So heres my reading round up for last month. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know its late again, but hey I’m just impressed with myself for doing it!
Room: Emma Donoghue
What can you say about this book really- it has to be one of the most talked about novels of the last year being a finalist for the Man Booker prize and a whole host of other accolades. And yes this is a very good book, but it wasn’t one of my favourite. Firstly you could kind of tell it was going to have an inspirational ending, maybe inspirational is the wrong word and resolved would be better. I could tell where this was going to end up from fairly early on in the novel and thus it lost a little bit of the suspense. What I would say though is that for a novel with deals with incredibly disturbing material it is presented in a very clever way, entirely seen through the eyes of a child. This gives Donoghue the licence not to go in to detail on certain more disturbing aspects or issues which were raised in the book as a child would not comprehend these clearly. All in all a good and cleverly written read, but considering the subject material this is not for the faint of heart.
Grave Secrets: Kathy Reichs
So continuing my current obsession with crime novels and in particular Kathy Reich’s novels this was another book which falls firmly in the oeuvre of Reich’s previous work. You have the independent and spunky heroine, the gruesome and intertwining subplots and a hefty dollop of forensic science. All in all an enjoyable read which I finished in about a day and a half. James likes to point out to me that I rarely get my ‘moneys worth’ on books because I read so fast… the only rebuttal I have come up with so far is ‘yeah but I brought this one from a charity shop so in actuality I was helping the world. Yeah. Hmmm.’ (You get the picture) Doesn any one else find it interesting that e-books (here’s looking at you Reich’s) are as expensive to download as they are to buy a physical copy? I can’t be the only person in the world who thinks that with production costs out of the window e-books should be substantially cheaper?
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: J K Rowling
I have read the early Harry Potter books so frequently that I’m pretty sure I could recite parts of them if there were need be! Safe to say this was a very easy re-read for me that despite all the times which I have plunged myself in to this world there are some parts of J K Rowling’s writing which still make me shiver. Aragog in the forest anyone?!
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: J K Rowling
As I explained in this post earlier this month Harry Potter is possibly the book which has had the largest impact on me out of all of those which I have read. I have loved and lived this series for the last 14 years and this is where it all started. When I return to the first book I am constantly amazed by just how many hints are dropped and how much foreshadowing there is that I just didn’t pick up on until I had read the final books. This is truly a masterpiece and should be taught in primary schools to really start kids off with a love of good books at a young age.
Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire: Rafe Esquith
Speaking of primary schools this is an amazing little book written by a truly inspirational teacher- Rafe Esquith. The amount of care love and time he pours in to his charges is astounding. If more teachers took his attitude of being the best example and doing the best they can in all circumstances the education system would be a far, far better place. Although this book is written from the perspective of the American school system I still recognised plenty of the problems which he mentioned within the British system. I feel that just because of the obvious passion which he pours in to his teaching this little book should be required reading for anyone who wants to become a teacher!
Death in Holy Orders: P.D James
So now I’m back on my crime fiction trend! I had never read a P D James book before and I was pleasantly surprised. I had expected it to be kind trashy considering that I paid the grand total of 50p for this book but it was actually really good. It followed the investigation in to a series of murders in a Suffolk monastery by a London cop called Adam Dagleish. I’ve grown up in the area so it was cool to see place I’ve known and lived referenced so freely. She also did a really good job of evoking the feel of the Suffolk coast line, one of my favourite places to walk. I have an abiding interest in cloistered religious communities, partly from my degree and partly because as a form of religious expression this seems to alien to me so I can’t but help and be interested! So this was pretty much the perfect easy read for me- I would highly recommend.
So there we have it, I feel as though I managed to read a nice mix of books last month and I’m looking forward to the books I’ve got this month- another nice mix!
Happy weekend friends!