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology, some happy stories, some sad and some frankly hair-raising. I include the ludicrous hours of a hospital doctor and all manner of peculiar things people shove in their various orifices. It made the bead I decided to place up a nostril as a child sound quite tame.I do recall also having to get a jelly bean out of a grandsons nostril too. Why do children do this?
Ruth Hogan- The Keeper of Lost Things- this is the book I needed to read this month. It has the warm cosy feel good factor by the bucket load, it also made me laugh and cry, it helped. So Anthony lost something so precious to him he collected lost things all his life. Buttons, bits of jigsaw puzzles, bracelets, rings, gloves, everyday things you walk past and the things you hopefully put on walls for people to find. he took them home , carefully labelled them and stored them on shelves and in drawers. And on his death he left a special request to the one person he knew would carry it out. So we have some lovely characters, lots of love stories, a ghost, dogs, and a happy ending, what more could you want. I had to read this fast as my library copy had been requested by someone else. Which meant I had a happiness hit! A jolly good book.
Mary Prince- The History of Mary Prince- a first hand account of life as a slave in the 1800s. It made grim reading, and shows you how so-called civilised people can behave in a totally uncivilised way. Not for the faint hearted, but glad I read it. I have added it to my top 100 books, as it is one I think people should have a go at reading. I am now half way through finding 100 books, only taken 15 years!
Pat Barker- The Ghost Road- I choose this book whilst doing the shelving at the library, it rang a bell as being recommended by someone. It transpired to be the third book in a trilogy and the winner of the 1995 Booker Prize. Fortunately for me it did stand alone without my having read the first two books It tells the story of the final months of the first world war and includes real and fictional characters, who blend together very well indeed. From fiction we have Billy Prior who is returning to the front line with the poet Wilfred Owens having been injured previously. Army psychiatrist William Rivers is the other main character and he is drawn from real life. I don’t think I learned much about the end of the war that I didn’t know before, mainly I suspect because we heard so much in 2018. The book is well written and I can see why it would have won the Booker in 1995. I did break off from reading it to google Rivers, and that was fascinating. I may even been tempted to read the memories of his sister who seems to have been very close to the creator of Alice in Wonderland-Lewis Carroll. If you don’t know much about end of the war and would like to, this would be a good novel to turn too. I’m not really tempted to read the first two books in the trilogy, unless I happen to be shelving one.
Clare Mackintosh- I Let You Go- big thanks to the person who recommended this to me. It was such a good distraction from life when I needed it this month. It’s a cracking good physiological thriller. I am not saying much more for fear of spoiling it. Just it’s set in Bristol and Wales and has some good twists. If like my you spot the first one don’t be disheartened there are more to come. Enjoy.
What a start to my reading year! Have you read any of these, and what did you think about them? Have you read a good book this month, I would love to hear about them.