So much for reading my own books , these are all from the library. I popped down there yesterday to return some , and borrowed more. But some corkers for June, meantime here’s what I read this month.
Sylvia Townsend Warner- Lolly Willowes- Loved the first part of this classic novel set at the start of the 20th century. Laura Willowes is the stay at home unmarried daughter , acting as Lady of the Manor to her father. She has two absent brothers. Lovely discription of her home and life. Then her father dies, one brother takes over the running of the family business and his wife the running of the house. Laura goes to live in London with her other brother, wife and children where she becomes Aunt Lolly. Really enjoyed this section. Lolly misses the countryside and moves herself to the Chilterns. Here she encounters a feeling of other worldliness and time stood still. But then it just got a bit silly with paganism etc. Could have gone a different way and I really wish it had.
Tana French – In the Woods- I found a box set to watch on I Player called the Dublin Murders. It was good. I noticed that it was based on the novels by Tana French, whom I had never heard of. Quick look on the library Web page and I realised the TV drama was based on two not one novel. The first being In the Woods. Oh my goodness me it is so good. Yes it ‘s a murder story and a psychological thriller but it’s so much more. Nearly 600 delicious pages long its big for either of these genres. So what did I love. Two big things. First her description of childhood and long hot summers spent outdoors with friends, and second the way she develops the working relationship of her two detectives is simply sheer genius. I’m not telling anymore of the plot because I just want everyone to immediately read this book. I wasn’t at all surprised when I googled it to discover it had won multiple prizes. I just can’t figure out why I had never heard of her. But there we are. Certainly the best book I have read this year.
Andy Weir- The Martian- this is a science fiction/fantasy novel according to the library classification, not my usual choice but it came highly recommended. Imagine an astronaut left for dead by his fellow crew members on Mars. It doesn’t bear thinking about. But he is highly skilled, and goes into survival mode as a modern day Robinson Crusoe. Then mission control realises he’s alive, and mounts a rescue operation, but what about the crew who left him behind? It was a real page turner. I found the technical stuff rather confusing and would have liked less of that and more on the emotional side of the situation, but it wasn’t that kind of a book. Thoroughly enjoyable and good to read outside of my usual genres.
I have nearly finished my current book, but it can wait till June. Have you read any of these, what did you think?