Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

April books-2019

April has been a good month for books. The first one was the least enjoyable, thereafter I had some great reads. Do let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought.

Marcus Zusak-Bridge of Clay- I am a little amazed I made it to the end of this book, I found it rather heavy going and frankly disappointing after his Book Thief. I rather think style got in the way of story telling. Basically it is a rather sweet love story and a marvellous tale of loss and death. I also loved the depiction of family life with five boys, he captured the utter chaos brilliantly as well as the love and care of brothers. So reminded me of bringing up three boys. I found the first 80 pages hard to wade through, and had I not been away from home and my heap of books I might have abandoned it. Part of me wishes I had.  I really wish someone had told him to stop the muddly style. Has anyone read it and what did you feel? Oh there is a Bridge and Clay is short for Clayton- he helps his father build a physical and emotional bridge to the family. There is a twist towards the end which is so subtle I missed it and had to go back and recheck because things subsequently made no sense.

Anne Griffin- When All is Said– I really enjoyed this book. Maurice Hannigan makes five toasts over one weekend to the five people who influenced his life, beginning with his marvellous older brother , his hero Tony. It is simply a love story to five people , there is a country house and mystery too. Read this one, you’ll be glad you did.

Ann Cleeves- White Nights- sometimes a who dun it is just what I need. The second book in the Jimmy Perez series. So good.

Chris Hammer- Scrublands- A top notch thriller which I really enjoyed. It had a very strong plot, full of twists and turns, but not so complicated that I ever got muddled or confused .A journalist visits a town a year after a priest commits a most inexplicable murder to research how a community recovers from such a crime. What struck me throughout the book was how well the author conveyed the heat in the Scrublands, I had a real sense of place in this Australian community. A thoroughly good read.

Alex Michaelides- The Silent Patient. Another thoroughly enjoyable thriller. The silent patient killed her husband, her new psychotherapist sensing a book in getting her to finally break her silence , works hard to make that happen. Some interesting twists and turns. Highly recommended.

So that’s it for this month. Have you read anything good recently?

Comments on: "April books-2019" (40)

  1. I think I have a little crush on Jimmy Perez . . .

  2. I am impressed you get so much reading done – is this only your bedtime reading?
    I usually only get time at the caravan and then find I have forgotten to bring some new books with me. My mum reads those murder mystery books all the time – the authors cannot write them quickly enough for her – she is always waiting for their next publication.

    • I may read a little in the morning if I wake early, and I have to do a lot of hanging around waiting for my husband to get ready, so there may be some more done then..

  3. It’s great to have a run of enjoyable books. I do love a good thriller. X

    • A good thriller is a wonderful thing. I took the Silent Patient back today and with in half an hour had recommended it to a lady and she had borrowed it.

  4. I haven’t read any of these but, again, impressed by the amount of reading you get through in a short space of time.
    I am reading ‘The Colour’ by Rose Tremain at the moment which I’m enjoying. It’s set during the time of the ‘Gold Rush’ that took place in New Zealand which I wasn’t aware of – I thought it all went on in the States. She’s an excellent writer and it’s an unusual story.
    I have also joined ‘Audible’ for a free trial and downloaded ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama. I don’t usually like autobiographies much but had heard good things about it. I wanted to download books to listen to while i’m in my sewing room and, although I prefer to read novels, I thought an autobiography would be good to have read to me, particularly as this one is read by the author herself. I’m enjoying it but am not keen on her reading voice as I find it a bit monotonous. The other book I’ve downloaded on my free trial is ‘Mythos’ by Stephen Fry – a re-telling of the Greek myths. I started it off in the bathroom for Mr. TIalys to listen to and keep him amused while tiling the floor and walls. He liked it as far as he got up to with it and, from what I could hear through the bathroom door, it sounds informative and amusing and I will listen to it after I’ve finished with Michelle.

    • Stephen fry writes well. One of the few autobiographies I have read. Like you I don’t like them usually- too much name dropping. I now their best friends are all super famous, but it can be tedious. Anyway Stephen Fry’s was good and I can’t imagine how come I read it..

      I have just requested The Colour….thanks for the recommendation. I didn’t know about The Gold Rush in NZ either.

  5. I’ve read all Ann Cleeves’ Jimmy Perez books and loved them. Strangely, Don’t care for her Vera series, but enjoy the telly versions… but haven’t seen any since moving further south. Wonder if there’s some message in that. 🤔 Have downloaded a lovely copy of The Jungle Book (Kipling) and am enjoying it! xx

    • It’s years since I read the Jungle Book, I should give it a re-read. I like Rudyard Kipling a lot , or should say used to as it’s a long time since I read any of his books. They are of their time of course.
      I like the Vera books , but the TV series brings something else to the plots. The photography makes that series I think.

      • I like your phrase, being “of its time.” Definitely, as with any book of that vintage. Also agree with you on the photography for Vera series. Do you feel the same about her Shetland series? I really like how that one’s been done. Helps me think “cool” when it hits triple digits here.

  6. Thanks for this; I’ve reserved three of them with my local library 🙂

    • I hope you enjoy them now, and please let me know if you like/dislike them.

