Only four books this month, the last one took me quite a long time. I’d love to know if you have read any of them.
Lisa Jewell- The Night She Disappeared- The new psychological thriller from this wonderful author. Written during lockdown, this kept me guessing till the end, and I was still very surprised. Great read.
Tom Michell- The Penguin Lessons- I am so grateful to I think Shazza who mentioned this book. I think it could just be my favourite read this year. Lovely easy style, humour, travel, pathos and not forgetting Juan Salvado the penguin . Tom travels from Sussex to Argentina to become an assistant school master at a boarding school for mostly the ex pat Community in the 1970s. During school holidays he travels across South America, and thus one day stumbles upon penguins, covered in oil, and all dead but one whom he rescues. Oil removed he smuggles him into Argentina back to school. Juan has a very nice turn of phrase, and don’t tell me penguins can’t talk because we all know dogs can, well if you read the book about Stella you do. Juan becomes swimming coach and rugby team mascot , and proves to be a very good listener. Utterly charming. I now need to go and visit some penguins.
Ruth Hogan- The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes- not at all sure about this book. The front cover says “A book to really love” and ” Warm and Wise”. I found it rather sad. Masha’s son drowned in an accident. She struggles to move on with her life, spending her time in an outdoor pool trying to find out what drowning feels like and wandering round a cemetery . Here she encounters the eccentric Sally, singing opera, feeding the crows and cussing away. Then the rather gorgeous man , she names the Olympian , at the swimming pool, attracts her attention. Alongside her life is that of Alice, coping with illness and worrying for her son Mattie. The ending was foreseeable, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, however I found it very annoying. As a book about learning to live again, it was uplifting, I could have done without Alice’s story and I reckon it would have been better that way. Love to know whether anyone else read it and what they felt.
Richard Powers- Bewilderment. Which is pretty much what I felt reading this one. It was long listed for the Booker Prize. An autistic boy and his father grieve for the loss of the mother. A new treatment helps the boy. So far so good, but throw in environmental issues, astronomy and physics, and dodgy politics, result not an easy or happy read. Anyone read it, what did you think?
I accompanied my son and grandson to a charity shop that only sells books, records and DVDs. Master T bagged 8 old Beano comics. Me?
The Salt Path is one of those books which keeps coming to my attention. On a blog, in a shop , on the radio, I felt compelled to read it. And thoroughly justified on bringing books into the house having parted with some to a newly established free library in the pub.
I’ll let you know how I get on with it next month. Meantime I could really use some happy books, any recommendations please ?