The reading pile

 

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This is the pile that is currently crowding the shelves, table tops and desk in my house. Clearly, I have to stop collecting titles and start reading.

I have a complex relationship with the idea of reviewing books but I have just read the most brilliant reviews and while he’s a bookseller and well schooled in the art of describing a book in a nutshell. I figured, why not? I can do that too. To read more about this expert’s brilliant reviews you’ll need to check out the post. The key to a good review? – Keep it brief!

THE FINAL VERDICT

Nevermore – Jessica Townsend. This was the reading for a book club. This is an award-winning novel. Movie rights have been brought. It is on sale around the world. It’s wildly acclaimed as the next Harry Potter.

So this leaves me with that question about giving feedback for a genre you don’t read. I am not sure I am the right person to comment. I don’t read fantasy or sci-fi and this could be my biggest problem. For me, the world building wasn’t convincing. I don’t know why the places have their names. If we are on planet earth or another planet altogether. This made everything else hard to believe. I haven’t read Harry Potter, I tried reading it a few times but neither my audience or myself were hooked. But I’ve seen the movies and I felt like this was the one about the goblet and the competition. I think I would have liked more. More to keep me from comparing it to the goblet movie. More about the places and their histories. More about the grandmother and her role. There is so much more I would like to have known, unfortunately, knowing it is what would have kept me going to the next book.

We were Liars – E Lockhart. I read this at the urging of a young adult. It is a YA story set in the heart of an obscenely wealthy old school family on their private island. It’s a brilliantly written story; tight and gripping. The blurb on the back describes the story as a friendship that turns destructive, a revolution, an accident and a secret. Lies upon lies. True Love. The truth. A girl called Cadence is telling us her story. I wouldn’t say lies so much. It’s more teenagers thinking they’re in love and the truth is probably more about selling the book.

But it is about the expectation placed on our young and the damage we can do when we expect them to comply. It’s almost lyrical in the writing. There is a brilliant twist. But I must confess I never did figure out where the title comes from.

Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami. This story starts so well with a boy called Crow. Lying in the sand at Noosa with the waves as my instrumental background I became intrigued fast. I wanted to know more about the boy called Crow and I wanted to find out what happened on a mountain in Japan in 1946. I even enjoyed Mr Nakata and the talking cats. But I’m not sure where this story went. I am pretty sure at some point near the end I fell off this ride. The ending is still a conundrum wrapped in an enigma and I’ve got too much more to read to start this one again just yet.

WHAT I AM READING NOW

Ghostwritten – David Mitchell. Okay, I’ve reached that point where you stop reading from time to time and ask either “what am I reading?” or “what is this about?” I am going to keep going for now but only really because I enjoyed Bone Clocks so much.

Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman. I will stick to my earlier view. It’s an all-encompassing experience. One where you can read it to your YA to help them shed day to day stress. It’s that good it’s a cure.

McSweeney’s Issue No. 16 – Yes I’m still feasting on this little smorgasbord of stories. It’s a wonderful compendium to dip in and out of as the mood takes me.

The story of a new name – Elena Ferrante. I started it. I’m curious. I’m a tad put off by the massive study notes at the start. I didn’t stick with them and there is a little voice in the back of my head saying “you won’t know what’s going on any moment now.” Stay tuned. I haven’t really tuned back in but it’s still there calling out to me.

 

WHAT I’D LIKE TO BE READING NOW

The Power – Naomi Alderman. I was given this book by my mother, thank you G-Ma and since getting it I’ve picked up on the buzz.

The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro. So I heard about this writer winning the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 and over summer found myself being dragged into an independent bookshop. I asked if they had any of his books. They did, this one and it was recommended as a great one to start with. I didn’t see the movie, but now I’m wondering if this is the book the movie was based on.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami. This was a Christmas Eve gift and after reading about the talking cats in Kafka on the Shore I am looking forward to getting into this one.

The Gypsy and the virgin – D.H Lawrence. It’s been recommended and the recommendation was really good.

Winter – Ali Smith. I have just been given this by the same person who recommended The Gypsy and the Virgin. What can I say? I trust the giver – enough said.

 

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