      • I shall! (I hope I remember, brain like a sieve, but the intention is there…)

        • I Know what you mean. I forget who mentioned which book in their blogs….

          • I reserve my library books online, so at least I have a reserve date to go by, as I do it straight away. Otherwise I’d totally forget! So I can track you down by your post date 🙂 Cunning plan, eh?

            • There you go.. I can reserve on line too, which I have just done for those mentioned here in comments. So far there is a t least one copy of each available somewhere in North Yorkshire… Now all I have to do is read the pile I already have before they arrive.

  7. Hello Cathy. There are a few recommendations in your list I might look into. I finished the Shetland series recently – good reads but to be honest they all flowed into each other after a while.
    This month I read The Dry ~ Jane Harper’s first novel. Good (Australian) read about a detective going home for funeral and gets involved searching for the reasons for the death of his childhood friend. Lots of twists and turns. Another was by Liane Moriarty ~ nine perfect strangers. Readable but strange, about nine people (strangers to each other) and the goings on at a health resort. Nothing like her other books. A why did she write it book – others enjoyed so it might just be me 😎

    • Authors can’t win. Books blur into each other because they are too samey or so totally disappointing because they are too different. It’s rare to find an author who can be different but totally enjoyable whatever they write. Tracy Chevalier is an author who can do no wrong to my mind, books that are very different but all so good.

  8. I enjoy the Shetland series but never read the books, perhaps I should start. Thanks for some suggestions. I will stay clear of The Bridge of Clay! I’ve just finished The Wind in the Willows. Having not read it before I found the style very Victorian, rather hard to get through. x

    • The wind in the willows is a lovely book, but of it’s time. Something of the Gentleman’s club about it and no females allowed!

  9. I loved Bridge of Clay but I think because it was so many years ago that I read the Book Thief I wasn’t making any comparison. White Nights I have also read and as you say you can’t beat a Whodunit? Scrublands I found “unputdownable”.
    I will need to check out your remaining two books as you seem to have the same tastes as me in books.
    A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski and The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell are two of my most recent reads.

    • I found the first part of the Bridge of Clay a bit odd, all that running by Clay, which doesn’t become understandable till you reach the end. After those 80 ages at the beginning I might have given up if I’d been at home…
      Scrublands was your recommendation I think, and I really enjoyed it. I got such a sense of place.

  10. I’m quite sorry to hear you didn’t love Bridge of Clay – I did! I think it is a superb book and worth the work required to understand the immense tragedy that underlies the relationship of father to sons. I’m generally a quick reader, but I had to slow down and ‘settle in’ to this one and I’m so glad I did. The last book that made me feel this way was Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible which I almost gave up on, persevered and was greatly rewarded for….. Be a shame if we all liked the same books though wouldn’t it 🙂

    • There was tragedy in the relationship between father and sons, and the reason for it. The resolution was unexpected and I nearly missed it. I think that I was under pressure to finish it quite quickly as the book had been reserved by someone and I had to get it back.
      I really liked the love stories and the depiction of family life with boys. No we can’t all like the same books, and I find myself enjoying books recommended by people here and on their blogs which I wouldn’t try otherwise.

  11. Thank you so much, I love your book reviews! My hubby has just added your last two to his list, he’s already reading the Ann Cleeves one and loves it! I don’t read thrillers they give me nightmares, but I’m adding “When All Is Said” to my holiday reading pile, it sounds great.
    My favourite book so far this year is The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell. It’s funny, sad, uplifting and moving, and I can highly recommend it.

    • Thank you for your kind comment. I hope your husband enjoys the books, and that you like When All is said- it would be a perfect holiday read.. I am going to track down the Joanna Nell you mentioned, thank you for the recommendation.

  12. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Always impressed by the amount you read in a month! And always great to get recommendations.

  13. Some of these sound quite interesting. I got obsessed with those Lady Darby mysteries this month and just lately go back to my “wish list.” I started an Elizabeth Chadwick book about Eleanor of Aquitaine, have you read her?

    • I see we have an Elizabeth Chadwick in our library and as it’s my shift today….you have recommended books before which I have really enjoyed, so thank you.

      • I’m not far in to “The Summer Queen,” but they say she is fastidious in her research on historical content, and the reviews are good. I’m not gobbling the pages, but I can picture the time period and Eleanor of Aquitaine is an intriguing person.

  14. thoughts36 said:

    I’ve read When All is Said. Brilliant book, really enjoyed it too. Recommendation? The Passengers by John Marrs. Wow is all. Amazing story. Near futuristic thriller about driverless cars or rather their passengers.

  15. I’ve been reading Bridge of Clay since January and I’m a little over half way through it. I’m finding it a bit of a challenge to be honest but there are some beautiful moments in there that are vintage Zusack so I know I have to keep going. I knew it wasn’t going to be another Book Thief but I can’t help feeling that it’s far too long. Maybe he should get a better editor next time.

    • I had to keep reading as there was a request from another reader for the book at the library. I agree there are some wonderful moments in the book, but they get bogged down somehow.

  16. Sounds as if you’ve really enjoyed your reading this month – apart from Bridge of Clay. You’ve definitely put me off that one!

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